University of Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley announced Friday that the Vols have hired Josh Conklin as safeties coach. Conklin served as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at The Citadel for the last two seasons.
"Josh brings successful coordinator experience and consistent secondary production to our defensive staff," said Dooley. "He comes highly recommended and I believe will be a great fit for our football staff."
In each of the last two years, Conklin's Bulldogs defense ranked third in the Southern Conference in total defense. In 2011, seven of 11 Bulldogs opponents were limited to fewer than 20 points, and two years ago, eight of 11 foes scored fewer than 20.
During Conklin's tenure with The Citadel, cornerback Cortez Allen was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 NFL Draft and played in 15 games as well as the NFL Wild Card playoff game against the Denver Broncos. Defensive end Erik Clanton, who finished tied for 12th in the FCS in sacks in 2010, earned a free agent opportunity with the Steelers after originally signing with the Montreal Alouettes.
Prior to joining the staff at The Citadel, Conklin spent three seasons coaching defensive backs (2007-09) at Wofford and added special teams to his responsibilities in his final season in Spartanburg. With Conklin on the staff, the Terriers led the SoCon in scoring defense in 2007 while intercepting a conference-high 20 passes and adding 13 picks the following season.
Conklin began his coaching career at South Dakota State, serving as a graduate assistant in 2003 and 2004 before being elevated to a full-time position coaching the secondary and special teams during the 2005-06 seasons.
The South Dakota State secondary ranked second in the Great West Conference in pass defense in 2006, while Conklin's kickoff return and kickoff coverage teams were the top-ranked units in the conference.
Conklin graduated from Dakota State University in 2003 with a degree in physical education. He started at linebacker his junior and senior seasons and was an Academic All-American. He also received a master's degree in sports administration from South Dakota State in 2008.
CONKLIN'S COACHING CAREER
2012- » Tennessee, Safeties
2010-11 » The Citadel, Defensive Coordinator & Safeties
2009 » Wofford, Defensive Backs & Special Teams
2007-08 » Wofford, Defensive Backs
2005-06 » South Dakota State, Secondary & Special Teams
2003-04 »South Dakota State, Graduate Assistant