Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel has promoted from within, hiring offensive analyst Kelsey Pope to be his new wide receivers coach, Tennessee confirmed on Monday.
“Kelsey was a natural fit for this role and someone our players trust and have the utmost respect for,” Heupel said.
Pope, 29, worked closely with the wide receivers last season as two Volunteers caught 60 passes or more for the first time in history – Cedric Tillman with 64 for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns and Velus Jones Jr. with 62 for 807 yards and seven touchdowns.
“He has a clear understanding of what it takes for our receivers to be successful in this offense,” Heupel said. “He knows how to connect with people, and he’s going to be a tireless recruiter.”
Pope replaces wide receivers coach Kodi Burns, who left to become the wide receivers coach with the New Orleans Saints after one season with Tennessee. He previously was Auburn’s receivers coach in 2019 and ’20.
Pope was the pass game coordinator and receivers coach at Gardner-Webb in 2020 before joining Heupel’s new staff before last season. A native of Sylacauga, Alabama who played at Samford in Birmingham, Pope was receivers coach at Tennessee Tech in 2019 and an assistant receivers coach at Division II Shorter University in Georgia in 2018. His first coaching job was with the running backs at Ohio Northern in 2017.
He finished his career at Samford in 2013 as its all-time leading receiver with 250 catches.