Tennessee Vols Football: Kippy Brown and a Return To Wide Receiver U

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IDecember 17, 2009

DETROIT - 2007:  Kippy Brown of the Detroit Lions poses for his 2007 NFL headshot at photo day in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Getty Images)
Getty Images/Getty Images

In the two weeks following the final game of the season against Kentucky there wasn't much positive news surrounding Tennessee football.

The Vols lost two great assistant coaches and tremendous recruiters, Frank Wilson and Eddie Gran. Not long after those announcements, came the New York Times report about alleged improprieties in recruiting practices at UT.

"Hostessgate" was followed by a less serious allegation of alleged off-campus recruiting by an intern.

It was a rough two weeks for sure. As bad as those weeks were, however, this week might have just made up for all of it.

Yesterday it was announced that Matt Simms, Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms' youngest son, signed his letter of intent to join the Volunteers next season. Simms is a juco transfer who originally enrolled at Louisville in '08.

Simms threw for over 2,000 yards this season at El Camino Community College while missing two games due to a broken hand.

Of course that news was huge as the Vols were going to pick between a true freshman, Tyler Bray, and former failed starter Nick Stephens for quarterback next season. Adding Simms definitely makes that picture brighter.

Of course that's not the only big signing from yesterday. WR Kenbrell Thompkins, Simms' teammate at El Camino Community College, also signed his letter of intent to play at Tennessee in 2010 and beyond.

Thompkins is a four-star WR recruit who also had offers from Florida and Auburn.

Perhaps the biggest and best news came today, however, when Kippy Brown agreed to come back to the university and serve as Tennessee's wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

Why is that so significant? Most Vols fans will remember Brown from his two stints as wide receivers coach at Tennessee.

Why should a wide receivers coach be so memorable? For starters just look at the talent he groomed in the '80s: Anthony Miller, Tim McGee, Alvin Harper, and Carl Pickens.

Those were the days when Tennessee was known as Wide Receiver U.

Brown came back in the mid-90's and helped coach Joey Kent and Marcus Nash.

He's been a top NFL assistant since 1995 for numerous teams and is currently with the Detroit Lions.

Brown was rumored to be a possibility for the Offensive Coordinator position after Randy Sanders' firing in '05. But Brown turned down the offer and coach Phil Fulmer went with David Cutcliffe.

Lane Kiffin has pulled a major deal in bringing Brown back to Knoxville.

Could this signal a return to Wide Receiver U? Granted there are no Tim McGees or Alvin Harpers on this team currently; but with Thompkins already in the fold and star WR recruit Markeith Ambles on the way, one could easily be developed under Brown's tutelage.

Things are going much better two weeks before the final game of '09.