Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green scheduled to interview with Tennessee

January 11, 2012

Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green is scheduled to interview for the same position at Tennessee on Thursday, multiple people with knowledge of the situation said, but it’s unclear whether he would accept the job even if offered.

Green has been the Midshipmen’s defensive coordinator for 10 seasons, during which he twice was nominated for the Frank Broyles Award presented to the country’s top assistant coach of the year.

Navy finished 86th nationally in total defense this past season. The Midshipmen finished 5-7 and endured a six-game losing streak — their longest since 2002 -- in which they four times yielded at least 35 points and twice gave up at least 56.

But Green was able to get his unit to finish strong despite injuries and inexperienced personnel. Navy won three of its final four games, including 27-21 over Army, and did not give up more than 24 points in any of those games.

In 2009, when Green was nominated for his second Broyles Award, the Midshipmen ranked 18th in scoring defense, sixth in red zone defense and matched a school record with 10 wins. The Midshipmen’s crowning achievement was a 35-13 Texas Bowl victory over Missouri, which was unable to solve Green’s 2-4-5 alignment.

The turning point for Navy’s defense this season came following a 56-14 loss at Notre Dame, which dropped the Midshipmen to 2-6. A week later, Green moved to the press box to call the game rather than remain at his usual spot on the sideline. The result was a 42-14 victory over Troy.

A week later, Navy upended bowl-bound Southern Methodist, 24-17, in Dallas. The Mustangs at the time were ranked 15th in passing, but the Midshipmen limited them to their third-fewest points of the season.

Last year Green, who turns 59 on Jan. 23, underwent gallbladder surgery, and complications from that kept him away from almost all of spring practice before he came back for training camp.

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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