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Tennessee Volunteers Football: Sal Sunseri Named Defensive Coordinator

Daniel HudsonCorrespondent IIIJanuary 13, 2012

According to Brad Shepard of RockyTopTalk.com and Josh Ward of 99.1 FM the Sports Animal, Knoxville, Sal Sunseri has been named the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Volunteers.

This news comes after it was reported that talks with Sunseri had ended unsuccessfully just days ago.

Sunseri played linebacker for the Pittsburgh Panthers from 1978 to 1981 and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1982 NFL draft. He returned to his alma mater three years later as the defensive line and linebackers coach after a career-ending knee injury.

Since then, Sunseri has made stops at Louisville, LSU (where he coached with Derek Dooley in 2000), Michigan State and the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Finally, he made his way back to Nick Saban at Alabama, where he has coached outside linebackers since 2009.

Sunseri's most recent NFL product, Rolando McClain, was the 2009 Dick Butkus Award winner, given to the nation's top linebacker. Two others, Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw, figure to be first-round picks in April's upcoming draft.

The hiring comes not a moment too soon, as the Vols are to host one of the largest and most important recruiting visit weekends starting tomorrow. Linebackers Dalton Santos and Otha Peters are high-value commits that are expected to be present.

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