Jones Announces Support Staff Additions

Jan. 7, 2013

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones announced the addition of multiple support staff members to his coaching staff on Monday.

Highlighting the group is former All-SEC defensive back Terry Fair who was a four-year starter at Rocky Top before leaving as a first-round pick and embarking on a six-year NFL career.

Jones also added one of the key members of Alabama's recruiting staff in J.R. Sandlin, who joins UT's program as the Director of Recruiting, as well as eight of his former Cincinnati staffers and an assistant strength coach from Winthrop. Jones also retained Joe Bernardi on the offensive staff.


J.R. Sandlin, Director of Recruiting
Chris Spognardi, Assistant to the Head Coach
Mike Szerszen, Associate Strength Coach
Greg Adamson, Assistant Strength Coach
Brandon Myles, Assistant Strength Coach
Cody Kempt, Offensive Graduate Assistant
Joe Bernardi, Offensive Quality Control
Chase Gibson, Defensive Graduate Assistant
Larry Knight, Defensive Graduate Assistant
Terry Fair, Defensive Quality Control
Greg Meyer, Special Teams Quality Control
Keith Pantling, Recruiting Assistant


SandlinJ.R. Sandlin
Director of Recruiting
Central Florida `09

  • Joins Tennessee after working as part of the recruiting staff at the University of Alabama from 2010-12
  • Part of back-to-back national championship program with the Crimson Tide in 2011 and 2012
  • Helped Alabama secure the top-ranked recruiting classes in the nation in both 2011 and 2012
  • Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the recruiting department for the Crimson Tide
  • Spent the 2009 season as tight ends coach, chief football administrator and director of player personnel at Oxford High School in Alabama
  • Served as recruiting specialist at UCF in 2008-09
  • Served as offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, director of player personnel and executive football administrator at American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, Ala., from 2007-2008
  • Scholarship tight end at University of Central Florida from 2005-07
  • Part of the Golden Knights' Conference USA championship team in 2005
  • Graduated from University of Central Florida in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in sports and fitness
  • Earned a master's degree in sport management from the University of Alabama in 2012
  • Native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he starred at Northridge High School at tight end

SpognardiChris Spognardi
Assistant to the Head Coach
Central Michigan `08

  • Has spent the last six seasons working directly with current UT head coach Butch Jones at Cincinnati and Central Michigan
  • Part of two BIG EAST championship teams at Cincinnati and two MAC title teams at Central Michigan
  • Joins the Vols from Cincinnati where he served as the chief of staff in 2011 and 2012
  • Began his career with the Bearcats as the administrative coordinator
  • At Cincinnati, was responsible for day-to-day operations of the football program
  • Served as video coordinator at Central Michigan in 2009
  • Spent three seasons as a student assistant with the Chippewas
  • Earned bachelor's degree in applied arts and sports management from Central Michigan in 2008
  • Began college career at Ashland University (Ohio) where he played wide receiver in 2004 and 2005
  • A native of Mansfield, Ohio, he and his wife Nicole, have a son Anthony
  • SzerszenMike Szerszen
    (pronounced SIR-shin)
    Associate Strength Coach
    Charleston (W. Va.) `01

    • A 10-year veteran in the strength and conditioning industry
    • Part of two BIG EAST Championship teams at the University of Cincinnati
    • Spent three seasons with the Bearcats, serving as director of football strength & conditioning with Cincinnati in 2011 and 2012
    • Spent three years as the head strength and conditioning coach at Eastern Michigan University from 2007-09
    • Oversaw strength and conditioning efforts for all 21 varsity sports, working closely with the football team at EMU
    • Prior to taking over the head spot at EMU, worked four years as an assistant to current UT director of strength and conditioning Dave Lawson from 2002-06
    • Served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the United States Military Academy (Army) in 2002
    • Was a graduate assistant and volunteer strength and conditioning coach and at West Virginia University in 2000-02
    • Earned a master's degree in athletic coaching education from WVU in 2002
    • Received bachelor's degree from University of Charleston (W.Va.) in sports medicine in 2001

    AdamsonGreg Adamson
    Assistant Strength Coach
    Winthrop `08

    • Comes to Tennessee after serving as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Winthrop in 2011-12
    • While at Winthrop, he developed training regimens and programs for women's basketball, baseball, men's & women's Soccer, track and field, men's tennis, and lacrosse
    • Served as a graduate assistant for strength and conditioning at Central Michigan for two years, where he worked with four top 25 teams
    • While at CMU, he helped develop training regimens, programs, and sessions for women's soccer, baseball, wrestling, men's and women's track and field, field hockey and assisted with football
    • He received his Master of Arts in sport administration from Central Michigan in 2010
    • During his senior year Adamson was named the 2008 Major of the Year in the physical education program
    • Earned a Bachelor of Science in health and exercise science from Winthrop in 2008
    • Coached football and baseball at Rock Hill High School in South Carolina from 2006-08

    MylesBrandon Myles
    Assistant Strength Coach
    West Virginia`06

    • Comes to the University of Tennessee after spending three seasons at the University of Cincinnati, two as an offensive assistant before moving to strength and conditioning in January 2012.
    • Spent one year in the same position at Central Michigan University
    • A 2006 graduate of West Virginia University, Myles was a four-year letterwinner for the Mountaineers
    • During his time in Morgantown, he started 29 games, catching 76 passes for 1,196 yards and 13 touchdowns
    • Ranks 10th among WVU receivers in career touchdown receptions
    • Took part in the 2007 Under Armour Senior Bowl.
    • Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Myles spent three years in the pro ranks with the New York Giants and with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL

    KemptCody Kempt
    Offensive Graduate Assistant
    Montana State `10

    • Comes to Tennessee after one season as an offensive graduate assistant at Cincinnati
    • Helped lead the Bearcats to a BIG EAST championship and was part of the staff that captured a Belk Bowl victory over Duke
    • Following graduation in 2010, he served as an offensive graduate assistant at Montana State in 2011
    • Played quarterback for the Bobcats for three seasons, throwing for 2,575 yards and 21 touchdowns in 22 games
    • Began his football career at the University of Oregon where he redshirted in 2006 and played three games in 2007

    BernardiJoe Bernardi
    Offensive Quality Control
    Fresno State `10

    • Came to Tennessee in February 2011 and is entering his third season working with the Vols' offense
    • Helped to guide the 2012 offensive line into one of the nation's best. The Vols averaged 475.9 yards per game of offense; including school-record 718 vs. Troy and had five games with 500-plus yards of offense; most since six games with 500+ in 1997
    • Vols offensive line also allowed just eight sacks on the season, fourth in the country, and has allowed just 26 sacks in the last two seasons under the watch of Bernardi, the best in the SEC (Texas A&M - second with 38)
    • Tennessee's eight sacks allowed in 2012 on 477 passing attempts ranks second in the nation (59.63) trailing only North Texas who allowed just six on 375 attempts (62.50)
    • Four-year starting center at Fresno State from 2007-10
    • Two-time watch list member for the Rimington Award, which annually honors the nation's best center

    GibsonChase Gibson
    Defensive Graduate Assistant
    Marshall `03

    • Arrives at Tennessee after spending the 2012 season as a defensive graduate assistant under Butch Jones at Cincinnati
    • Helped lead the Bearcats to a BIG EAST championship and was part of the staff that captured a Belk Bowl victory over Duke
    • Previously served as an assistant linebackers coach and strength and conditioning graduate assistant at UT-Martin in 2011
    • Also spent two years as a physical education teacher and football coach at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., and seven years as a coach at Pike County Central High School in his hometown of Pikeville, Ky.
    • Graduated from Marshall with a degree in physical education after a knee injury ended his playing career during his freshman season in 2001

    KnightLarry Knight
    Defensive Graduate Assistant
    Central Michigan `10

    • Comes to Tennessee after spending the past year as a defensive graduate assistant on Butch Jones' staff at Cincinnati
    • Helped lead the Bearcats to a BIG EAST championship and was part of the staff that captured a Belk Bowl victory over Duke
    • Was a four-year letterwinner as a defensive end at Central Michigan from 2006-09, playing his final three years under Jones
    • Played in 54 career games at CMU starting in 23 of them including every game during his senior campaign, earning third-team All-MAC honors while helping lead the Chippewas to a conference championship
    • In his four years at CMU, he made 123 tackles, including 25 for a loss, deflected three passes, forced two fumbles and recorded 13.5 sacks for 79 yards
    • Participated in four bowl games as a player, while also winning three MAC Conference Championships.
    • Native of Augusta, Ga., he majored in entrepreneurship at Central Michigan, graduating in 2010

    FairTerry Fair
    Defensive Quality Control
    Tennessee `10

    • Four-year starter at defensive back for Tennessee from 1994-97
    • Two-time All-SEC honoree as a defensive back in 1996 and 1997 along with being named an all-conference punt returner in 1996, also earned SEC All-Freshman honors in 1994
    • Ranks tied for seventh all-time in UT history with 30 passes defended (19 PBU, 11 INT)
    • First-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions (20th overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft
    • Played six seasons in the NFL with the Lions, Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams, accumulating 215 tackles, one sack and seven interceptions
    • During his rookie season, he was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team, the All-Pro Team and was tabbed as an alternate for the Pro Bowl
    • Spent three years on the coaching staff at Phoenix College following his professional career, sending four defensive backs to Division I schools to continue their collegiate careers
    • Most recently was a co-host of "The Drive," a sports talk radio show on WNOX in Knoxville
    • Earned a degree in psychology from Tennessee in 2010 through the athletic department's Renewing Academic Commitment program
    • Fair is married to Sherlone and has three children, Herandre, Delon and Ariyah

    MeyerGreg Meyer
    Special Team Quality Control
    Case Western Reserve `10

    • Comes to Tennessee after spending the 2012 season on Butch Jones' staff at Cincinnati as the special teams quality control assistant
    • Helped lead the Bearcats to a BIG EAST championship and was part of the staff that captured a Belk Bowl victory over Duke
    • Helped lead Case Western Reserve to three consecutive undefeated regular seasons and league championships from 2007-09
    • Was a 2008 First Team All-UAA selection as a running back
    • Leading rusher for the Spartans as a junior and senior
    • Served as an intern in the Mississippi State football program in 2009
    • Spent the summer of 2008 as an intern with the University of South Florida football program
    • The Clearwater, Fla., native graduated from Case Western Reserve in 2010

    PantlingKeith Pantling
    Recruiting Assistant
    Canisius `10

    • Joins Tennessee after working at Cincinnati for the last two seasons where he served as the director of recruiting operations and 1200 club administrator from 2010-12
    • Part of a Bearcats program that won two BIG EAST Championships and made a pair of bowl appearances
    • Earned a Master of Education in sport and fitness administrator/management from Xavier in 2011
    • Received bachelor's degree from Canisius College (N.Y.) in health and physical education/fitness in 2010
    • Native of Lancaster, N.Y.





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