CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Russ Huesman didn't have to look far to find his next defensive coordinator.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach announced Monday he is promoting Mocs' safeties coach Adam Braithwaite to the top defensive position on his staff. Braithwaite replaces Adam Fuller, who left two weeks ago for a position at Marshall in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
"I'm really excited and grateful for the opportunity to be in a leadership role here," Braithwaite said Monday afternoon. "I'm looking forward to the challenges that come with it, and I think the familiarity with the staff and my relationship with the players make me feel really good about what we'll be able to accomplish moving forward."
Braithwaite has only been on UTC's staff for one season, but he is familiar with the style of defense Huesman prefers. He also has experience as a defensive coordinator, having twice served in that role on the Division III level at Christopher Newport University and Hampden-Sydney University.
"He was in the mix right off the bat," said Mocs' head coach Russ Huesman. "Coach Fuller and I talked about him when Coach Fuller was getting ready to leave, and Adam recommended him and thought he'd do a great job.
"He's done it before as a coordinator. I trust him. He knows our defense, and I think he'll keep that unit moving in the right direction."
The Mocs have ranked in the top two or three in the league in nearly every key statistical defensive category the past two years, most recently finishing second in both total defense (308.4 yards per game) and scoring defense (20.4 points per game) in 2012.
UTC returns defensive end Davis Tull, the reigning SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, as well as all-SoCon performers Wes Dothard, Derrick Lott and Kadeem Wise.
"Obviously we've had success defensively, and as a staff, we're going to try to build on that success like any other coordinator would do," Braithwaite said. "We'll break down the film, look for things we can do better and make any changes we need to make.
"I can't say at this point what will or will not be different next fall, but we feel good about the foundation we have and we'll try to build it into the best defense we can be."
Huesman will also hire former UTC player and coach Rusty Wright as linebackers coach. Wright spent the last two years as defensive coordinator at Reinhardt on the NAIA level.
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