* Name: Tony Coode

* Age: 32

* Position: Tight ends

* College: UTC (2001)

* Coaching experience: Linebackers/running backs, Lenoir-Rhyne 2001-03; linebackers, Sewanee 2004; graduate assistant, Tennessee 2005-06; defensive line/recruiting coordinator, Sewanee 2007-08.

* Playing experience: An All-Midstate offensive lineman at Father Ryan in Nashville, Coode was a three-time letter winner (1998-2000) at linebacker for the Mocs.

* Quotable: "In coaching it's rare that you get a chance to come back to your alma mater, so I'm very appreciative of the chance to come back to Chattanooga. I really enjoyed my time in Chattanooga as a student, and I'm glad to be back." -- Tony Coode

While head coach Russ Huesman and offensive line coach Russ Ehrenfeld get the most attention for being former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga players coaching football at their alma mater, they're not alone.

Tight ends coach Tony Coode (pronounced code) also is on the Mocs' staff. Like Huesman and Ehrenfeld, he is eager for UTC to get the taste of winning that he had.

Coode, from Nashville, played linebacker for the Mocs, lettering from 1998 to 2000. He was a redshirt freshman in 1997 when UTC went 7-4 -- the season the Mocs moved into Finley Stadium and one of just two seven-win seasons in the past 25 years.

"We really felt that if we could have gotten to 8-3 that year we'd have had a chance at the playoffs," Coode said. "It felt like it was headed in the right direction and then kind of fizzled out there my last couple of years, and I don't think it's really gotten going again since."

He said being on the field for the first game at Finley, against Tennessee State, was a unique experience.

"The crowd for the first game -- it felt like college football," he said. "Hopefully we can get back to that."

Soon after Huesman was hired, he brought in Carter Cardwell from Sewanee. That not only was a loss for the Tigers but a personal loss for Coode. He and Cardwell both lived in Chattanooga and carpooled to Sewanee each day.

Cardwell had remained in town since serving on the Mocs' staff from 1997 to 2002, while Coode and his wife, Becky, settled here after he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Tennessee because she had a job here.

"I was mad because I was losing my carpool buddy," Coode joked. "For two years we drove to Sewanee every day. On the morning ride we'd have our coffee and talk about the day ahead, and on the drive back whoever wasn't driving would make recruiting calls.

"It was fun. The only thing I don't miss about the drive is the time change, because coming back we'd lose an hour."

Coode's own commute ended in February when Huesman hired him to rejoin Cardwell.

Throughout the stops he's made in his coaching career, Coode said he's always wanted to come back to UTC.

"When the chance came, I really felt very fortunate, especially since my wife and I were already living here," he said. "That made for a pretty smooth transition."

Next Article

SEC, Georgia Dome extend deal

Previous Article

Fearsome four