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Jay Graham leaving coaching job at UT

8:05 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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UT running backs coach Jay Graham.

University of Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham is leaving his post.

UT head coach Butch Jones tweeted this morning, "Jay Graham has informed us of his decision to accept a position at another institution."

The former Vol running back, who played alongside Peyton Manning, announced he was leaving 15 months after returning to Knoxville and just 15 days until the start of spring practice. Graham decided to take a position on Jimbo Fisher's Florida State staff.

According to 10News contributor VolQuest.com, sources said he has verbally accepted the running backs coaching spot at Florida State, which comes with more money and responsibility.

Graham was instrumental in closing out a top-20 class earlier in February. He was the lead recruiter for several of the Vols' most high-profile players. Still, Graham was not offered the recruiting coordinator position on Jones' staff. Instead, Jones gave that position to Zach Azzanni.

Sources told VolQuest.com that Jones had attempted to renegotiate Graham's current UT pact for more money. Graham's salary was one of the Vols' lowest-paid assistant coaches on the new staff, earning $260,000.

Spring camps starts March 9, which means Jones needs to find another running backs coach quickly. Even though tight ends coach Mark Elder has coached running backs in the past, Jones is expected to seek another coach with extensive background coaching running backs.

In another tweet this morning, Jones said "The process of adding a new coach to our staff is underway, and we will hire the best person possible as we continue to build our program."

VolQuest.com said one potential candidate could be Des Kitchings, who coached previously at N.C. State and Vanderbilt. In the past, Kitchings expressed interest in the Vols' then-open wide receivers coaching role.

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