Tag Archives: Sal Sunseri

Sal Sunseri on Tennessee: ‘There wasn’t the talent that needed to be there’

Sal Sunseri talks with linebacker Herman Lathers (KNS photo by Adam Brimer)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — You could say that former Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri has landed on his feet.

Sunseri, now a defensive ends coach at Florida State, will be gunning for his third BCS national title in the last four years.

The other year, of course, was a miserable 2012 season at Tennessee. The Vols’ defense was historically bad and coach Derek Dooley and his staff were fired after the 5-7 season.

“Going to Tennessee was interesting,” Sunseri told AL.com’s Michael Casagrande¬†before FSU plays Auburn in the BCS title game in Pasadena, Calif. “You got up there and it wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be just because it was going to be a lot of hard work. Like anything else, when you go to a place with high expectations, you want to get it done. The people up there treated me extremely well and all that, we just didn’t have enough time to get done what we needed to get done.”

Read more from Sunseri on AL.com.

One of the reasons Tennessee treated Sunseri “extremely well?” He’s still getting a check from UT for roughly $50,000 a month.

Sunseri was lured from Alabama to UT with a three-year contract. When he was formally dismissed in December 2012, Sunseri was still owed $1.84 million through February 2015.

He makes a reported $198,000 at FSU, not including bonuses, but that’s not enough to defray the $800,000 annually owed by UT.

Tennessee’s Sal Sunseri takes responsibility for lapses on defense, but says ‘the plan is good’ (with video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri welcomed head coach Derek Dooley’s growing participation in game-planning and said he took full responsibility for his unit’s struggles.

In an interview that was fairly candid by Sunseri’s standards (he has a tendency to converse largely in coach-speak), the first-year coordinator dropped references to his own playing days and his son at Pittsburgh. He talked about his disappointment in the defense and his faith in the players. 
Check out the transcript of his talk below.

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Sal Sunseri emotional as he describes challenges of facing his son this week (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Sal Sunseri is not only Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, he’s also the patriarch of a close-knit Italian family. And like any proud dad, he gets emotional when talking about his kids.

Vinnie Sunseri is an accomplished defensive back for Alabama, which means he’ll be on the other sidelines on Saturday.

“Let me just say this: It’s been very, very hard this whole week for both of us,” said the elder Sunseri, who was on the staff at Alabama before joining Tennessee after last season. “Emotionally for the family, it’s been very tough. I didn’t imagine it would be this hard, but it is very tough. We’re both going to be professionals about it and do what we have to do.”

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Tennessee assistants look to Saturday scrimmage as first test


I’m learning plenty about the players during my first week on the job, but Wednesday was my first chance to talk to hear from Tennessee assistant coaches. We got all nine of them in about a 30-minute span after Tennessee’s practice.

You can check out my story that includes comments from offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, a few notes and a column by John Adams that includes some interesting stuff from defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.

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