Former Tennessee reserve quarterback Jim Bob Cooter is the latest addition to the football coaching roster in Big Orange Country. The Fayetteville product has accepted a graduate assistant position on the 2007 staff.
Cooter already has begun working with the offensive staff after the departure of his predecessor, Rick Clausen, another former UT signal-caller who is moving into private business.
"I am excited to get started into the coaching world," Cooter said. "I'd say I have had a taste of it the last couple of years. I have been doing a lot of coaching-type things in addition to playing, but it will be interesting to take the pads off and pick up a whistle."
Cooter was entrusted with the task of signaling in offensive plays from the sideline during the 2005 season.
"I not only had to know all the plays and but was responsible for coming through with the correct signals during clutch situations of the game," he said. "It was a lot of responsibility."
Cooter was in elite company during his playing days, earning Academic All-SEC honors four times after winning the High School Heisman Award at Lincoln County High School for combined athletics and academic success. He appeared in six career games for the Vols, including three in 2006.
"We are very excited about Jim Bob's opportunity," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. The Vols coach has mentored a lengthy list of successful coaches who began their careers in the Tennessee graduate ranks.
Among the recent GAs and their current place of employment are: Dick O'Brien (1993-95), Western Carolina assistant; Jeff Leiker (1996), Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College head coach; Kurt Roper (1997-98), UT assistant; Ryan Held (1998), Southwestern Oklahoma head coach; Shawn Quinn (1999-2001), Louisiana-Lafayette assistant; Shane Beamer (2001-03), South Carolina assistant; Marcus Satterfield (2002-03), Tennessee-Martin assistant; Jason Michael (2004), New York Jets assistant; Geep Wade (2004), Tennessee-Martin assistant; Shep Campbell (2005) Tennessee-Martin assistant.
"There really has been a great group of GAs pass through here," Cooter said. "There's (Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach) John Gruden and a whole list of guys who are doing well. It's an exciting opportunity."
ATHLON SPORTS TABS TENNESSEE NO. 20 IN PRESEASON POLL--
Athlon Sports is releasing its preseason Top 25 at www.athlonsports.com and has Tennessee at No. 20. Athlon's predicts the Vols will finish third in the SEC East.
Senior safety Jonathan Hefney is named second team All-America and first team All-SEC, while junior punter Britton Colquitt is named third team All-America and first team All-SEC. Sophomore tailback LaMarcus Coker and junior offensive lineman Ramon Foster also made the preseason first team All-SEC, while senior quarterback Erik Ainge and junior linebacker Jerod Mayo were second teach choices.
Third team selections were senior tight end Chris Brown, senior defensive lineman J.T. Mapu, senior defensive end Xavier Mitchell and sophomore linebacker Rico McCoy.
TRIO OF VOLS PLAYING IN NFL EUROPA--
NFL Europa recently kicked off its 15th season and several former Tennessee Vols have been allocated by their respective NFL teams to play in Europe.
According to NFL Communications representative Jared Cooper, defensive end Jason Hall (Carolina Panthers) has been performing for the Cologne Centurions. In the past two games, he has combined for eight tackles, three sacks for 25 yards, one forced fumble, two quarterback hurries and one pass defensed. He now leads NFL Europa in sacks with three.
His teammate, offensive lineman Cody Douglas (Tennessee Titans), has been starting for Cologne at right tackle. A third alum, tailback Gerald Riggs Jr. (Chicago Bears), has 27 carries for 60 yards for the Rhein Fire, and has an additional 20 yards on four receptions.
Stories Courtesy: UT Sports Information