Today Derek Dooley made one of his first coaching hires. It was Eric Russell, who coached Special Teams at LA Tech before being hired by Mike Leach at Texas Tech to take care of the special teams duties there.
In a strong Big 12, Texas Tech was third in kickoff coverage and third in kickoff returns. They were also 15th in the nation in kickoff returns average.
While Russell was at LA Tech, they were able to block five kicks. Hopefully this will help Tennessee in blocking kicks as well as not having kicks blocked as time expires.
Before LA Tech, Russell spent five seasons as the Special Teams Coordinator at North Texas. His most impressive stat is the 14 blocked punts, and seven of them came in 2003.
During Russell's five years as the Special Teams Coordinator, North Texas won four straight Sun Belt titles, and his special teams unit was ranked annually.
Russell was an all-state quarterback in high school, but somehow turned out to be a pretty darn good Special Teams Coordinator.