KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Brian Jean-Mary, a 21-year coaching veteran who spent the 2020 season as linebackers coach at Michigan, has been named Tennessee’s new linebackers coach, head coach Josh Heupel officially announced on Thursday.
“Brian is a great fit on our defensive staff,” Heupel said. “He has coached defenses that are known for creating negative plays and forcing turnovers. He brings energy, experience and extensive success as a recruiter to Tennessee. Our student-athletes will enjoy playing for him, and we are excited to officially welcome him to Knoxville.”
Prior to Michigan, Jean-Mary served on the defensive staffs at Louisville (2010-13) as assistant head coach/linebackers coach, then at Texas (2014-16) as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. He was the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at USF from 2017-19.
Jean-Mary, a native of Apopka, Florida, has been a part of four conference championships and 14 bowl games as a coach dating back to his graduate assistant start at Louisville in 2000. As a recruiter, Jean-Mary helped produce a trio of top-15 signing classes at Texas, improving from 15th in 2014 to seventh in 2015 and eighth in 2016. He also had a top-30 class at Louisville in 2011 (27th) and the nation’s 15th-best class at Georgia Tech in 2007.
Jean-Mary’s defenses were consistently among the nation’s best in turnovers created, tackles for loss and pass defense at USF. In his first year, the Bulls were top 25 nationally in six categories, including sacks per game (3.0, 11th) and interceptions (20, second). USF led The American Conference in total defense (359.8) and scoring defense (21.5 points per game), improving from 120th in total defense and 92nd in scoring defense to 37th and 41st, respectively, after Jean-Mary’s arrival. Defensive tackle Deadrin Senat was one of five all-conference defenders before being drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
USF forced 69 turnovers across Jean-Mary’s three seasons and ranked top 30 in the FBS in that area twice. The Bulls also ranked top five in tackles for loss per game twice (8.4 and 8.3 per game in 2017, ’19), while ranking No. 4 in red zone defense in 2019 (67.4 percent).
During his time as the linebackers coach at Texas, Jean-Mary developed four All-Big 12 players and an All-American in Jordan Hicks (2014). Texas was top 25 nationally in six categories in 2014, including sacks (11th). The Longhorns averaged more than 3.0 sacks per game in all three years Jean-Mary was at Texas, ranking top-five nationally in his last two seasons.
Texas also led the nation in recovered fumbles (21) in 2014 and ranked 11th in 2015 (12). Hicks was selected in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and Jean-Mary’s former players Lorenzo Mauldin and Deiontrez Mount (from his days at Louisville) were also chosen.
Before Texas, Jean-Mary worked as assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Louisville where the Cardinals won 37 games and two Big East Championships (2011, ’12) across four seasons. UL compiled a 3-1 bowl game record culminating with a victory over No. 4 Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. Louisville’s .885 win percentage (23-3) over the 2012-13 seasons was the fourth-best mark in the country during that time.
Jean-Mary spent six seasons coaching linebackers at Georgia Tech from 2004-09, guiding the defense to top 30 seasons in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense in five of his six years on staff. The Yellow Jackets led the nation in sacks and ranked second in tackles for loss in 2007 and finished top 20 in both categories the next season as well. In 2009, Georgia Tech went 11-3 with an ACC Championship and went on to appear in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl. Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson (2005) and Philip Wheeler (2008) were third-round NFL Draft picks under Jean-Mary.
Jean-Mary got started as a graduate assistant on the strength and conditioning staff at Louisville in 2000 before spending two seasons under Lou Holtz at South Carolina where he was a defensive graduate assistant coach (2001-02). He then got his first full-time coaching job at North Alabama (2003) where he helped the Lions go 13-2, win the Gulf South Conference Championship and clinch a berth in the semifinals of the 2003 NCAA Division II playoffs while allowing 14.1 points per game (sixth nationally).
Jean-Mary earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Appalachian State in 1998. He played linebacker for the Mountaineers from 1993-97. He and his wife, Jerilyn Ardis, have two daughters, Brooke and Brittany.
THE JEAN-MARY FILE
Born: May 24, 1975
Hometown: Apopka, Florida
Education: Appalachian State, 1998 (bachelor’s in political science)
Wife: Jerilyn Ardis
Children: Brooke, Brittany
2000: Louisville, Graduate Assistant
2001-02: South Carolina, Graduate Assistant
2003: North Alabama, Secondary
2004-09: Georgia Tech, Linebackers
2010-13: Louisville, Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers
2014-16: Texas, Linebackers/Recruiting Coordinator
2017-19: USF, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2020: Michigan, Linebackers
2021: Tennessee, Linebackers
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS (4)
2012 Big East – Louisville (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers)
2011 Big East – Louisville (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers)
2009 ACC – Georgia Tech (Linebackers)
2003 Gulf South – North Alabama (Secondary)
BOWL GAME APPEARANCES AS A COACH (15)
2018 Gasparilla Bowl – USF
2017 Birmingham Bowl – USF
2014 Texas Bowl – Texas
2013 Sugar Bowl – Louisville
2013 Russell Athletic Bowl – Louisville
2011 Belk Bowl – Louisville
2010 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl – Louisville
2010 Orange Bowl – Georgia Tech
2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl – Georgia Tech
2007 Humanitarian Bowl – Georgia Tech
2007 Gator Bowl – Georgia Tech
2005 Emerald Bowl – Georgia Tech
2004 Humanitarian Bowl – Georgia Tech
2003 NCAA Division II Playoffs – North Alabama
2002 Outback Bowl – South Carolina
2000 Liberty Bowl – Louisville