Butch Jones has a new member of his staff.
Jones announced this evening he had hired Robert Gillespie to coach running backs, filling the slot left open when Jay Graham moved on to Florida State.
Gillespie played at Florida until 2001. He has been running backs coach at South Carolina, Oklahoma State and the past two years at West Virginia.
Here is more on the hire from the University of Tennessee:
University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones announced today that the Vols have added Robert Gillespie to the coaching staff as running backs coach. Gillespie joins the staff from West Virginia, where he served the last two seasons (2011-12) coaching running backs.
"We are very excited to welcome Robert and his family into the Tennessee family," said Jones. "Coach Gillespie brings a vast knowledge of the SEC, having been a part of it both as a player and as a coach. 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."
Running Backs Coach
• Has been a part of teams that have appeared in 11 bowl games and two conference championships (as a player with Florida in 2000, as a coach with West Virginia in 2011).
• Has coached in seven bowl games, including the Pinstripe (2012), Orange (2011), Alamo (2010), Cotton (2010, 2009 season), Outback (2009), Liberty (2006), and Independence (2005).
• Served as running backs coach at West Virginia under Dana Holgorsen (2011-12), at Oklahoma State under Mike Gundy (2009-10), and at South Carolina under Steve Spurrier (2005 as GA/Video, 2006-08 as running backs coach).
• Has coached for eight seasons, and those teams are a combined 65-37 (.637).
• The 2012 Mountaineers team rushed for 171.8 yards per game, almost a 50 yards per game improvement over the team's 2011 total (122.7).
• In 2012, coached running back Andrew Buie, who rushed for a career-high 207 yards at Texas.
• Coached current NFL running backs Kendall Hunter (San Francisco 49ers) and Keith Toston (Jacksonville Jaguars) at Oklahoma State. Hunter was an All-American for OSU in 2010 and played in Super Bowl XLVII for the 49ers.
• Coached three All-Big 12 runners at Oklahoma State: Hunter, Toston, and fullback Bryant Ward.
• At OSU in 2010, Hunter was ninth in the nation with 1,548 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns for a Cowboys offense that ranked No. 3 nationally in total offense. The Cowboys rushed for 2,267 yards that season (174.4 yards per game) and led the conference in rushing offense in Big 12 games at 187.8 yards per game.
• In his first season as the Gamecocks' running backs coach, the team averaged 144.3 rushing yards, jumping the team's rushing offense ranking from No. 108 the year before to No. 49 while producing a 61 percent increase in rushing yards.
• Four-year letterman at Florida at running back that rushed for 1,854 yards and served as team captain in 2001. Graduated from Florida in 2005.
• Ended his Florida career ranking second all-time for the Gators in receptions (96) and receiving yards (1,091) by a running back.
• A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., he and his wife, Crystal, have a daughter, Nola (2), and a son, Wynston (10 months).
GILLESPIE COACHING CAREER
2005 South Carolina (GA, Video)
2006-08 South Carolina (Running Backs)
2009-10 Oklahoma State (Running Backs)
2011-12 West Virginia (Running Backs)