Tennessee hires Sunseri as defensive coordinator

By Beth Rucker

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 13 2012 10:02 a.m. MST

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee has hired Alabama assistant head coach Sal Sunseri to be its next defensive coordinator.

Volunteers coach Derek Dooley said in a statement released Friday that he thinks Sunseri will be "an exceptional fit for Tennessee." Dooley has scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon to talk about hiring Sunseri and changes on the Vols' roster.

Sunseri replaces Justin Wilcox, who left Jan. 2 to join the staff at Washington. Five assistants have left Tennessee since the end of the season, and Dooley has hired running backs coach Jay Graham and offensive line coach Sam Pittman in addition to Sunseri.

Sunseri has spent the past three seasons coaching the linebackers for the Crimson Tide, who won the BCS national championship game on Monday in addition to the 2009 national championship.

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