KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Butch Jones has finalized the hiring of Charlton Warren as its defensive backs coach, according to a Monday morning release.
SECcountry.com first reported that Warren was a leading candidate for the position and that defensive backs coach Willie Martinez was likely on his way out.
The 39-year-old Warren comes to the Vols from North Carolina, where he helped the Tar Heels make the largest improvement in pass defense(efficiency, yards per attempt) in the nation in 2015 and produced two All-ACC cornerbacks in 2016.
Prior to that, Warren was on Nebraska’s staff in 2014 and helped the Cornhuskers to a No. 2 ranking in completion percentage allowed and No. 5 finish in pass efficiency defense.
Warren, an Atlanta native from Forest Park High School, played at Air Force. He helped the Falcons to a 12-1 season in 1998 as a senior captain who earned the team’s “Mr. Intensity” award.
After serving his country in the Air Force, Warren coached defensive backs at the academy for nine years, six of them as a defensive coordinator.
The 2011 Falcons’ pass defense ranked third in the NCAA in passing yards allowed (166.8 yards per game) and was second in 2010 (147.8 yards per game). Air Force’s 2009 defense ranked No. 7 in the nation with 20 interceptions and led the nation in turnover margin. The 2009 Falcons defense also ranked in the top 20 nationally in passing yards allowed (5th), total defense (11th) and pass efficiency defense (17th).
“We would like to welcome Coach Warren, his wife, Jocelyn, and their three children to the Tennessee family,” Jones said in the school release. “Coach Warren is a passionate, knowledgeable and driven football coach that has an outstanding history of developing defensive backs on the collegiate level. He also has a great reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country with strong ties to our recruiting areas.
“We feel extremely fortunate to add someone of his caliber to our coaching staff and our defensive meeting room.”
Jones hired NFL veteran strength coach Rock Gullikson last week to lead the offseason charge in the weight room.
Martinez, formerly the defensive coordinator at Georgia, is no longer with the Tennessee staff.
“I have known Willie Martinez for a long time and have the utmost respect for him as a coach and a person,” Jones said. “I want to thank him for all his contributions to the Tennessee program over the past four seasons. Making changes on your staff is never easy, but we feel it’s necessary as we move forward as a program.”
BREAKING: Charlton Warren has agreed to terms to become Tennessee’s defensive backs coach ??
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) January 16, 2017