On January 16, 2017, Tennessee hired Charlton Warren to become the new defensive backs coach for Team 121. The Volunteers pass defense gave up 230.2 yards per game and ranked 71st in 2016. The defense was injury riddled for the majority of the 2016 season, but they still struggled as key players returned later in the season. In the final three games against Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt, the defense gave up 1,983 yards and allowed an average of 39.3 points. While Cam Sutton will be taking his talents to the NFL, there are several players returning that gained invaluable experience playing last season. These players include: Todd Kelly Jr., Micah Abernathy, Nigel Warrior, Emmanuel Moseley, and Rashaan Gaulden. It will be interesting to see how Warren’s coaching style translates to on the field results.
Charlton Warren’s Background
Charlton Warren graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1999. He played as a defensive back in college before finally becoming the secondary coach in 2005. He held several positions while at Air Force including: secondary coach, recruiting coordinator, defensive coordinator, and Associate Head Coach. In 2009, the Air Force defense nagged 20 interceptions which ranked 7th in the nation. The defense was even better in 2010 as they ranked 3rd giving up 147.8 yards per game through the air. They didn’t drop off far in 2011 either as they ranked 5th.
In 2014, Warren went to Nebraska as their Secondary coach. He also had success there as the defense ranked 32nd in passing yards allowed and 5th in pass efficiency. After Nebraska, Warren was North Carolina’s defensive backs coach from 2015-2016. In his first season with the Tar Heels he improved the squad’s defense to third best in the ACC, while leading in interceptions and passes defended. They ranked among the top five most improved defenses in 2015. In 2016, they led the ACC in pass defense as they ranked 12th in the nation giving up 180.8 passing yards per game.
Warren has had major success at every program he has coached at. He has transformed the defensive backfields of many teams into some of the best in the nation. Vol nation has a lot to look forward to with the hiring of Warren given his success. Tennessee will look to him to improve the SEC’s 10th ranked pass defense. The Volunteers have taken a long time on deciding who to hire for Athletic Director, but they moved swiftly in making an excellent hire in Charlton Warren. Tennessee fans need to unite in welcoming Warren to the Volunteer family.