|Born||October 16, 1956|
Dillon, South Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Alabama A&M (DL)
Alabama State (DC)
Alabama A&M (DC)
Johnny "John" Chavis (born October 16, 1956), nicknamed "The Chief", is the current defensive coordinator and linebackers coach of the LSU Tigers football team and former defensive coordinator, linebacker coach, and associate head coach at the University of Tennessee.
Before returning to Tennessee (where he had briefly been a graduate assistant), Chavis had been defensive coordinator at Alabama A&M, a historically Black university. There he led the Defense of the Division II school to the best defensive record in the nation. The Bulldogs ranked first in total defense in 1987 and 1988.
Before taking the defensive coordinator job at Alabama A&M, Chavis coached as a graduate assistant at Tennessee in 1979, as defensive line coach at Alabama A&M from 1980–83 and then as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator at Alabama State in 1984-85.
Chavis returned to Tennessee in 1989 as defensive line and linebackers coach under his former college coach, Johnny Majors. He was promoted to defensive coordinator under Majors' successor, Phillip Fulmer, in 1995. Under Chavis' watch, Tennessee gained a reputation for fielding some of the stingiest defenses in the nation.
Following the national championship season of 1998, Chavis was named the SEC's outstanding linebacker coach. Tennessee's defense led the SEC in 1996 and ranked in the top three five of the past seven years.
In addition to supervising linebackers and the overall defense, Chavis in 1999 was named assistant head coach.
Chavis's career at Tennessee came to an end in the middle of the 2008 season. Following a 3-6 start and a blowout loss to Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Phillip Fulmer announced the following Monday that he, at the University's decision, would step down as head coach. Fulmer's resignation would ultimately oust Chavis as defensive coordinator. Chavis's final three games would bring confidence but major disappointment to his final days with UT, starting with an embarrassing 13-7 loss to Wyoming which would keep UT from making a bowl for the second time in four years. Chavis would win his final game at UT against the University of Kentucky, 28-10, continuing a 24 game win streak against the Wildcats.
Chavis came to UT as a walk-on defensive lineman and later was granted a scholarship on the basis of his play at middle guard and tackle. He played for both Bill Battle and Johnny Majors. He lettered in 1977 and 1978 and received his degree from the College of Education in 1979. Chavis became a starter for the Tennessee Defense during his senior season. Chavis is a native of Dillon, South Carolina.
- Jason Allen (Miami Dolphins)
- Parys Haralson (San Francisco 49ers)
- Omar Gaither (Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers)
- Jesse Mahelona (Tennessee Titans)
- Kevin Simon (Washington Redskins)
- Kevin Burnett (Dallas Cowboys)
- Rashad Baker (Buffalo Bills)
- Shaun Ellis (New York Jets)
- Terry Fair (Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and St. Louis Rams)
- Deon Grant (Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks)
- Jabari Greer (Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints)
- Albert Haynesworth (Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins)
- John Henderson (Jacksonville Jaguars)
- Leonard Little (St. Louis Rams)
- Eddie Moore (Miami Dolphins)
- Darwin Walker (Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles)
- Al Wilson (Denver Broncos)
- Gibril Wilson (New York Giants, Oakland Raider, Miami Dolphins)
- Aubrayo Franklin (Baltimore Ravens)
- Julian Battle (Kansas City Chiefs)
- Jerod Mayo (New England Patriots)
- Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals)
- Morris Claiborne (Dallas Cowboys)
- Michael Brockers (St. Louis Rams)
- Kelvin Sheppard (Buffalo Bills)
- Drake Nevis (Indianapolis Colts)
He and his wife, Diane Crisp Chavis, are the parents of two sons, C. John Chavis (age 39, married to Sandra Lee Chavis) and Jason Chavis (age 37).