With a staff opening to head up one of its deepest position groups, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program was looking for a quality assistant to add to a quality offensive line.
It may have been a long process, but it appears head coach Rusty Wright has found that person.
The university announced the hiring of former Assumption offensive coordinator Tommy Galt on Friday afternoon, filling the void created by the exit of former offensive line coach Chris Malone in January after his controversial tweet gained national attention. Malone has since started the process of suing the university, with one of the requests in a recently obtained document asking for his job back.
Galt's hiring ends any speculation of whether the Mocs intend to bring back Malone.
"Excited to have Tommy here," Wright said in a university release. "His experience and knowledge of the position is going to be really good in that room both with the older guys we've got and the young guys we need to develop. He's done that at every level.
"He fits in with what we're trying to accomplish and how we want to get things done in building on what we've started."
Galt, who played tight end at Maryland, has coached at Towson, South Carolina, North Greenville and Penn State prior to his time at Assumption, an NCAA Division II program. At North Greenville, he worked with current UTC offensive coordinator Joe Pizzo.
In his two seasons at Assumption, the Greyhounds averaged nearly 36 points per game, with their 37.2 points per game in 2018 ranking 21st nationally.
What he'll inherit with the Mocs is quite possibly one of the most talented offensive lines in the Football Championship Subdivision. Senior left guard Cole Strange won the Jacobs Blocking Award after the spring season, and junior right guard McLendon Curtis was an All-Southern Conference first-team selection. Senior left tackle Harrison Moon, sophomore right tackle Colin Truett and senior center Kyle Miskelley — who sustained a lower body injury midway through the spring season — also return.
In addition, the Mocs showed some quality depth, albeit in a 35-28 loss against Mercer on March 27 that wound up being their final game this school year. Five freshmen started on UTC's offensive line that day and held their own against the Bears.