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Breaking Down the Latest Names in Vols’ OC Search

Jim Chaney

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Track Record:

Western Michigan (Offensive Line Coach) — 1988
Cal State Fullerton (OC/OL) — 1988-92
Wyoming (Grad Assistant) — 1993
Wyoming (OL/Recruiting Coordinator) — 1994-96
Purdue (OC/Recruiting Coordinator) — 1997-2001
Purdue (OC) — 2002-05
St. Louis Rams (OL) — 2006-07
St. Louis Rams (TEs) — 2008
Tennessee (OC/QBs) — 2009-12
Tennessee (Interim Head Coach) — 2012
Arkansas (OC/QBs) — 2013-14
Pittsburgh (OC/QBs) — 2015
Georgia (OC/QBs) — 2016-17
Georgia (OC/TEs) — 2018-present

Pros: Vol fans know who Jim Chaney is, and it’s not just because of his time at Georgia. Chaney called plays for UT’s offense under Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley before being let go by Butch Jones when he was hired as head coach. Chaney went on to call plays for Arkansas for a couple years before becoming the OC at Pitt for a season, helping turn around Nathan Peterman’s career in the process. Chaney has had success everywhere he’s been and is known as a quality quarterback developer and recruiter. It also appears that Chaney’s contract at Georgia hasn’t been renewed yet, and both his salary and buyout are lower than what most coaches in his position are.

Cons: It seems like Georgia might be wanting to let go of Chaney, which begs the question: Is he as good as thought? The Bulldogs seem to favor James Coley, the quarterbacks coach and co-OC on staff. They bumped Chaney from QB coach to tight ends before last season, though he’s still thought to be the primary play-caller. Unless he’s forced out, it doesn’t seem likely that Chaney would leave the talent-rich Bulldogs to come back to Knoxville.

Analysis: There haven’t been any confirmed talks between Pruitt and Chaney, only rumors and speculation. But his name has floated around long enough that he’s gotten more and more talk among fans and the media, and he runs a style of offense that Pruitt likes. If Georgia really isn’t dead set on keeping him in Athens, then Tennessee might have a chance. The only hangup in that scenario would come if Chaney wants to bring offensive line coach Sam Pittman along with him, though it remains to be seen if those two would be a package deal. Pittman has it made in Georgia, and he may not want to leave even if Chaney does.

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