Kiffin Goes to NFL for OC
UPDATE (12/31, 2:06 p.m.): The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Jim Chaney has officially accepted the job as UT’s offensive coordinator. Look for a formal announcement to be made in the next several days.
The NFL trend continues.
Coach Kiffin has pinpointed St. Louis Rams assistant Jim Chaney to become Tennessee’s new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Chaney interviewed for the position in Knoxville on Tuesday, and a deal appears to be in the works.
Chaney just concluded his third season in the NFL, coaching tight ends this season while coaching the offensive line in 2006 and 2007. Prior to working in the NFL, Chaney was offensive coordinator at Purdue University for nine seasons. During his tenure, Purdue was ranked in the top ten in the nation in total offense six times. On top of that, Chaney helped groom two players into future NFL quarterbacks, Kyle Orton and Drew Brees. In 2000, Brees led the nation in total offense with 349.1 yards per game, earning him a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
From 1997-2001, while Chaney was recruiting coordinator, Purdue consistently had recruiting classes ranked in the top ten nationally every year.
Even though Kiffin has said that he will call his own plays, Chaney’s knowledge and expertise will be of undoubted help to a coach with less than two years of head coaching experience. He has a proven track record when it comes to coaching and recruiting at the college level, and with NFL experience, he seems to fit the mold of the type of assistants Kiffin is going after.
Kiffin’s staff search continues to pick up momentum, with the major pieces already in place, and the smaller pieces continuing to fall together. Kiffin is still hoping to bring in former Ole Miss head coach and recruiting guru Ed Orgeron, with Tennessee prepared to pay Orgeron as much as $600,000 annually.