KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones announced Saturday that Bob Shoop has agreed in principle to become the Volunteers’ defensive coordinator.
“We are very excited about the addition of Bob Shoop to our coaching staff,” Jones said. “Bob has established himself as one of the premier coordinators in all of college football and is very well-respected as a recruiter, football coach and person. He brings a wealth of experience at the highest level and possesses all the qualities we were looking for as we went through this process. He has directed units that have finished in the Top 25 nationally in each of the last five years and he will do a great job of developing our players on the defensive side of the ball.”
“I would like to thank Mr. Hart and Coach Jones for giving me this opportunity,” Shoop said. “I also want to thank Coach Franklin, the Penn State players and coaches and the Penn State community for an incredible two seasons. This was not an easy decision and one that I didn’t take lightly. Over the last 24 hours I had an opportunity with meet with Coach Jones and his staff. It became evident to me that he is building a great program, a program on the rise and certainly one that will compete for an SEC Championship. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the team.”
Shoop, who has 27 years of collegiate coaching experience, spent the last two seasons at Penn State as defensive coordinator. His resume includes 13 seasons as a defensive coordinator with Yale (1994-96), Villanova (1997), William & Mary (2007-10), Vanderbilt (2011-13) and Penn State (2014-15) and three seasons as a head coach at Columbia (2003-05). He has coordinated units that have finished in the Top 25 nationally in total defense in each of the last five years.
Penn State ranked 15th in the country in total defense in 2015, allowing only 324.3 yards per game and 10th against the pass by allowing only 174.5 yards per game through the air. The Nittany Lions allowed 20 or fewer points in five games.
In his first season overseeing the Nittany Lions defense in 2014, the unit ranked second in NCAA total defense (278.7 avg. per game) and seventh in scoring defense. The 278.7 yards per game was the Nittany Lions’ second-lowest average since 1990. He was selected the 247Sports Defensive Coordinator of the Year following the season. Senior safety Adrian Amos earned honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades and safety Marcus Allen was a Freshman All-America and Big Ten All-Freshman selection.
Prior to joining Penn State, Shoop served as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Vanderbilt from 2011-13. He directed the Commodores to Top 25 finishes in total defense in each of his three seasons: 18th in 2011, 19th in 2012 and 23rd in 2013.
Under Shoop’s tutleage, the Commodores forced 30 turnovers in 2013, tied for 10th nationally, including 24 over the final eight games. The Commodores finished the season on a five-game winning streak and allowed only 14.6 points per game during the streak. The defense finished with at least one turnover in the final seven games including a season-high five takeaways at Texas A&M. Over the final three games, the Commodores allowed an average of only 255 yards per game and 109 yards through the air.
Shoop’s 2012 unit held opponents to 18.8 points per game, the lowest by Vanderbilt since 1997, and ranked in the Top 20 nationally in pass defense (14th, 191.8 avg.), scoring defense (15th, 18.8 avg.) and total defense (19th, 339.9 avg.). Shoop’s attacking style defense ranked fifth in the SEC, 25th in the NCAA, in third down defense (18.2 per game) and second in the SEC with 97 tackles for loss. Under Shoop’s guidance, senior cornerback Casey Heyward finished with seven interceptions in 2011 and earned All-America and All-SEC honors. Heyward was a second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft and led all rookies with six interceptions.
Shoop began his coaching career at his alma mater, Yale, in 1989 as a graduate assistant. He has also spent time with William & Mary (2007-10), Massachusetts (2006), Columbia (2003-05), Boston College (1999-2002), Army (1998), Villanova (1997), Yale (1989, 1994-96), Northeastern (1991-93) and Virginia (1990).
Shoop played wide receiver at Yale where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics. He was recognized with Yale Football’s prestigious Robert Gardner Anderson Memorial Award for team spirit, dedication and leadership. He also earned four letters in baseball. He spent time in 1989 in the United Kingdom playing football for the Birmingham Bulls.
A native of Oakmont, Pa., Shoop was a three-sport standout at Riverview High School and is a member of the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Maura, have two sons, Tyler and Jay.
2014-2015 – Penn State (defensive coordinator/safeties)
2011-13 – Vanderbilt (defensive coordinator/safeties)
2007-10 – William & Mary (defensive coordinator, secondary)
2006 – University of Massachusetts (defensive backs)
2003-05 – Columbia (head coach)
1999-2002 – Boston College (defensive secondary)
1998 – Army (defensive secondary)
1997 – Villanova (defensive coordinator)
1994-96 – Yale (defensive coordinator)
1991-93 – Northeastern (defensive backs)
1990 – Virginia (graduate assistant)
1989 – Yale (graduate assistant