The University of Minnesota is reporting that Everett Withers has stepped down as the DC of the Gophers to return to his home state and take over as Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach at UNC.
This is a good hire. Despite an abysmal record this year (last in Div 1A), Withers’ record speaks volumes about why he is/was the highest paid assistant in Minnesota history and such a big loss to their program.
From 2006 Tennessee Titans bio [H/T Nashville Heel on TTP]:
Everett Withers enters his sixth season with the Titans as defensive backs coach and seventh overall in the NFL.
Last year, the Titans saw two rookies, Pacman Jones and Reynaldo Hill, start the majority of games at cornerback. It was the first time since the franchise’s first season of 1960 (Jim Norton and Mark Johnston) that two rookies started the majority games and the first time in the NFL since 2000 (San Francisco: Ahmed Plummer and Jason Webster). Hill led the team in interceptions with three, including one returned for a touchdown and became only the third rookie in franchise history to lead the team in interceptions (Pete Jaquess, 1964; Andre Dyson, 2001). The multi-talented first round pick Pacman Jones led the team in passes defensed with 12.
Over the last four years, the Titans have tallied 66 interceptions, which ranks seventh in the AFC and 13th in the NFL over that period. In 2004, the Titans totaled 21 picks, including 16 by the secondary.
This year the Titans will feature a new safety tandem by pairing new addition Chris Hope from the Pittsburgh Steelers with veteran Lamont Thompson. This duo provides increased versatility to the back end of the Tennessee secondary with each capable of playing multiple safety positions and providing different looks to opposing offenses.
In 2002, Withers directed a revamped secondary that added safeties Lance Schulters and rookie Tank Williams as the signal-callers for the back four. The new arrangement helped the defense re-gain a top 10 ranking. Schulters’ six interceptions were the most by a Titans safety since 1993. Withers also developed Andre Dyson into a starting player as a rookie in 2001 and would total 16 interceptions in his four-year Titan career, before leaving in free agency.
Withers joined the Titans staff in 2001 after spending three seasons (1998-2000) coaching the defensive backs at the University of Texas. A veteran of 13 college seasons, Withers guided a Longhorns secondary which ranked 75th in the nation in pass defense in 1997 (132.7 efficiency rating) to first in the nation in 2000 (88.02). Withers is credited with helping a young corps of defensive backs improve in a number of statistical categories after becoming familiar with the pro-style man-coverage philosophy.
Withers joined the Longhorns after three seasons (1995-97) as defensive coordinator at Louisville. His 1996 defensive unit ranked fourth nationally in both total defense (235.8) and rushing defense (81.1) and led the NCAA in forced turnovers (41). While at Louisville, Withers helped Dolphins All-Pro cornerback Sam Madison earn All-America honors for the Cardinals. Withers also gained experience with coaching stints at Southern Mississippi (Defensive Backs, 1992-93), Tulane (Outside Linebackers, 1991) and Austin Peay (Defensive Backs and Wide Receivers, 1988-90). He also spent one season as a defensive quality control coach for the New Orleans Saints in 1994.
A native of Charlotte, N.C. (6/15/63), Withers was a standout defensive back and captain at Appalachian State. Withers and his wife, Kara, have two children, Tia (10) and Pierce (7), and reside in Brentwood, Tenn.
As evidenced by his defenses at Louisville and Texas, this guy can coach. He also fits the Butch Davis mold, as he has college and pro experience. If he can recruit (and if not, he has some pretty good teachers…) , then he is the total package.
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