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Josh Heupel Adds Defensive Assistants To Tennessee Coaching Staff

Tennessee football’s staff has expanded, head coach Josh Heupel announced on Friday.

Rodney Garner will coach the defensive line, while Willie Martinez will serve as secondary coach.

Both return to Knoxville after previously coaching at UT and coaching together at Georgia from 2001 to 2009.

Martinez reunites with Heupel after serving as the assistant head coach and secondary coach at UCF the past three seasons.

Martinez coached cornerbacks at Cincinnati in 2017 and at Tennessee from 2014-16.

Garner returns to Tennessee after previously serving as the associate head coach and defensive line coach at Auburn the past eight seasons, from 2013 to 2020.

Heupel said bringing Garner and Martinez back to Tennessee is an important step for the program.

“They understand what it takes to build an elite defense in the SEC and have developed numerous NFL Draft picks through the years,” Heupel said. “They also coached and mentored many student-athletes on some of Tennessee’s most successful teams.”

Written by Megan Turner

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