COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Two names that are familiar to
football fans throughout the region and state have been added to
coach Watson Brown's football coaching staff at Tennessee Tech
University for the 2011 season.
Lee Sweeney, a product of Mt. Juliet and Friendship Christian School who became a record-setting quarterback for the Golden Eagles, has taken a graduate assistant position on Brown's staff. Tyler Wolf, a standout at Cookeville High School who went on to a successful playing career at the University of Tennessee, is the staff's new administrative assistant.
Meanwhile, Brandon Barnes moves from his position as administrative assistant into a graduate assistant role to work with the defensive line.
"We're excited to have both of these young men on our staff,' Brown said.
"Tyler is from here and he's well-thought-of in this community,
and he wants to get into the business of football operations,"
Brown said. "This is good for us because it allows Brandon (Barnes)
to get onto the field to coach, and fills the administrative
position that's so important in our day-to-day operations.
"Lee played here in the Tennessee Tech system, he holds most of Tech's passing records and he's a great fit because he knows our system so well," Brown said.
A record-setting passer during his career as a Golden Eagle,
Sweeney has embarked upon his collegiate coaching career and will
work with the Golden Eagle quarterbacks in the 2011 season.
It's an appropriate assignment for the former OVC Freshman of the Year who set many of Tech's passing records while calling Golden Eagle signals from 2006 to 2009.
Sweeney was a two-year starter at Friendship Christian High School in Mt. Juliet where he passed for 5,173 yards in two seasons. As a senior, he led the state in passing, throwing for 2,819 yards and 30 touchdowns with just three interceptions on his way to being named a finalist for Tennessee's Mr. Football. A versatile athlete with a strong arm, he also lettered three seasons as a starting pitcher on the baseball team.
Following his prep career, he was recruited to the University of Louisville where he spent the 2005 season on the sidelines as a Cardinal redshirt. He transferred to Tennessee Tech following the fall semester, and went through spring drills with the Golden Eagles, helping him to prepare for his collegiate debut in the 2006 season. That year he passed for 2,292 yards and ranked first in the OVC in total offense, earning second-team all-OVC honors and the conference's Freshman of the Year award.
He wrapped up his Tech career ranked first in career passing
yards (7,157) as well as first in career total offense (6,805). He
tied for the school record with 13 games passing for 200 yards or
more, including the school-best 437 yards in a thrilling
come-from-behind victory at Southeast Missouri to close out the
2006 season under interim head coach Doug Malone.
Sweeney received his bachelor's degree from Tech in December 2009 in Exercise Science, Physical Education and Wellness.
Tyler Wolf made a name for himself throughout the region
as a standout two-way player at Cookeville High School, and
followed that with a five-year career as a member of the University
of Tennessee Volunteers. With a bachelor's and master's degree to
his credit, the Cookeville native returns to his hometown to open a
new chapter in the role of administrative assistant.
Wolf will provide support to the Golden Eagles in his first season on the staff. In his role as administrative assistant, Wolf will work in a variety of assignments to support the Tech coaching staff.
As a Cavalier under coach Jerry Joslin, Wolf was a four-year starter for Cookeville High School. He helped the team post an 11-2 record and reach the third round of the TSSAA playoffs in both 2004 as a junior and 2005 as a senior, winning the Region 3-5A title both years. Playing cornerback and runningback, Wolf was named the Region MVP and earned all-Mid-State and All-State honors as a senior. A regular visitor in opponent's end zones, he scored 30 touchdowns, rushing for more than 1,500 yards and returning punts for more than 500 yards. He also had 14 interceptions.
Following his 2006 graduation, he was an invited walk-on with the Vols under then-head coach Phil Fulmer, spending his first season as a redshirt for the Big Orange. He was on the squad for five seasons, including three under Fulmer, one year under Lane Kiffin, and one season for Derek Dooley, who moved Wolf from walk-on to scholarship status for the 2010 season. He started on all four of the Vols special teams (kickoff, kick return, punt, punt return) in 2009 and 2010, and was on the roster for bowl games in four of his five seasons - the 2006 and 2007 Outback Bowl, the 2009 Chick Fil-A Bowl, and the 2010 Music City Bowl.
Wolf was named to the Academic All-SEC team all four seasons he was active. He received his bachelor's degree from UT in 2010 and his master's in sports management in 2011.
The Golden Eagles open fall camp on Aug. 8, then kick off the 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3, at the University of Iowa. The first home game in Tucker Stadium is Thursday, Sept. 8, against Maryville College.
Season tickets are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center, or by calling (931) 372-3940.