Vols hire Gillespie as running backs coach

Vols hire Gillespie as running backs coach

West Virginia's Robert Gillespie has been named running backs coach at Tennessee. (Photo: WVU)

West Virginia’s Robert Gillespie has been named running backs coach at Tennessee. (Photo: WVU)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ennessee head coach Butch Jones has hired Robert Gillespie as running backs coach.

Gillespie spent the past two seasons on Dana Holgorsen’s staff at West Virginia. He joined Holgorsen from Oklahoma State, where he coached two seasons (2009-10).

A Hattiesburg, Miss. native, Gillespie is very familiar with the SEC. He played at Florida and coached at South Carolina.

Gillespie joined Steve Spurrier’s staff as a graduate assistant in 2005 and was hired full time a year later. He served as the Gamecocks’ running backs coach through the 2008 season.

Gillespie earned awards from all three major recruiting services for his work on the 2012 recruiting class. He was named Scout.com’s Big East Recruiter of the Year, sharing the honor with fellow West Virginia assistant Daron Roberts;¬†one of the Big East’s Top 10 recruiters by Rivals.com and a Top 50 recruiter by 247sports.com.

In that class alone, he played a key role in landing at least eight prospects from the state of Florida.

“Robert is a high-energy coach who will get the most out of his players, and he also has a great reputation in the coaching profession as a relentless recruiter,” Jones said in a statement.

He replaces Jay Graham, who left last week for the same position at Florida State.

Gillespie earned $301,000 last season. Graham’s salary at Tennessee was $225,000.

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