KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is adding Eric Lewis to work with its linebackers as a defensive quality control assistant coach, according to a source with knowledge of the staff addition.
Lewis comes to the Vols from Georgia State, where he served as secondary coach and special teams coordinator.
The son of NFL coaching great and Michigan State All-American Sherman Lewis, Eric Lewis is expected to make an immediate impact at a rebuilding position of need for Tennessee.
Veteran linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen had a rough 2016 campaign when starters were out with injury, as the level of play dropped off significantly on account of backups not being assignment-sound in many instances.
Coach Butch Jones addressed Tennessee’s issues with broken assignments at linebacker toward the end of last season and said it would be fixed in the offseason.
Lewis is a veteran assistant who worked under Tennessee defensive line coach Brady Hoke when Hoke was the head coach at Ball State.
Lewis was a four-year starter in the secondary at San Diego State and finished as the Aztecs’ all-time leader in pass breakups.
Lewis broke into the college coaching ranks as a graduate assistant coach at Michigan State before moving on to Bucknell (2002) and Ball State (2003-05).
From there, Lewis spent two years as a defensive quality coach for the Green Bay Packers, breaking down opponents’ game film and assisting with playbook organization and installation.
Lewis returned to the college ranks at Louisville in 2008 before taking over as Eastern Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2009.
Weber State hired Lewis in 2012 and promoted him to defensive coordinator in 2013, prior to him taking a job at Buffalo for a year and then Georgia State.