Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer today selected former Florida assistant Jimmy Ray Stephens as the newest member of his football coaching staff. Stephens replaces Doug Marrone, who resigned Feb. 27 to take an assistant coaching position with the
New York Jets.
"We're very excited about having Coach Stephens with us," Fulmer said. "Certainly with his knowledge of the conference along with his background and the success he's had, we expect he will be a great asset for our football team."
Stephens, 47, has spent the past nine seasons coaching the Gators' offensive line -- part of a high-powered offense that led to five SEC championships for Florida. His responsibilities have included centers and guards, and the Eustis, Fla., native has bee
n the unit's run game coordinator the last two years. Stephens also played collegiately at Florida under current UT athletics director Doug Dickey, earning second team All-SEC honors in 1973 at center and second team All-SEC three years later at tight end
. He was a 12th-round selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1977 NFL Draft.
This marks the second consecutive year Tennessee has filled a position on its coaching staff with a fellow SEC coach. Marrone, who coached tight ends and tackles at UT, came to the Vols 13 months ago from Georgia as a replacement for Mark Bradley.