Butch Jones’ former top assistant finds new job Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Butch Jones of the University of Tennessee Volunteers reacts on the sideline during the second half of a game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Steve Stripling, previously one of Butch Jones’ top assistants at Tennessee, is joining the Cincinnati Bearcats football program. Stripling spent the past five seasons as Tennessee’s defensive line coach and assistant head coach.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg was first to report the news.

This is a good get for the Bearcats, as Stripling comes with three decades of experience under his belt. Prior to Tennessee, his previous coaching stops include Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, Minnesota, Indiana, Northern Illinois, Colorado and North Carolina.

Stripling spent this past year at Tennessee in an off-field role. He was tasked as being the chief of staff and director of football program development.

Ever since Jones was at Central Michigan, Stripling has followed him to all three of the coach’s destinations. Oddly enough, despite eventually following him to new programs, Stripling was the interim coach for bowl games after Jones left to take the Cincinnati and Tennessee jobs.

Basically, he was not only Jones’ go-to-guy, but each program’s go-to-interim whenever Jones left.

This will actually be Stripling’s second stint at Cincinnati, where he coached the defensive line from 2010 to 2012. He’s returning to Cincy to take the same exact position.

Cincinnati went 4-8 during its first season under Luke Fickell in 2017.

Joseph has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade. He's also the co-host of the Off The Wall podcast. Marty Jannetty is better than HBK.
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