Tennessee Volunteers Football: Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox Staying Put

Posted by Ryan Wooden on December-31-2010 Add Comments

New Year’s is prime time for the millions of college football fans around the country. Bowl season is in full swing and the Internet message boards are abuzz with rumors of coaching changes and recruiting news.

The University of Tennessee has certainly had its fair share of shakeups over the last several bowl seasons with regime changes and scandal, so when current Tennessee head man Derek Dooley said he didn’t anticipate any turnover with his coaching staff, it put Volunteer fans’ minds at ease.

However, just a couple of days after the Dooley presser, the rumor mill was pumping out a story that 34-year-old Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was in line to become the right-hand man of Texas head coach Mack Brown.

The news came as a shock to a Tennessee fan base that has become exceedingly fragile in the past couple of seasons, and for good reason.

Coaching staffs in college football are constantly changing, as is the nature of the game. So typically, the departure of a coach or two is often disregarded and fairly easy to downplay.

However, at UT, where there have been over 20 new assistant coaches over the last three seasons, the notion that the Vols would have some sort of stability was one that most Vol fans looked forward to.

So when word got out that Wilcox was likely swapping to a different shade of orange, fans were thrown into a panic, and when Wilcox declined to comment on the situation, citing bowl preparation as his excuse, many fans just assumed he was gone.

Luckily for us, Vol fans got a bit of good news on the heels of last night’s crushing loss to the University of North Carolina in the Music City Bowl.

Wilcox is staying put.

It certainly doesn’t do much to eradicate the proverbial hangover effect from last night’s debacle, but at this point Volunteer fans should take any good news they can get their hands on, and stability is a luxury that should not be taken lightly.

For the first time in a long time, it appears as if the nameplates in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex will stay the same, and as this staff begins to turn it’s attention towards the 2011 recruiting class, it should serve as a huge boost.

The new year is often praised as a time for change and as a fresh start, but with 2011 fast approaching, Volunteer fans can finally bank on the exact opposite and they should be pleased.

Because change isn’t always a good thing.

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