Tennessee has officially hired Georgia OC Jim Chaney to replace Tyson Helton after his lone season at the helm of the offense. Helton left to be the head coach at Western Kentucky after leading the Vols offense to an abysmal 2018 season, and reportedly never saw eye to eye with Pruitt. The Vols then turned to a trusted, familiar and well respected man with one of the best offensive minds in the SEC.
Chaney has several years of experience at the highest level, including his most recent stint in Athens. Chaney has coached in the SEC for the better part of the last 10 years, and has even dabbled in the pro ranks. He coached at Tennessee under former head coach Lane Kiffin, and was retained by Derek Dooley and his staff. After Dooley was fired Chaney took over as interim HC. Six short days after being named interim he led Tennessee to a convincing 37-17 victory over Kentucky at home.
Tennessee struggled mightily on offense in 2018, especially on the offensive line. The O-Line couldn't keep a pocket clean or open up holes for the running backs. The lack of running success didn't help the passing game, as they failed to crack 4,000 total yards passing. For comparison, Chaney led a much more talented and complete Georgia team to 6,500 total yards in 2018, most of which came on the ground. Georgia, and Tennessee are obviously miles apart from a talent stand point, but Chaney is known for his ability to adapt to the talent around him. In his first year back at Tennessee he will have his work cut out for him to say the least.
Tennessee players past and present have all reached out to welcome Jim home, and have raved of his coaching acumen as well. Coach Chaney will have the benefit of most of the starters from last year’s offense returning and several highly touted recruits coming in this season. It will be interesting to see if he manages to flip any UGA offensive commits before NSD on February 13th.