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December 1, 2011

Shake up on Vols staff

It's taken less than week from the stunning end of Tennessee's 2011 football season to begin to see the dominoes of change fall for the Volunteers.

No less than three sources close to the Tennessee football program have said that veteran wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett is departing the Volunteers' football program in what is being termed a "retirement."

Baggett will receive an unspecified amount of compensation --- it isn't being termed a buyout --- as he departs the Tennessee program. Baggett's full contract terms were not released beyond his first two seasons in Knoxville, when the former Michigan State quarterback and assistant coach earned $375,000 and $400,000, respectively.

Multiple attempts by VolQuest.com to reach Baggett were unsuccessful, and UT officials had no comment on Baggett's imminent departure.

But the veteran coach who previously tutored the likes of Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Wes Welker, among others, in the NFL did not this week go on an in-home visit to see coveted junior college wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Instead, Derek Dooley sent offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

Baggett's $400,000 2011 salary tied defensive line coach Lance Thompson for third-most among the Vols' assistant coaches. Chaney earned $525,000, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was the highest-paid at $700,000 and embattled offensive line coach Harry Hiestand pulled down $475,000.

Tennessee's search for Baggett's replacement will begin immediately, with the Vols' coaches coming off the recruiting trail in time to host a major group of official visitors this weekend. One potential name to monitor is UT legend Tee Martin. The quarterback on the Vols' undefeated, 1998 national championship team is currently the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at the University of Kentucky.

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