Josh Heupel has made his move at the offensive coordinator position, and he’s staying in-house, as expected. Joey Halzle gets the call, moving up from his quarterbacks coach post. This was always the expected move following Alex Golesh’s move to South Florida.
Austin Price at VolQuest had the news this morning.
The promotion leaves Heupel with one on-field staff position left to fill — a tight ends coach. Golesh handled that responsibility during his time in Knoxville.
Halzle got a taste of his new position last week during Tennessee’s 31-14 victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. It was his first time as Heupel’s primary eye-in-the-sky, with Golesh already out the door and headed to Tampa. Heupel called plays on Friday night, and it remains to be seen if that will be the setup going forward.
Heupel brought Halzle with him from UCF on his initial staff at Tennessee. Halzle’s work with Hendon Hooker, turning him into one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, is a huge plus on his resume. Joe Milton’s performance and perceived development following Friday’s performance is another.
Now Halzle takes on a new challenge. Golesh and Heupel had a great working relationship, and Halzle has been there with them for every step of that journey. This move keeps continuity on staff — a no-brainer for Heupel. This relationship goes back 15 years, dating back to Heupel’s time at Oklahoma. Halzle followed Heupel to Utah State, Missouri and UCF after that. The two former Sooner quarterbacks will now lead Tennessee’s electric offense together.
Tennessee is expected to officially announce the move later today.
Update: And there it is — Halzle has officially been announced.
“Joey has been instrumental in our record-setting offensive success over the past two seasons, and he’s built great trust within our team,” Heupel said via press release. “I have known Joey for over 15 years, and his track record of player development has impacted every place he has been. He has complete knowledge of our aggressive offensive identity and principles. Having played and coached at this level, he understands how to connect with players and will continue to make a significant impact in recruiting. This will be a seamless transition for him as we strive to build a championship program that Vol Nation is proud of.”