North Carolina tabs Robert Gillespie as new running backs coach

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North Carolina won in its search for a new running backs coach.

UNC officially announced the hiring of Robert Gillespie on Wednesday. Gillespie parted ways with Tennessee after National Signing Day after five seasons with the Vols.

“He has a well-earned reputation as a great offensive coach and recruiter, and he has a wealth of experience working with RBs at a very high level,” North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said.

Gillespie acted as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Tennessee from 2013-17. During that span, he emerged as one of the nation’s top recruiters and running back developers.

Including the Class of 2018, Gillespie led the charge for six top-25 classes, including the No. 4 class in the country in 2015, according to 247Sports.com. Those highly-touted classes helped Tennessee rise the Derek Dooley era, arguably the lowest times in program history.

He also coached several standout running backs while at UT.

Rajion Neal posted his only 1,000-yard season in 2013, becoming the first UT player to rush for more than 1,000 yards since 2009. Jalen Hurd was 440 yards away from breaking Travis Henry’s program record for rushing yards (3,078) as a junior before deciding to transfer to Baylor.

Alvin Kamara ranked third in the SEC with 136.4 all-purpose yards per game in 2016 and was named NFC Rookie of the Year this season for the New Orleans Saints. John Kelly was the only Power 5 running back to lead their team in rushing yards and receptions in 2017.

The Vols’ rushing attack scored a rushing TD in a school-record 32 straight games under Gillespie.

Rising junior running back Jordan Brown led North Carolina in rushing last season with 613 yards on 138 carries. Rising sophomore Michael Carter tallied the most touchdowns with eight and rushed for 558 yards on 97 carries.

Gillespie coached at West Virginia (2011-12), Oklahoma State (2009-10) and South Carolina (2005-08) before joining Butch Jones’ staff at Tennessee.

The post North Carolina tabs Robert Gillespie as new running backs coach appeared first on Diehards.

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