The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coaching staff that leaves a week from today for the season opener at Nebraska will be the exact same as the one that worked the Mocs’ 2010 opener.
That kind of staff consistency is valuable, and rare.
“It doesn’t happen a lot anywhere in the country,” Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. “I told them all after the season last year, I though they did a great job and I wanted them all back. Fortunately they all came back and they’re doing a great job.”
Huesman is beginning his third season as the Mocs’ coach. His two coordinators, Marcus Satterfield (offense) and Adam Fuller (defense), are in their third seasons, as well.
Also in Year 3 on staff are wideouts coach Will Healy, tight ends coach Russ Ehrenfeld, defensive ends coach Marcus West, linebackers coach Tony Coode and defensive backs coach B.J. Hogan.
“They’ve almost gotten my sarcasm at this point,” Fuller said of his defensive coaches. “Today I said something and one of them actually noticed it. Usually they don’t even listen to me. I got a smirk today and I guess that’s progress.”
This is actually Fuller’s sixth season with Huesman. The two were together from 2005-07 at Richmond.
Senior linebacker Ryan Consiglio said having the same coaches year after year allows for time to build relationships with them.
“Coach Fuller and I have been together for so long now that it seems like we’ll finish each other’s sentences,” he said. “I feel like he trusts me and I have the utmost trust and respect for him, as well as every one of our coaches.”
Safety Chris Lewis-Harris arrived at UTC in the fall of 2007 and got to know former coach Rodney Allison’s staff during his redshirt year. Then nearly the entire staff turned over heading into ’08, when Allison was in the final year of his contract.
During Allison’s six seasons as coach he had more than 20 assistants.
“It makes a big difference,” Lewis-Harris said of the turnover. “Now it’s great because you’re getting taught the same technique over and over by the same people.”
If UTC has another good season, any number of Huesman’s 10 assistants could move on to another school. Huesman hopes it doesn’t happen, but he’s realistic.
“Am I naive to think this staff is all going to be here next year? Probably not,” Huesman said. “If we can keep them one more year that’d be unbelievable.”
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...