With Tennessee’s talks with Hugh Freeze all but dead, it is probably time to move on and explore other options to fill the vacant offensive coordinating job at Tennessee. Although it is very disappointing for Vol fans to be let down yet again, it is very important to remember that it isn’t the end of the world. Hugh Freeze is not the only elite offensive coordinator that Tennessee can hire.
The Vols still have many options. It is important for Tennessee fans to realize that many options remain on the table, and one of the most interesting names to keep an eye on is former Tennessee offensive coordinator and interim head coach, Jim Chaney, who is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Georgia.
Jim Chaney was offensive coordinator at Tennessee under head coach, Derek Dooley from 2009-2012, and was the interim head coach for the final game of the 2012 season in which Tennessee throttled Kentucky 37-17. Chaney has done a great job at Georgia, as he led the Dawg’s offense to an SEC Championship and later to the National Championship game in 2017. This year, he lead the Dawgs to an SEC East title, and will meet Texas in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st.
Chaney would be an excellent hire, but the only question is if he would leave Athens to come back to Rocky Top to coach the Vols. He has great materials at Georgia, and Tennessee would have to throw a lot of money at him in order to lure him away from Athens. Would he be willing to make a less than lateral move to come back to a Tennessee program that is in the middle of a rebuild? Only Jim Chaney knows the answer to that question, but it wouldn't be the most shocking thing in the world if the answer is yes.
For what it’s worth, Chaney’s deal with Georgia only runs through this season.
In the end, it would take a lot for Chaney to give up his very secure job in Athens. However, don’t count Tennessee out because they might just shock the world. Chaney is probably not the most likely candidate for Tennessee, but the timing could be right here.