KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 10 assistants and the strength coach on new Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt’s staff will make a combined annual total of nearly $6.5 million.

Tennessee officially announced Pruitt’s assistants Thursday, though Pruitt already had mentioned most of them during a news conference last month . Salary information was obtained through a public records request.

Pruitt’s staff includes offensive coordinator Tyson Helton (making $1.205 million per year), defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer ($705,000), cornerbacks coach Terry Fair ($255,000), strength coach Craig Fitzgerald ($625,000), offensive line coach Will Friend ($805,000), running backs coach Robert Gillespie ($515,000), receivers coach David Johnson ($505,000), special teams coordinator Charles Kelly ($330,000), tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer ($205,000), defensive line coach Tracy Rocker ($505,000) and co-defensive coordinator/outside linebackers coach Chris Rumph ($805,000).

Tennessee also announced the hiring of director of player personnel Drew Hughes and director of football operations Todd Watson.

The contracts of Helton, Sherrer, Fitzgerald, Friend and Rumph run through Jan. 31, 2021. Fair, Kelly, Johnson, Niedermeyer and Rocker have contracts running through Jan. 31, 2020. Gillespie’s contract runs through Feb. 28, 2019.

Gillespie is the lone assistant who also served on Butch Jones’ Tennessee staff last season. Jones was fired last November after going 34-27 in five seasons.

Helton spent the last two years as Southern California’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. Sherrer has been Georgia’s outside linebackers coach the last four seasons.

Friend was Colorado State’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for three years. Johnson was most recently Memphis’ passing game coordinator and receivers coach. Niedermeyer was Alabama’s assistant director of recruiting operations last year.

Rumph was Florida’s defensive line coach the last three years and was co-defensive coordinator in 2017. Kelly spent the last four seasons at Florida State, including four as the Seminoles’ defensive coordinator. Fair, a former Tennessee player, has coached Colorado State’s cornerbacks the last three years. Rocker most recently was Georgia’s defensive line coach from 2014-16.


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