published Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Vols tab Pittman as OL coach

KNOXVILLE - Tennessee has filled one of the four vacancies on its football coaching staff.

Former North Carolina assistant Sam Pittman will replace the departing Harry Hiestand as the Volunteers' offensive line coach, the school announced on Thursday night. Following five seasons as the Tar Heel's associate head coach and offensive line coach, the 50-year-old Pittman was not retained by new North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who was hired last month.

"Sam has an excellent reputation and track record as an offensive line coach and as a recruiter," Dooley said in a UT release confirming the hire. "He brings a considerable amount to our program as a coach and a person, and we are excited that he is joining our staff."

Hiestand, the fifth assistant coach to leave the UT program since the end of the season, is expected to join the staff at Notre Dame, according to a source close to the UT program. Notre Dame has yet to officially announce the hire. Hiestand "resigned to pursue other coaching opportunities," according to UT's release.

Before joining Butch Davis' staff at North Carolina in 2007, Pittman made coaching stops at Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Western Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Northern Illinois. In his four years at Northern Illinois (2003-06), the Huskies had nine All-Mid-American Conference selections along an offensive line that paved the way for productive tailbacks Michael Turner and Garrett Wolfe. The Kansas native has been coaching Division I offensive lines since 1994.

More on this story in Friday's Times Free Press.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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