ETSU head football coach Carl Torbush announced on July 31, 2013 that he has added Kingsport native and former University of Tennessee defensive back Teddy Gaines to his assistant coaching staff.
Gaines, who was a star at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, brings a wealth of both coaching and playing experience to the Buccaneers’ coaching staff, along with significant local recruiting ties. Gaines enters his fourth season with the Bucs in 2017.
In 2016, Gaines' safeties were led by graduate Ryan Powers and junior Paul Hunter. The duo - who were both playing their first season in the Blue and Gold - helped guide the Bucs to five wins. ETSU began the season with a 20-17 double-overtime win at Kennesaw State, before opening Southern Conference play with a 34-31 victory against Western Carolina at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Bucs capped off the year with a thrilling 15-14 win over No. 18 Samford. Powers and Hunter ranked second and third on the team in tackles, respectively. Hunter ranked second with 71 tackles and Powers ranked third with 70. Hunter - who totaled a career-high 11 tackles and two fumble recoveries at The Citadel on Oct. 29 - was named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week, while Powers went on to play in the FCS National Bowl in Florida.
Prior to coming to ETUS, Gaines served as an assistant coach at Tusculum College as the team’s defensive back and passing defense coordinator. Prior to Tusculum, Gaines served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Maryville College. The Scots’ posted a 6-4 overall record, including a 5-2 mark in league play to capture a share of the USA South Athletic Conference championship, the program’s first league title since 1931. Gaines mentored a pair of all-conference standouts in Jacob Berwind and Kane Crowell as Maryville boasted the top secondary in the USA South. The Scots led the league in pass efficiency defense (92.91), total defense (340.3 ypg), scoring defense (21.6 ppg), and pass defense (149.9 ypg).
From 2008-2011 he served as the defensive back coach and special teams coordinator at South Atlantic Conference member Brevard College. His Tornado secondary hauled in 11 interceptions in 2011, pacing the SAC in total picks. On three occasions his defensive backs earned all-conference honors including two-time honoree Michael Gist in 2009 and 2011
In his second year on the Brevard staff, the 2010 Tornados enjoyed a six-win improvement by posting a 7-4 record and capturing the program’s best finish in the league. Prior to Brevard, Gaines was a defensive assistant at Chattanooga in 2008, where he served as the strong side linebacker coach.
He was a standout student-athlete at the University of Tennessee and was a top contributor in the Vols’ secondary. A member of the 1998 National Championship Tennessee squad, Teddy was drafted in the seventh round of the 2002 National Football League draft. He enjoyed stints with the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears. He also gained playing experience with the NFL Europe’s Rhein Fire in Germany and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Tennessee in 2004 and began a career in education as he gained experience in Knoxville, Cleveland and Kingsport as an educator and coach.