Tennessee reportedly has their next offensive coordinator. And it’s a familiar face they stole from an SEC East rival.
According to a report from 247Sports, Tennessee is expected to hire Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney as their next offensive coordinator to replace former OC Tyson Helton. Chaney has been Georgia’s play-caller since 2016, and he just received a $100,000 raise back in February to raise his annual salary to $950,000. Tennessee had paid Tyson Helton $1.2 million this past year to be their OC and quarterbacks coach before he took the head coaching job at Western Kentucky.
The report states that an official announcement could come as soon as Wednesday.
Chaney, of course, is a name Vol fans know well. He was the Vols’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2009-12. He served as Lane Kiffin’s OC in his one year in Knoxville, and he was retained by Derek Dooley when he was hired as the Vols’ head coach. He wasn’t retained when Butch Jones was hired prior to the 2013 season, and he took the OC job for Arkansas for a couple seasons before taking the OC position at Pittsburgh and stayed there till Kirby Smart hired him prior to the 2016 season.
This past season, Georgia’s offense ranked second in the SEC in points per game (37.9 points) and fifth in total yards per game (464.9 yards). Chaney’s first offense at UGA totaled just 24.5 points per game in 2016, but the Bulldogs have averaged over 35 points per game each of the last two seasons.
Tennessee’s offense has been dead last in the SEC in yards per game each of the last two seasons, and they finished last in points per game in 2017 and second-to-last in points per game this past season.
The 57-year-old coach was the play-caller for one of the most prolific offenses in Tennessee history in 2012. He helped lead a Tyler Bray, Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, and Mychal Rivera-led offense to 36.2 points per game and 475.9 yards per contest. He’s coached the likes of Drew Brees, Brandon Allen, and Jake Fromm at quarterback in the collegiate ranks.
We will update as more news becomes available.