Jim Chaney speaks as Vols interim head coach
Jim Chaney started his coaching career at Cal State-Fullerton in 1985.
Twenty-seven years later, he's a head coach for the first time, if only for one week.
Chaney, Tennessee's offensive coordinator, was named interim head coach after Derek Dooley was fired Sunday.
He'll lead the Vols (4-7, 0-7 SEC) into their final game of the season when they take on Kentucky (2-9, 0-7) on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.) at Neyland Stadium
"I have no idea what a head coach does,"Chaney said. "I've never done it before but I am excited. I hope I don't mess it up ... I hope I represent Coach Dooley well on Saturday."
Chaney is the longest-tenured member of Tennessee's coaching staff. He spent one year under former coach Lane Kiffin but was retained by Dooley when he was hired after the 2009 season.
Chaney said players can expect few, if any, organizational changes in the final week of practice. He plans to stick to his area of expertise and offer little input on defense.
"I'll be saying, 'Hey, stop them.' That's about all I've ever said."
Chaney also said:
He would coach from the sidelines rather than his normal location in the press box. "I'm going to lean a lot on the assistants to help me," he said.
Quarterback Tyler Bray would start against Kentucky despite his poor performance and brief benching last week against Vanderbilt.
He recommended that Bray be pulled in the second quarter, although ultimately it was Dooley's call. "I thought we needed a change and to let Tyler sit down, calm down, watch the game a little bit and basically get his heinie in his pants."
Although it's possible that some assistants will be retained by a new coach, Chaney and most of his colleagues likely will be looking for new jobs in the coming months.
He said it was hard to say what went wrong in a 2012 season that started with high expectations back in August.
"It is a difficult question, and I don't really know the answer," he said. "The time to look back and reflect is at the conclusion of the season. Unfortunately we weren't able to get the W's that you need to. So changes were made."
Chaney said he had no regrets about staying with the Vols after last season, when seven assistant coaches left the program.
"I believe in Derek Dooley. I stuck with him as long as I could," Chaney said. "He is a good man and a good football coach. That will never change. My decision to stick around was that I trusted and believed in him. Also, I wasn't too proud of what we put on the football field last year offensively and I didn't want my name attached to that as I departed the University of Tennessee. That's a little personal pride. But number one, I believed in the man and I would do it all over again."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.