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Tennessee Hires LB Coach Brian Jean-Mary, Will Pay Michigan $450,000 Buyout

Tennessee football announced on Thursday that it has hired former Michigan linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary to its staff.

Jean-Mary most recently coached linebackers at Michigan for one season, when the team went 2-4 overall and lost all three of their home games in the shortened COVID-19 season.

Knox News reports that Jean-Mary agreed to a two-year deal from Tennessee worth $550,000 annually.

Over the two-year term, he’s set to make $1.1 million. The terms of his agreement state the Vols will pay his $450,000 buyout to Michigan for leaving his contract early, which is $100,000 short of what he will make in the first year of the deal.

With former head coach Jeremy Pruitt fired for alleged NCAA violations in January and a $12 million buyout avoided — at least for the time being — the program appears to have some funds to spare.

Knox News reports that if the 45-year-old assistant coach leaves his role for another job within the same conference, Tennessee would be owed a buyout equal to 50% of the salary remaining on his deal. 

His buyout drops to 25% of what’s left on the deal if he leaves for a job in the NFL or outside the SEC. If he gets a head coaching position while under contract, Knox News reports Tennessee could waive the buyout altogether.

“Brian is a great fit on our defensive staff,” head coach Josh Heupel said in a news release. “He has coached defenses that are known for creating negative plays and forcing turnovers. He brings energy, experience and extensive success as a recruiter to Tennessee. Our student-athletes will enjoy playing for him, and we are excited to officially welcome him to Knoxville.”

From 2010 to 2013, he led Louisville as the assistant head coach and linebackers coach alongside Charlie Strong, and as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas from 2014 to 2016. 

He also joined Strong at USF from 2017 to 2019, where he served as defensive coordinator. Previous coaching stops include linebackers coach at Georgia Tech and secondary coach at Northern Alabama. 

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

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