Tennessee losing one assistant to South Carolina, another to NFL

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It was quite the day for Jeremy Pruitt‘s Tennessee Vols football coaching staff.

First, it was reported that defensive line coach Tracy Rocker (pictured) would be leaving the Tennessee Vols football program for the same job at SEC East rival South Carolina.  Not long after that, another report emerged that had linebackers coach Chris Rumph leaving for a job with the NFL’s Houston Texans.

Rocker has spent the past three seasons as a Tennessee Vols football assistant.  The move to USC would mean Rocker has been the line coach at six of the 14 teams in the SEC:

  • South Carolina, 2020
  • Tennessee, 2017-19
  • Georgia, 2014-16
  • Auburn, 2009-10
  • Ole Miss, 2008
  • Arkansas, 2003-07

Rocker played his college football in the SEC as a defensive tackle at Auburn.

Rumph, a four-year letterwinner at linebacker at South Carolina in the early nineties, just completed his second season as part of Pruitt’s Tennessee Vols football staff.  In a collegiate coaching career that began in 2002, Rumph has never worked at the NFL level.

  • Florida, defensive line coach (2015-17)
  • Texas, defensive line coach (2014)
  • Alabama, defensive line coach (2011-13)
  • Clemson, defensive line/defensive ends coach (2006-10)
  • Memphis, outside linebackers (2003-05)
  • South Carolina State (2002)

Rumph is actually the second Pruitt assistant to leave the Vols for the NFL the past two weeks.  Late last month, tight ends coach Kevin Sherrer headed to the next level of football, replaced by Joe Osovet.

While there were assistants moving off of Rocky Top, there were also assistants moving in to fill the holes.  Reportedly.

To replace Rocker, Pruitt is expected to add Jimmy Brumbaugh as defensive line coach.  Brumbaugh spent the 2019 season in the same position at Colorado.  He was also the Buffs’ co-defensive coordinator.  The 43-year-old assistant has also spent time on staffs at Maryland, Kentucky, Syracuse and Louisiana Tech.

In addition to Brumbaugh, Shelton Felton is expected to replace Rumph as linebackers coach. Felton actually has a connection to UT as he was a part of Pruitt’s extended football staff in 2018 as a quality control assistant.  The next year, he left to become the outside linebackers coach at Akron.