Tim Banks

Tennessee's new football defensive coordinator Tim Banks.

Over three weeks after Josh Heupel was named Tennessee's 27th head coach, the Vols finally have a defense coordinator with Heupel poaching Penn State co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks.

"Tim brings great energy, passion and experience to the Tennessee football family," Heupel said in a release. "His defenses are known for their aggressive style, as well as their multiple coverages and fronts. He's coached in big games and has a proven track record of success on the field and in recruiting. I know our student-athletes are going to enjoy playing for him. We are fortunate to have someone with Tim's experience and caliber leading our defense."  

Banks, a 49-year old from Detroit, has been a veteran college football assistant, spending most of his career in Big 10 country.

Banks has spent the last five years in Happy Valley, serving as safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator alongside Brent Pry. Under Pry and Banks' leadership, Penn State's defense has ranked in the top 25 in Defensive SP+ every season he's been there.

Before coming to Penn State, Banks spent four seasons as the defensive backs and co defensive coordinator at Illinois.

Ironically, Banks' first opportunities to be a defensive coordinator came under former Vols' head coach Butch Jones. Banks served as Jones' defensive coordinator for three seasons at Central Michigan before following Jones to Cincinnati where he spent two seasons.

Banks is short on experience coaching in the south but isn't completely without it, spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis early in his career.

How Banks, an effective recruiter in past stops, adjusts to recruiting a new region will be interesting to see, but at the least, Tennessee has an experienced defensive coordinator after striking out on many of its top options.

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