Former Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly reportedly announced that he was leaving the Seminoles following their 42-13 win over Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl to take a new job opportunity, which he planned to announce during the next couple of days, but wanted to finish with the Seminoles before doing so, according to Warchant.com.
On Thursday, reports indicated that he was “closing in” on a position at Tennessee.
Earlier this month, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Kelly had interviewed for another defensive coordinator position.
Kelly joined FSU in 2013 as the team’s linebackers coach, where he worked under Pruitt and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2014, following his departure to Georgia.
It’s worth noting that Pruitt had already hired former Georgia linebackers coach to be the Vols’ defensive coordinator, so Kelly will likely either share the role or specifically be hired as special teams coach.
In 2017, the Seminoles ranked No. 32 in defensive S&P+ rankings following a preseason of high expectations. FSU also ranked 10th in 2016, 14th in 2015 and 38th in 2014 during his tenure.
However, Kelly ended his career in Tallahassee on a high note as Florida State held Southern Miss to 260 yards of total offense during Wednesday’s victory.
Tennessee already has nine coaches on Pruitt’s inaugural staff, as listed below:
Tyson Helton (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
Brian Niedermeyer (Tight Ends)
Robert Gillespie (Running Backs)
Will Friend (Offensive Line)
Tracy Rocker (Defensive Line)
Chris Rumph (Outside Linebackers)
Kevin Sherrer (Inside Linebackers and Defensive Coordinator)
Terry Fair (Defensive Backs)
Charles Kelly (Special Teams)