ATHENS ― Kevin Sherrer is leaving to coach at Tennessee and has not been with Georgia during its first set of Rose Bowl practices, but he will return to the team and stay throughout its College Football Playoff run.
Sherrer, the Bulldogs’ outside linebackers coach the past four years, is set to become the defensive coordinator at Tennessee. He was not with Georgia during its weekend practices but is expected back in Athens as soon as Monday.
“He will be out there with us,” Georgia senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter said.
Over the weekend, he helped Tennessee recruit and host official visits. Georgia coach Kirby Smart praised Sherrer and said he was happy to see him move on to a bigger role. Smart also said he was glad to have Sherrer stay with the team throughout its CFP run ― potentially against his new boss.
At Tennessee, Sherrer will work for new Volunteers coach Jeremy Pruitt, who will remain with Alabama as defensive coordinator as it also prepares for the playoffs.
“I’m really proud of him [Sherrer] and his opportunity. The first thing he said was, ‘I want to finish it out right.’ And we want him to,” Smart said. “He’s done a tremendous job with our outside linebacker group, and he always has. It’s important for us to be at our best in this College Football Playoff. Well if it wasn’t important to have him, why would we have had him here all year? He’s been here, he’s helped our young players develop. I’ve got a lot of respect for Kevin. I’ve watched him go through the high school ranks. I’ve watched him do it at Alabama, I’ve watched him do it at South Alabama. I’m excited for his opportunity.”
Sherrer had been at Georgia since 2014 and was the last holdover from the staff of former coach Mark Richt.
“I’m proud of him,” Carter said of Sherrer. “I mean he’s been my coach for four years, all four years. I’m just excited he’s getting a chance to go do what he does.”
Pruitt, who was Georgia’s defensive coordinator from 2014-15, is adding two other members of that Georgia staff from that era: offensive line coach Will Friend, who had been at Colorado State the last three years, and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, who was terminated by UGA earlier this year.
Georgia now has two openings on its staff. The NCAA is allowing staffs to hire one more full-time assistant, allowing 10 assistant coaches in addition to the head coach. But the hire cannot be made official until Jan. 9, the day after the National Championship Game.