New Name Emerges in Vols’ Search for New OC

    by -

    (Photo via Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)

    As we enter the seventh week of the Vols’ search for a new offensive coordinator, another name has emerged as a potential candidate.

    Jeremy Pruitt has been looking for a replacement for Tyson Helton ever since Helton left Tennessee to take the head coaching position at Western Kentucky back in late November. Several names have been tied to the Vols’ search, but nobody has been hired yet. Now, a new name has popped up at the AFCA Convention in San Antonio.

    According to long-time Knoxville media member John Brice, Tennessee has interest in NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Monken was hired as the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the 2016 season and has been a hot name on the coaching market in the NFL as teams are looking for new head coaches. Brice also adds that Tennessee is still interested in adding former Vol quarterback and former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin in some capacity, and Georgia is expected to give their OC, Jim Chaney, a “big raise.”

    Before being hired on as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, Monken was the head coach at Southern Miss in the college ranks. He went 13-25 in three years as the Golden Eagles’ head coach, earning a 9-5 record his final season there before jumping back to the NFL. He had coached wide receivers for Jacksonville from 2007-10 previously.

    Monken has been on college staffs at Oklahoma State, LSU, Louisiana Tech, and Eastern Michigan. He was also a grad assistant at Notre Dame from 1991-92.

    The 52-year-old coach is expected to stay in the NFL and has been getting looks from teams as a potential head coach. But Tennessee is reportedly expressing interest in him.

    As for Chaney, it was revealed yesterday via multiple reports that he had actually signed a contract extension with Georgia back in February when he received a $100,000 raise. All of UGA’s assistants at the time received raises, and it was revealed in December that some of the staff also received extensions with their raises. Chaney was apparently one of those coaches, and he was working under the first year of a new three-year deal he inked back in February.

    Martin, of course, quarterbacked the Vols to their undefeated 1998 National Championship season. He had been on staff at USC since 2012 before he was let go this offseason as head coach Clay Helton made wholesale changes to his coaching staff.

    We will update as more news becomes available.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.