Gaines, who played high school ball at Dobyns-Bennett before going on to a career at the University of Tennessee and in the NFL, replaces Kevin Weston. Weston left his alma mater after eight seasons to accept the head coaching post at Clark Atlanta University.
Last season, Gaines served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Maryville College. The Scots went 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the USA South Athletic Conference, sharing the league championship for the program's first league title since 1931. With Gaines mentoring all-conference standouts Jacob Berwind and Kane Crowell, 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, Gaines was defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Brevard College of the South Atlantic Conference. The Tornado secondary led the SAC in 2011 with 11 interceptions.
Prior to going to Brevard, Gaines served as a defensive assistant and strong-side linebackers coach at Chattanooga in 2008.
"We are so fortunate to hire a person with East Tennessee ties and have the background that Coach Gaines brings to our staff," DeBusk said. "At Brevard, his defensive backs were always well-coached and caused us problems as an offense. We have helped our football team today by hiring Teddy Gaines and I know our players will be excited that he is on board as we move into 2013."
Gaines was a member of Tennessee's 1998 national championship squad before being selected in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL draft. He had stints with the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears and played with the NFL Europe's Rhein Fire in Germany and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.He was a star wide receiver and an all-state defensive back under Graham Clark at D-B.