TAMPA — Another Bucs assistant coach could run the University of Tennessee's defense next season.
Linebackers coach Joe Barry is a candidate to replace Monte Kiffin as the Vols' defensive coordinator. Barry was contacted by Derek Dooley on Saturday, the same day he was named Tennessee's new coach.
"I really didn't know Coach Dooley from the man in the moon until he called," Barry, 39, said. "But he said he really liked what Monte did on defense … and wanted to continue it. He said through all his research, my name was the one that kept coming up."
The Vols were close to hiring Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, but he told Dooley on Thursday he was staying. Steele reportedly was offered a three-year deal worth $750,000 annually.
"Of course, I'm very interested," Barry said. "Yes, it's college football. But you're talking about the chance to be a defensive coordinator at a big-time program like Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference. It would be a good opportunity."
Barry said Dooley has contacted him twice since he was hired. Dooley replaced Monte's son Lane Kiffin, who resigned after one season to take the coaching job at Southern Cal.