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January 6, 2011Texas couldn't lure away Tennessee's defensive coordinator, but that hasn't stopped the Longhorns from apparently hiring away a key member of the Vols' staff.
Head strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie already has packed his family and his bags for Austin, multiple sources confirmed to Volquest.com.
Wylie, who is a native of Texas, drew rave reviews from the Tennessee players for his work with them preparing for the 2010 season.
"I just think from the minute he came in, he wasn't about yelling at us. He wasn't about cussing us out. He kind of embraced us," former Vol Nick Reveiz said back in August. "He met with all the seniors and said, 'I know what you have been through. Four strength coaches in three years is ridiculous'. So he kind of sympathized with us. He knew we were hurting, but he also showed his tough side by knowing when to push us. Bennie has done a great job. He knows when to encourage and when to yell. By working out with us he knew how we felt physically and he could relate.
"We went outside the complex," Reveiz said. "We didn't just stay in the complex and run on the field and lift weights. Of course we did those things but we went beyond it. We went to Locust Street which is like a vertical hill. It was hard. We ran as a whole team there. We went to Gate 10 at the stadium and ran there. He took us all around. Going to Locust we jogged there which was about a mile which is different for football players. We are not distance runners. It was cool because coach Wylie really changed up things. He made us uncomfortable. I feel like that a key to getting better is being uncomfortable and being able to react to change."
Wylie drew acclaim from the coaching staff as well. In fact, Wylie has been marketed on Tennessee's recruiting presentation and has been very hands on with recruiting on official and unofficial visits.
Tennessee wanted the opportunity to try and lure Wylie to stay on Thursday afternoon when he was formally offered the job, but the chance to return home to where his family and his wife's family lives was something that was too much for the Vols. So much, that head coach Derek Dooley never got a chance to convince Wylie to stay and many of Wylie's personal belongings including his automobiles have been in Texas for days.
And now for the 5th time in four years, Tennessee's off-season program will be different. As the office in the weight room sits vacant yet again.