Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis turned down an offer to coach

the defensive line of the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. He will remain at

UT for his 11th season on the Vols' staff and his fifth as

coordinator.

"It was an excellent opportunity that I considered seriously," Chavis said.

"There were a number of factors that went into my decision, none more

important than my relationship with the players and coaches on this

team.

"I look forward to continuing to coach them and to work with coach

(Phillip) Fulmer, the rest of the staff and the school administration.

There is a close bond among the coaches and players that carries over to

create a special situation at Tennessee that includes fans and the entire

community. I enjoy my relationships with all these people."

He added, "My ties at Tennessee run deep, having played here and coaching

here the last 10 years. Consideration of my family was also very important

in the final analysis. My wife and two sons are as much a part of Tennessee

as I am."

Chavis' interest in the Indianapolis post was heightened by his friendship

with several members of the staff.

Under Chavis' direction, Tennessee's defense has consistently been highly

ranked nationally and in the Southeastern Conference. In the 1998 national

championship season, the Vols ranked 17th nationally in total defense and

sixth against the rush.

Over the last three years, Tennessee has been ranked first, third and

second in the SEC in total defense.

Chavis came to Tennessee in 1976 as a walk-on defensive lineman. His

scrappy play at middle guard earned him a scholarship and letters in 1977

and '78. He began his coaching career in 1979 as a graduate assistant at

Tennessee and had stints at Alabama A&M and Alabama State.

He returned to Tennessee in 1989.