Multiple sources have confirmed to the Times Free Press that Tom Arth is expected to be named the next head coach for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program today.
Arth is 40-8 in four seasons as coach at his alma mater, NCAA Division III member John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland. After the former quarterback's college career ended, he played professionally for six seasons, including stints with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts (2003-05) and Green Bay Packers (2006).
After three seasons as John Carroll's offensive coordinator, he became coach in 2013 and led the Blue Streaks to three playoff appearances in four seasons. This year's team went 12-2 and reached the Division III semifinals, losing 10-3 to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
The Blue Streaks capped their regular season by ending the winning streak for Division III power Mount Union (Ohio) at 112 games with a 31-28 road victory Nov. 12. That gave John Carroll its first outright Ohio Athletic Conference football championship since 1989, ending Mount Union's string of 24 consecutive OAC titles.
Also this season, Arth was named Division III coach of the year and OAC coach of the year, and he was D3football.com's North Region coach of the year.
Arth would follow Russ Huesman, who last Wednesday accepted an offer to become coach at Richmond, where he was the defensive coordinator before taking over as UTC coach before the 2009 season. The UTC alum went 59-37 and led the Mocs to three Southern Conference titles and three appearances in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs during his eight seasons in charge.
Sources said Arth is expected to assemble a new staff, aside from bringing John Carroll defensive coordinator Brandon Staley with him to Chattanooga. Staley is currently one of five finalists for footballscoop.com's coach of the year honoring divisional coordinators.
Staley's defense finished in the top 20 of five major categories in Division III this season: total defense (third, 218.0 yards per game), scoring defense (fourth, 12.6 points per game), third-down percentage (seventh, 25.7 percent conversions), passing defense (139.7 yards per game) and rushing defense (13th, 78.3 yards per game).
A source said Arth "blew everybody away" in his interview with his vision for the program. He was one of six people interviewed, with UTC linebackers coach Rusty Wright and Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell among others.
Also interviewed was Jeff Durden, offensive coordinator for Huesman and the Mocs the past four seasons. He will follow Huesman to Richmond, while Wright will coach linebackers at Georgia State.
Arth is expected to be introduced Tuesday.
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