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Tennessee football: Vols hire Penn State’s Tim Banks as new defensive coordinator


New Tennessee Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel announced he has named Penn State’s Tim Banks the new Vols defensive coordinator.

Tennessee football has officially entered the Josh Heupel era in Knoxville and the former UCF leader’s coaching staff is starting to round out. Though he himself has been met with mixed reviews, Heupel has been tasked with turning the Volunteers’ culture and program around after Jeremy Pruitt effectively set them back.

On Monday evening, the program announced that Tim Banks had been named its new defensive coordinator.

“Tim brings great energy, passion and experience to the Tennessee football family,” Heupel said. “His defenses are known for their aggressive style, as well as their multiple coverages and fronts. He’s coached in big games and has a proven track record of success on the field and in recruiting. I know our student-athletes are going to enjoy playing for him. We are fortunate to have someone with Tim’s experience and caliber leading our defense.”

Tennessee Volunteers announce the hiring of former Penn State coach Tim Banks as DC

Banks has been an FBS defensive coordinator for 14 years, including four seasons at Illinois, two at Cincinnati and three at Central Michigan. He’s best known for spending the last five years on the Penn State staff as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach.

During his excellent five-year span at Penn State, the Nittany Lions ranked in the top 25 nationally in the fewest yards per play allowed all five years. Penn State was also ranked in the top 25 in scoring defense three times and tackles for loss per game three times during those five years.

Penn State football coach James Franklin thanked Banks for his contributions to the Nittany Lions.

Heupel has named his offensive staff in full and the Banks hire lends to helping fill out the leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Heupel will need to at least get the Vols moving in the right direction in his first year with the team. He’s an offensive-minded coach which Vols fans should love but his defense will need to get stops in tough SEC play.

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