published Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

UTC's Adam Braithwaite now defensive coordinator

UTC safeties coach Adam Braithwaite has been promoted to defensive coordinator.
UTC safeties coach Adam Braithwaite has been promoted to defensive coordinator.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
ADAM BRAITHWAITE

Position: UTC defensive coordinator

Age: 34

Hometown: Winchester, Va.

Experience: Braithwaite has been a defensive coordinator twice in his career, at Division III schools Hampden-Sydney and Christopher Newport. He also coached safeties and outside linebackers at Michigan. He was the Mocs' safeties coach in 2012.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman has found the Mocs' new defensive coordinator. He was, literally, right next door.

Huesman told the Times Free Press on Monday that UTC safeties coach Adam Braithwaite has been promoted and will take over the defense.

"I think he'll do a great job," said Huesman, who as defensive coordinator coached Braithwaite for one season (1997) at William & Mary.

The fourth-floor offices of Huesman and Braithwaite at McKenzie Arena share a wall, though Braithwaite soon will be moving into the defensive coordinator office vacated by Adam Fuller. Fuller left UTC earlier this month to coach linebackers at Marshall.

Fuller recommended Braithwaite for the position, and after thinking about it, Huesman felt it was the right way to go. The promotion will keep some continuity with a defense that has finished first or second in the Southern Conference in most of the major statistical categories the past two seasons.

"He's running this defense that we've been running for the last few years," Huesman said. "That was part of it. I felt like the continuity, keeping things going in the same direction, was important. We've been successful defensively, and I like what we do defensively."

Huesman also has hired, pending university approval, former UTC player and assistant coach Rusty Wright to coach the linebackers. Wright has spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at NAIA Reinhardt University. Previous stops included Miami (Ohio) and Furman.

"I think Rusty can bring in some good thoughts from the things he's done in the past," Huesman said. "Rusty has a really good special-teams background, too, so he can bring some input there."

Braithwaite joined Huesman's staff last February after serving as the defensive coordinator at Division III Christopher Newport University in 2011. Before that, he spent three seasons on Rich Rodriguez's staff at Michigan. After two years as a quality control assistant, he coached the Wolverines' outside linebackers and safeties in 2010.

He also spent a season as the defensive coordinator at Division III Hampden-Sydney College in 2007.

"I think having coordinating experience will definitely help me," Braithwaite said. "I'm more prepared for the job now than I was when I took my first job, and I've learned a ton from my first time coordinating to my second time and on up to now. I'll draw on those experiences, for sure."

Huesman said he interviewed three candidates for the job, all of whom had experience as coordinators. UTC still has a defensive assistant position open, and Huesman said he will start working to fill it this week.

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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