Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has reportedly agreed to come back to Knoxville and join Jeremy Pruitt’s staff at Tennessee.
— Ryan Callahan (@RyanCallahan247) January 9, 2019
There was some doubt among fans that Pruitt might not make the “correct” hire for his vacant offensive coordinator position. And rightfully so, considering the hire took over a month to announce. Now that the hire is done, though, it doesn’t seem like fans had anything to worry about.
Chaney, who spent four years as offensive coordinator at Tennessee from 2009-12, is one of the most highly sought after assistant coaches in the country. It was believed, for a while, that he was going to get a contract extension to stay at Georgia on Kirby Smart’s staff. Apparently, that isn’t going to happen.
This hire is the latest win for Pruitt and his staff. Following an extremely disappointing finish to the 2018 season, the early signing period went extremely well for Tennessee. Now, with the hire of Chaney, Pruitt seems to be following through on his promises to try and bring Tennessee back to college football prominence.
Chaney is known for tailoring his offensive scheme to fit his players’ strength as opposed to only running a certain kind of offense. He will have his work cut out for him, as he takes over a Tennessee team that finished near the bottom of the FBS in most major offensive categories. Chaney will also likely serve as quarterbacks coach. Former quarterbacks that have played under Chaney in college include: Drew Brees, Tyler Bray, Nathan Peterman, Jacob Eason, and Jake Fromm. His last two years at Georgia, he led the Bulldogs to consecutive top-20 offenses in the FBS. Finally, Chaney will most likely be calling all of the plays on offense moving forward. Given that he has plenty of experience calling plays at a Power 5 level, that’s not a bad thing, either.
All this is to say that Chaney is about a good a hire as Pruitt could have made. It’s no small feat to lure one of the most successful coordinators in college football to a team that just finished 5-7.
There hasn’t been any official confirmation on what Chaney’s contract will look like at Tennessee. Although, John Brice is reporting that Tennessee is cutting the check, so to say:
— John Brice (@JohnDBrice1) January 9, 2019
He was making just under $1 million/year at Georgia. Former offensive coordinator Tyson Helton made $1.2 million this previous season at Tennessee.