Tuesday night, reports came out that Tennessee had hired Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to be the new offensive coordinator for the Vols. Wednesday, the hiring was made official, ending a six week search.
“I’m thrilled to announce Jim Chaney as our offensive coordinator,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said via a press release. “Jim couldn’t be a better fit for our program at the University of Tennessee. His track record of success guiding offenses speaks for itself from his time at Purdue with Drew Brees to his time in the NFL and his success in the SEC at Georgia, Arkansas, and, of course, previously with the Vols.”
Chaney has history being on the sidelines in Neyland. 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.
The 57-year old coach has a great track record of success. 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). The Bulldogs have averaged over 35 points per game each of the last two seasons. He was the play caller for the Vols in 2012, a season where Tennessee averaged 36.2 points per game and 475.9 yards per contest, one of the most prolific offensive seasons in program history.
Pruitt recognizes his previous success, and he’s impressed with Chaney’s diverse skill set and knowledge.
“What most impresses me about Jim is his knowledge of the game and also the way he has adapted his offenses to his players’ strengths,” Pruitt explained. “He’s had years where he has guided one of the nation’s top passing offenses and years where his offenses have been near the top in rushing. He could coach every position on offense and is a true teacher of the game.”
It may have taken a while, but Chaney is a proven coach and seems to be a good fit for what Pruitt wants to do at Tennessee. Many former Vols have already expressed their pleasure with his appointment. Tennessee’s offense has been dead last in the SEC in yards per game each of the last two seasons, so there is only room to grow.
“Jim has proven to be a great mentor for young men, and I’m excited to have him here at Tennessee,” Pruitt finished.
Tennessee isn’t expected to have a press conference to announce Chaney’s hiring.