published Monday, February 20th, 2012

Ex-Michigan coach to work with UTC Mocs' safeties

Russ Huesman coached Adam Braithwaite when he was a defensive back at William & Mary. On Friday, Braithwaite accepted Huesman’s offer to coach the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s safeties.

“He was a freshman my last year there, before I went to Memphis,” Huesman said. “He was a walk-on scout team guy and I remembered him, but there wasn’t a whole lot of interaction.

“We’ve stayed in touch and I’ve followed his career; he’s a good coach and I think he’s going to do a great job for us.”

The hire returns the football team’s staff to full capacity after having three vacancies eight days ago.

Braithwaite spent last season at the defensive coordinator at Division III Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. Prior to that he was on Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Michigan, where he coached the safeties after working for two years as a staff assistant.

After two years as a graduate assistant under Rodriguez at West Virginia, Braithwaite left to be the defensive coordinator at Hampden-Sydney College before rejoining Rodriguez in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Braithwaite will take over coaching the safeties from Huesman, who coached the position the past three seasons. Huesman will continue to coach special teams, but wanted the safeties to have a full-time position coach.

Huesman had discussed moving defensive coordinator Adam Fuller to safeties and hiring a linebackers coach, but the hiring of Braithwaite eliminated the need for change.

“We talked to a couple of linebacker guys and we got to thinking, unless we can find a slam dunk guy [to coach linebackers], let’s look for a secondary guy,” Huesman said. “Keeping Fuller at linebacker and bringing in Braithwaite to coach the safeties seemed like the best thing to do.”

The Mocs’ staff vacancies forced Huesman to push back the start of spring practice from Friday to next Monday. Offensive line coach Alex Atkins and running backs coach Thomas Brown began working at UTC on Thursday. Braithwaite will start Wednesday.

about John Frierson...

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 ...

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