KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt announced the hire of two new assistant coaches in Jimmy Brumbaugh and Shelton Felton.
Brumbaugh is the Volunteers’ new co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, while Felton is set to take over as outside linebackers coach. They replace Tracy Rocker and Chris Rumph, who each spent the past two years with the program.
“I’m excited to announce that we have added Jimmy Brumbaugh and Shelton Felton to our coaching staff,” Pruitt said. “They are both tireless workers and will bring a lot of positives to our staff in terms of coaching and recruiting. They are family men who will be outstanding role models and mentors for our student-athletes.”
Brumbaugh Joins Tennessee Staff as Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach
Brumbaugh joins Tennessee’s coaching staff after a two-year stint at Colorado, where he was the Buffaloes’ defensive line coach.
In 2018, Brumbaugh’s first season at Colorado, the Buffs’ totals in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense all improved. Powered by Brumbaugh’s defensive line, Colorado improved its national ranking in rush defense by 64 spots, allowing 62.4 fewer yards on the ground per game. Overall the Buffs’ defense allowed 70.3 fewer yards per game and improved by 57 spots in 2018.
Under Brumbaugh’s direction, defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson registered 57 tackles, 16.5 TFLs and 8.5 sacks in 2018 to earn All-Pac 12 honorable mention accolades.
Before joining the staff at Colorado, Brumbaugh was the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Maryland for two seasons. He had spent the prior four seasons at Kentucky—working alongside current UT defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley for three years—establishing himself as one of the top defensive line coaches in the country. He has also served as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech and Syracuse and was an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at LSU.
“Jimmy has a proven track record of developing outstanding football players everywhere he has been,” Pruitt said. “He also has experience coaching in the SEC and is familiar with the demands that come with coaching in this conference. We are excited to have Jimmy here at Tennessee and expect him to be a great addition to our coaching staff.”
As the defensive line coach at Kentucky (2013-16), Brumbaugh developed a pair of 2015 NFL Draft picks. Bud Dupree was a first-round selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Za’Darius Smith, who Brumbaugh coached in junior college, was chosen in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens. Smith was named to the 2020 Pro Bowl after leading the Green Bay Packers with 13.5 sacks. Overall, four defensive linemen earned All-SEC honors during his tenure with the Wildcats.
Prior to his time at Kentucky, Brumbaugh spent two seasons at Syracuse, where he coached defensive tackles in 2011 and the defensive line in 2010. The Orange defense displayed drastic improvements under Brumbaugh in 2010, moving from 81st to 17th nationally in scoring defense, and from 37th to seventh in total defense. Under Brumbaugh’s tutelage, defensive end Chandler Jones garnered All-Big East recognition twice and was drafted 21st overall by the New England Patriots in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Before taking the job at Syracuse, Brumbaugh coached the defensive line at Louisiana Tech in 2008 and 2009. He took over a defensive front that ranked 46th nationally against the rush in 2007 and moved that ranking to 13th at the conclusion of the 2008 season.
In 2012, Brumbaugh was at East Mississippi Community College, where he was in charge of the defensive line and also was the strength and conditioning coordinator. He helped lead the Lions to a top-10 national ranking, an 8-2 record and the Mississippi North Division championship. Brumbaugh’s defensive line combined for 224 tackles, including 44.5 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. For the season, the EMCC defense allowed just 75 rushing yards and only 15.3 points per game.
In his lone season at EMCC, Brumbaugh developed six defensive linemen who signed Division I scholarships, including Kentucky’s Smith, the nation’s No. 1-rated junior college defensive end prospect by JCGridiron.com.
Brumbaugh also has extensive experience as a strength and conditioning coach, working two seasons (2006-07) as an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at LSU. Under then-head coach Les Miles, LSU won the 2007 national championship, defeating Ohio State, 38-24, in the BCS title game in New Orleans. While with LSU, Brumbaugh helped produce 12 NFL Draft selections, including five first-round picks.
Brumbaugh lettered four years as a defensive lineman at Auburn, playing both the nose and outside tackle positions, from 1995-99. He started 44 of his 48 career games, recording 291 tackles and 15 sacks. Brumbaugh was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 1995, earned Auburn’s Most Improved Defensive Lineman honor for spring ball and then garnered second-team All-SEC honors as a sophomore in 1996 before earning first-team All-SEC accolades as a junior in 1997.
Brumbaugh was a member of the Tigers’ 1997 SEC Western Division champion team and played in the 1995 Outback, 1996 Independence and 1997 Peach Bowls. Due to an injury he sustained at the end of the 1997 season, Brumbaugh played in only three games in 1998. He was granted a medical hardship waiver and had 51 tackles, six sacks and three fumble recoveries after returning for the 1999 season.
Brumbaugh played in the Blue-Gray Classic All-Star Game following the 1999 campaign and participated in preseason camp with the San Francisco 49ers in 2000 after signing as an undrafted free agent. He went on to play in the XFL with the Birmingham Bolts and then in arena football with the Georgia Force and Birmingham Steeldogs before embarking on a coaching career.
Brumbaugh returned to Auburn after his pro career to finish up his degree, graduating in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance. He then decided to get into coaching, starting out as a student assistant for Jacksonville (Ala.) State, which won the 2004 Ohio Valley Conference championship with a 7-1 league record and 9-2 overall mark. His first full-time position followed the next year, as he was the defensive line coach at Chattanooga, which posted a 6-5 record in 2005.
Felton Returns to Rocky Top to Coach Outside Linebackers
Felton was a quality control analyst for UT during Pruitt’s first season as head coach in 2018 and returns to Rocky Top after spending one year as the outside linebackers and defensive line coach at Akron.
“Shelton is a guy who was with us in a quality control role during our first season and did a fantastic job,” Pruitt said. “I was impressed by his work ethic and knowledge of the game. He’s coached in college for several years, and he also was an outstanding high school coach in Georgia. His ability to connect with the players on and off the field will make him a valuable piece to our on-field coaching staff.”
During his lone season with the Zips, Felton helped develop redshirt-senior linebacker John Lako into a first-team all-conference selection. Lako led the Mid-American Conference and ranked fifth in the nation with 138 total tackles in 2019.
Prior to shining a quality control analyst for the Vols in 2018, Felton spent one season as the outside linebackers coach at Chattanooga. With Felton’s help, the Mocs had the top defense in the Southern Conference in 2017 and finished the year ranked No. 25 in the FCS in total defense, allowing just 326.4 yards per game.
Felton began his coaching career in the high school ranks, where he spent time at three different high schools in Georgia.
Most recently, Felton was the head coach at Crisp County High School in Cordele, Georgia, for two seasons. He was the first African American head coach in the school’s history and led an impressive turnaround in just two seasons at the helm. After going just 3-7 in Felton’s first season as head coach in 2015, the Cougars went undefeated in the regular season and finished the year with a 13-1 record in 2016, advancing to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
Under Felton’s guidance, Markaviest Bryant and Quay Walker became the first players in Crisp County history to garner All-America honors.
Following Crisp County’s impressive turnaround in 2016, Felton was named the Georgia Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year, the Recruit GA Coach of the Year and the Region 1AAA Coach of the Year.
Before accepting the job as head coach at Crisp County, Felton spent two seasons as the run game coordinator and defensive line coach at Georgia high school powerhouse Colquitt County. The Packers won the Class 6A State Championship in 2014, and Felton was named the Georgia Coaches Association Class 6A Assistant Coach of the Year.
Felton also spent three years as the defensive coordinator at Dooly County High School (2010-12), where he coached future Auburn All-American Montravious Adams. He began his coaching career at Crisp County as the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator from 2005-09. Throughout his prep coaching career, Felton helped elevate more than 20 players into Division I football careers.