Sunseri was fired after one season at Tennessee as defensive coordinator under Derek Dooley, who was also canned. Sunseri has a good reputation as a defensive coach, despite the fact that the defense he ran at Tennessee was awful this year. The Volunteers gave up 35.7 points per game en route to a disappointing 5-7 season.
From 1985-92, Sunseri was a linebackers and defensive end coach at Pittsburgh. He made other stops at Iowa Wesleyan, Illinois State, Lousville, Alabama A&M, LSU and Michigan State before jumping to the NFL to coach defensive ends with the Carolina Panthers from 2002-08. Sunseri came back to the college ranks in 2009 when he joined Nick Saban's staff at Alabama. Under Saban, Sunseri worked with Jeremy Pruitt, who is the new defensive coordinator at Florida State under Jimbo Fisher.