Vols hire new offensive line coach

North Carolina’s Sam Pittman has agreed to become Tennessee’s next offensive line coach, a source close to the situation told govols247 on Thursday night.

North Carolina associate head coach and offensive line coach Sam Pittman, pictured above, is in line to replace the outgoing Harry Hiestand at Tennessee. The 50-year-old Pittman, an Oklahoma native, has been with the Tar Heels since 2007.

Pittman, a 50-year-old Oklahoma native, has been with various NCAA Division I programs since 1994 and has been North Carolina’s associate head coach and offensive line coach the past five seasons. He coached at Big 12 programs Missouri in 2000 and Kansas in 2001 and spent 2003-06 at Northern Illinois before joining former Tar Heels head coach Butch Davis’ staff in 2007.

The former Pittsburg State University defensive end cultivated a solid reputation as a position coach and recruiter during his time in Chapel Hill. Some outlets have recently ranked him among the nation’s top 25 recruiters.

Pittman is in line to replace Harry Hiestand, who according to several sources is on the verge of leaving UT to coach Brian Kelly’s offensive line at Notre Dame. Hiestand, who came to Tennessee after a stint with the Chicago Bears, also recently spoke with new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer about joining the Buckeyes’ staff.

The Vols struggled monumentally to run the ball in 2011 but return several highly touted prospects up front, including every player who started a game last season and several promising backups, including rising sophomore left tackle Antonio Richardson. UT also redshirted talented young linemen Kyler Kerbyson and Alan Posey last season.

Attempts to reach Pittman on Thursday night weren’t immediately successful, but a source in UT’s program confirmed the news.

***UPDATE, 6:50 p.m.***

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley confirmed the Pittman hire through a release from UT's sports information department.

"Sam has an excellent reputation and track record as an offensive line coach and as a recruiter," Dooley said through a prepared statement. "Sam brings a considerable amount to our program as a coach and a person, and we are excited that he is joining our staff."

The staff at govols247 will continue to monitor this developing story.

Contact Wes Rucker at wrucker@247sports.com, www.twitter.com/wesrucker247 or www.facebook.com/wesrucker247

Skip To Comments

Already have an account? Sign In