It's a homecoming of sorts for Russ Ehrenfeld after spending three seasons at Chattanooga.
Ehrenfeld replaces Steven Smith, who accepted an assistant offensive line positing with the Kansas City Chiefs. Returning to Tennessee State in March 2012, Ehrenfeld brought an immediate impact to UTC in his first season.
He helped the Mocs allow only nine sacks in 2009, tied for fewest in the SoCon and third lowest in the nation. UTC did not allow a sack for the last four games of the season, including a trip to FBS National Champion Alabama in the season finale.
In 2010, he turned his attention to the centers and guards, helping T.J. Hurless earn a spot on the All-SoCon second team. Add in Chris Harr and Ehrenfeld has guided two Mocs to all-league honors in his two years at UTC.
In 2011, Ehrenfeld coached tight ends, helping the Mocs to a 5-6 overall record, including a 38-17 win at then ranked No. 10 Jacksonville State on Sept. 10. Faysal Shaffat was a 2011 All-Southern Conference freshman tight end for the Mocs.
In his first stop at TSU, Ehrenfeld's offensive line set the tone for the No. 1 rushing offense in the Ohio Valley Conference while allowing just the second fewest number of sacks in the league. All totaled, he has coached more than ten offensive lineman that have gone on to play professionally.
Ehrenfeld previously coached the offensive line at TSU for three seasons (1997-99), helping the Tigers capture back-to-back OVC championships in 1998 and 1999. Notably, four linemen from the 1999 team went on to play in the NFL.
A native of Hillside, N.J., Ehrenfeld played four seasons at Chattanooga, helping the Mocs claim three SoCon titles as a starting offensive guard. He earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education-history in 1981.
Following graduation, Ehrenfeld's first coaching position was at TMI Academy as the offensive line coach. His first collegiate position was as a graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina, where he had the opportunity to coach the Gamecocks in the 1984 Gator Bowl. Since then, he has also coached at Austin Peay (1985-87, 95-96), Itawamba Community College (1988-89), Southeast Missouri State (1990-92), Eastern Michigan (1993-94), Alabama State (2000) and Bucknell (2001-02).