Ball turned down offer from Vols

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia wide receivers coach Tony Ball turned down an offer to join the coaching staff at Tennessee and chose to stay with the Bulldogs, according to UGA athletics director Greg McGarity.

(Photo by UGA Sports Communications)

The Vols named West Virginia running backs coach Robert Gillespie as their new running backs coach Friday night failing to hire Ball, who likely will now receive an increase on last season's $210,000 salary at UGA.

McGarity confirmed that Ball, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., and a former running back at UT-Chattanooga, did interview with Tennessee.

Sources told 247Sports that Ball was in Knoxville on Thursday.

After the success of the 2012 season, Georgia's staff has been popular this offseason. Defensive line coach Rodney Garner departed for Auburn and was replaced by Chris Wilson of Mississippi State.

Others stayed after various interest. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is confirmed to have held serious discussions with Virginia Tech at one point after the Capital One Bowl, while defensive coordinator Todd Grantham interviewed with the NFL's New Orleans Saints and also received interest from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ball has been a part of Georgia's staff since prior to the 2006 season. He coached running backs for three years before switching to the wide receivers.

Georgia starts spring practice Saturday morning.

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