Tennessee hires Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to same position
Chaney previously served as Tennessee's offensive coordinator from 2009-12
Update: Tennessee made the hire official on Wednesday.
"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," Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement. "He's had years where he has guided one of the nation's top passing offenses and 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.
"Jim has proven to be a great mentor for young men, and I'm excited to have him here at Tennessee."
Tennessee has been without an offensive coordinator since Tyson Helton took the Western Kentucky job on Nov. 27, but that long wait resulted in coach Jeremy Pruitt poaching a familiar face from an intra-division rival. According to 247Sports, Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will take over in the same capacity with the Volunteers after spending three seasons with the Bulldogs.
Chaney previously served as the Vols' offensive coordinator during Lane Kiffin's lone season in 2009, and he stayed on for the next three seasons under Derek Dooley. He also served as the interim coach of the Vols for the final game of the 2012 season, topping Kentucky 37-17.
Chaney's work at Georgia is a big reason why the Bulldogs have emerged as a force in the SEC East. Under his guidance, then-true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm stepped in for Jacob Eason in the first quarter of the first game of the 2017 season, threw 24 touchdowns, won the SEC title and lost in overtime in the College Football Playoff National Championship. His offense finished third in the SEC in yards per play in 2017 with 6.70 and scoring offense at 35.4 yards per game.
It was much of the same in 2018 for Chaney's Bulldogs. They finished second in the conference with 37.9 points per game and third with 7.05 yards per play, en route to another SEC East title and New Year's Six bowl.
Chaney will take over a Tennessee offense that struggled to find consistency under Helton. The Vols finished last in the league in rushing offense (129.08 yards per game), 13th in scoring offense (22.8 points per game) and 13th in yards per play (5.46). Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano only threw three interceptions, but his 12 touchdowns and 140.98 passer rating leave plenty to be desired. He did show flashes of brilliance, though, most notably his 328-yard, two-touchdown performance in a win at Auburn on Oct. 13.
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