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Vols name Sunseri defensive coordinator

University of Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley announced Friday that the Vols have hired Sal Sunseri as their new defensive coordinator.

Sunseri spent the last three seasons as Alabama's assistant head coach and linebackers coach, and was part of two national championships in three seasons with the Crimson Tide.

"Sal has had unparalleled success over the last decade in not only contributing to team and unit success, but also in his ability to motivate and develop elite individual talent," Dooley said in a release. "His combination of defensive knowledge, recruiting success, high-energy personality, ability to connect with players, and personal integrity and character make him an exceptional fit for Tennessee."

Before joining the Tide, Sunseri was the defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers from 2002-2008. He has 27 years of coaching experience.

"The chance to work with Derek Dooley, who has been around championships and knows what it takes to build an elite program, combined with the rich tradition of the University of Tennessee, makes this opportunity so exciting to me," Sunseri said. "I am fired up to work with all of the young talent on the defensive side of the ball, and I can't wait to get up to Knoxville and coach them."

Sunseri replaces Justin Wilcox, who left to join Washington's coaching staff on January 2.