KNOXVILLE – Tennessee has hired Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator.
2019 will be Chaney’s fifth season serving as offensive coordinator at Tennessee – a position he held under Lane Kiffin (2009) and Derek Dooley (2010-12).
Chaney’s return has many looking forward to the future as Jeremy Pruitt continues to build the UT program back to a championship level.
Cory Sullins played on the offensive line alongside his brother, Cody, when Chaney first arrived at Tennessee in the spring of 2009. The former Vol discussed his former offensive coordinator returning to UT with Vols Wire.
“I’m totally shocked we were able to get him,” Sullins said. “I definitely think he is the right fit and I think he will add stability since he has been here before.
“He is a great coach and play-caller. He is a no-nonsense guy, but he relates to the players really well. I think you can see that by how his former UT players are reacting on social media. I know he helped Cody (Sullins) and I, especially at the center position – he is very knowledgeable.”
The former lineman from Cottonwood, Tenn., entered his senior season when Chaney arrived and was aware of their new offensive coordinator’s past track record that included coaching Drew Brees at Purdue and coming from the St. Louis Rams.
“We knew he was Drew Brees’ offensive coordinator at Purdue and that he had just came from being tight ends coach for the Rams in the NFL,” Sullins said. “I guess we all initially thought of Lane (Kiffin) running our offense, but soon learned how good Chaney was.”
Having went through a first spring practice under Chaney, Sullins also discussed how long it may take for Tennessee’s current player personnel to adapt to their new offensive coordinator.
“I think we have decent talent that he can work with,” Sullins said. “We need more speed at wide receiver though. The offensive line is a challenge. For us to run the ball the way he will want to, they are going to have to do a lot better. It may take a year or so, but I am sure we will see an improvement over last year right away.”