John Chavis, whose attacking defenses were the backbone of some of Tennessee's best teams under Phillip Fulmer, is trading Rocky Top for the Bayou.
Multiple sources have told ESPN.com that Chavis has agreed in principle to become the new defensive coordinator at LSU and that the deal is expected to be finalized later this week.
Sources told ESPN.com that Chavis' deal is for multiple years and will pay him more than $500,000 annually. Chavis earned $340,000 last year at Tennessee.
Chavis, 52, spent the last 14 seasons as Tennessee's defensive coordinator. The Vols, despite their struggles on offense this season, ranked fourth nationally in total defense.
In nine of Chavis' 14 seasons as the Vols' defensive coordinator, Tennessee ranked among the top three in the SEC in total defense. Miles got an up-close view of Chavis' work during the 2007 SEC Championship Game when Tennessee held the eventual national champion Tigers to just one offensive touchdown.
Chavis, a Tennessee graduate, remained extremely loyal to Fulmer and turned down several opportunities to leave Tennessee, including NFL jobs with the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons. He also was wooed by former South Carolina coach Lou Holtz earlier this decade.
I think this is a GREAT hire by the LSU Tigers. Coach Chavis has been the one steady influence at Tennessee over the past 14 years. Coach Chavis is also a great recruiter who knows how to relate to kids from all kinds of background. He also brings a fiery demeanor to a team that didn't seem all that fired up this year. I think Lane Kiffen made a huge mistake letting Chavis go but his loss will definitely be LSU's gain.