Tennessee football loses running backs coach Jerry Mack to Jacksonville Jaguars


Tennessee running backs coach Jerry Mack is headed to the NFL, accepting a position with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.

This will be his first NFL job after coaching in college for the past 20 years.

Under the 43-year-old Mack, the Vols were among college football’s top rushing teams the past three seasons.

In 2021, UT ranked third in the SEC and 12th nationally in rushing offense, averaging a school-record 217.3 yards per game.

In 2022, UT led the nation in rushing touchdowns (40) and finished third after Georgia and Michigan played extra games in the College Football Playoffs.

In 2023, UT led the SEC in rushing offense and ranked No. 10 nationally, averaging 204.9 yards per game.

And Mack developed Jabari Small, Jaylen Wright and Dylan Sampson as some of the SEC’s most productive running backs.

Mack, a Memphis native, was a college football coaching veteran, including stops at Delta State (2004-05), Jackson State (2006-07), Central Arkansas (2008-09), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2010), Memphis (2011), South Alabama (2012-13), North Carolina Central (2014-17, head coach), Rice (2017-20) and Tennessee (2021-24).

Mack’s UT contract ran through January 2025. He got a raise and an extension a year ago, increasing his pay from $425,000 to $500,000 for the 2023 season.

He is only the third assistant that UT coach Josh Heupel has lost in three seasons.

Wide receivers coach Kodi Burns took the same position with the New Orleans Saints after the 2021 season. Offensive coordinator Alex Golesh left to become South Florida’s coach following the 2022 season.

Adam Sparks is the Tennessee football beat reporter. Email adam.sparks@knoxnews.com. X, formerly known as Twitter@AdamSparks. Support strong local journalism by subscribing at knoxnews.com/subscribe.

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