Tennessee interim coach Jim Chaney says he'll learn on the job this week

J. MILES CARY/NEWS SENTINEL/associated press
Tennessee interim head coach/offensive coordinator Jim Chaney talks with the media after practice Monday at the indoor practice field in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex. Chaney was named the team's interim coach after Derek Dooley was fired Sunday. He says he will focus mainly on coaching the offense that Tyler Bray will start against Kentucky.

Photo by J. Miles Cary

J. MILES CARY/NEWS SENTINEL/associated press Tennessee interim head coach/offensive coordinator Jim Chaney talks with the media after practice Monday at the indoor practice field in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex. Chaney was named the team's interim coach after Derek Dooley was fired Sunday. He says he will focus mainly on coaching the offense that Tyler Bray will start against Kentucky.

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.

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Comments » 40

vollerdash writes:

I hope the new coach keeps Chaney on board..... i think he is a solid coach.

joevol33 writes:

I just hope they don't beat ky, and dave hart is dumb enough to think chaney is the man and give him the job?? I would say not, but who would have though hamilton would have hired dooley to start with and then give him a raise after his first yr, which was a losing season.

Vol_Stuck_in_GA writes:

Dear Future UT Football Head Coach,

I respect your decision to build your staff the way you want... but PLEASE KEEP JAY GRAHAM as the running back's coach.

Those of you who agree, feel free to re-post this or find a website that will allow us to start an online petition!

cyclonevol87 writes:

Chaney learning on the job,well thats no different then what Dooley was doing.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Chaney will pull every trick out of the hat Saturday..This will be fun to watch and UT's got nothing to lose..Remember Lexington!! GBO!

CrankE writes:

"I have no idea what a head coach does,"Chaney said.

Maybe that's why you're not a head coach. I can only hope you figure out quickly what to do before Saturday. If Kentucky pulls out a win, they might keep Joker after all.

#hirejoker!

CrankE writes:

"Nothing's going to change" - Sal Sunseri.

Don't look now Sal, but . . . something changed.

Oh well, "That's just the way it is." Right sally?

oldvolsfan writes:

Vol_Stuck_in_GA writes:

Dear Future UT Football Head Coach,

I respect your decision to build your staff the way you want... but PLEASE KEEP JAY GRAHAM as the running back's coach.

Those of you who agree, feel free to re-post this or find a website that will allow us to start an online petition!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

If it's Gruden he can pick whoever he wants..JMO.

ashvol7 writes:

in response to CrankE:

"Nothing's going to change" - Sal Sunseri.

Don't look now Sal, but . . . something changed.

Oh well, "That's just the way it is." Right sally?

Well said, send the whole crew packing, Maybe keep Jay Graham, maybe. While the school is at it send Hart and Cheeks with them. I hope no one is stupid enough to keep Sunseri. Worst DC in school history. His defense may have gotten Dooley fired, if you could call it a defense. One would think that Dooley could have stopped this mess and sent him packing. Dooley might want to think about staying in the lawyer business.

iowavol writes:

Watching Jon Gruden right now on MNF. Is it me, or is he more animated and more excited than he ever has been? Probably just me.

As for the idiot above who mentioned Chaney as worthless, what do you have to do impress you. Let's see, we have an offense that's mentioned as explosive, big play capability, a ground game manned by undersized running backs that's producing - what did Lane do - 6.7 yards / carry, and supported by a defense that doesn't give you any extra possessions. And you sir think this guy is worthless? Better to be thought a fool... Ah, never mind, you wouldn't get it anyway.

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

We've never lost 8 games in a season - no pressure "coach"..... And discover the damn running game.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Congratulations to everyone who posted on this article except for one obvious idiot. Those who read every post can easily figure it out. Don't respond to his post and maybe he'll crawl back under his rock.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to iowavol:

Watching Jon Gruden right now on MNF. Is it me, or is he more animated and more excited than he ever has been? Probably just me.

As for the idiot above who mentioned Chaney as worthless, what do you have to do impress you. Let's see, we have an offense that's mentioned as explosive, big play capability, a ground game manned by undersized running backs that's producing - what did Lane do - 6.7 yards / carry, and supported by a defense that doesn't give you any extra possessions. And you sir think this guy is worthless? Better to be thought a fool... Ah, never mind, you wouldn't get it anyway.

Gruden's always animated!...He would be a great recruiter!

I'm with you on Chaney, also. He obviously feels bad about Dooley and has to be careful answering questions...And he is a PROVEN offensive coordinator...Some people just have to complain about everything! GBO!

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Congratulations to everyone who posted on this article except for one obvious idiot. Those who read every post can easily figure it out. Don't respond to his post and maybe he'll crawl back under his rock.

YOU are the obvious idiot. Feel free to comment about something football-related Sweet Pea.

southerneagle84 writes:

"Coaches may change, but dedication to the orange and white never does."

rb4346 writes:

in response to vollerdash:

I hope the new coach keeps Chaney on board..... i think he is a solid coach.

So do I and I hope he also keeps Jay Graham and Sam Pittman on board.

SignalMtnVol writes:

Learning on the job this week? Hell, Dooley did that for three years (minus one game...)

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to farmdog:

YOU are the obvious idiot. Feel free to comment about something football-related Sweet Pea.

Snow pea,

In all probability, 99% of all Vol fans would tend to agree with you.

Anyone saying "I hope they lose to Kentucky"
has to be either :

1. A troll
2. A whiny loser

So therefore, those in agreement with him are in the same category as 1 and 2

BigOrangeRock writes:

Great.

But seriously, at least DOOLEAVE is gone.

Merlot did say that Dooleave would be gone in November and that Chaney would be interim coach. Does anyone remember that?

Now he is DOOLEFT.

Go Vols! Let's get a non-hamilton hire in here!!!

Meyers, Fulmer, or Chief!

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

I don't understand anyone who likes Chaney. You must only gauge him by a point total period.

There's a reason he has never been a head coach. There's a reason he left offensive coordinator to go to a TE coach at the Rams, and then leave them. There's a reason Kiffin used him as QB coach and coordinator only in title.

Do you forget Kiffin had to stand on the field in the huddle to help call plays and run offense during practice?

Look beyond Brays ability to throw deep to 2 or 3 of the talented receivers playing in the SEC and score on 2 minute drives. No run game, or consistent game, no wins.

Keep him score 35 or 38, the defense will be hard pressed no matter how good to keep up that pace when the 3's and out hit you, but go for it. Good plan to fix things especially in the SEC.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

This is sorta close to the Majors and Fulmer deal .

volfan1202 writes:

in response to dwolfcreek#397971:

This is sorta close to the Majors and Fulmer deal .

Sorta kinda... except Fulmer took over as a temp while majors was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. Then Fulmer went to the AD and told him that if he didn't fire Johnny and hire him, he would quit.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

Great.

But seriously, at least DOOLEAVE is gone.

Merlot did say that Dooleave would be gone in November and that Chaney would be interim coach. Does anyone remember that?

Now he is DOOLEFT.

Go Vols! Let's get a non-hamilton hire in here!!!

Meyers, Fulmer, or Chief!

First of all, you are an idiot, but I digress. Name calling is getting rather mundane at this point and devalues any value you bring.
Then you suggest whoever the devil Meyers is, and 2 old timers like Fulmer and the Chief...Move forward and forget the past. And I think "Meyers" is happy wherever he is

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

Great.

But seriously, at least DOOLEAVE is gone.

Merlot did say that Dooleave would be gone in November and that Chaney would be interim coach. Does anyone remember that?

Now he is DOOLEFT.

Go Vols! Let's get a non-hamilton hire in here!!!

Meyers, Fulmer, or Chief!

Who is Meyers??

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to volfan1202:

Sorta kinda... except Fulmer took over as a temp while majors was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. Then Fulmer went to the AD and told him that if he didn't fire Johnny and hire him, he would quit.

You know this how??

CarlChilders writes:

He makes no bones about his lack of experience and seems to be looking forward to the opportunity to have some fun without the pressure. For the Chaney bashers, you would be celebrating his genius if UT had a defense that could hold opponents to 15 PPG.

vfl76 writes:

in response to joevol33:

I just hope they don't beat ky, and dave hart is dumb enough to think chaney is the man and give him the job?? I would say not, but who would have though hamilton would have hired dooley to start with and then give him a raise after his first yr, which was a losing season.

Why would you hope they don't beat KY? Are you a Wildcat? You better hope they do beat KY. I don't want us going 0-8 in the SEC. I am sure that I want us to still be one of the only two teams out of 119 teams that have never lost 8 or more games. You don't want Ohio State to be the only team with that accomplishment, not with Dip Urban there.

pms151 writes:

"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."

Well if you want to represent Fooley well you are going to have to be out-coached, your players are going to have to lay down, and you will have to beat yourself. Then in your final press conference as a head coach you are going to say that this team hasn't lost you as a coach.

Dickattrade writes:

in response to rb4346:

So do I and I hope he also keeps Jay Graham and Sam Pittman on board.

100% agree..

govolsn3 writes:

Lost the MILES kid to TEXAS A&M, so goes the kid out of GEORGIA, 2 great deffensive backs that were coming to UT. This is going to happen for a long time till we get a coach and stick with him. Gonna take more than 3 years for any coach to fix this mess.

brokendownoldvol writes:

It will be just like Vanderbilt. Even though He will be gaining 7-9 yds. on first down he will waste the next two downs trying to get a homerun instead of managing the drive and getting first downs and scoring knowing his QB is having a bad day. He is an idiot . IMO

6972 writes:

in response to cyclonevol87:

Chaney learning on the job,well thats no different then what Dooley was doing.

IF, and I say IF, there is a difference between the two, it might be that Chaney knows it and admits it. Just maybe.....

FishtailCove writes:

All this mess goes back to Fulmer's firing...the only UT coach to win an undisputed national championship except Neyland. It is all Mike Hamilton and KNS's John Adams fault. They went after Fulmer and got him and look at the mess you are in now. Hamilton is gone...time the KNS got rid of Adams so UT can really start over.

thl#355403 writes:

in response to FishtailCove:

All this mess goes back to Fulmer's firing...the only UT coach to win an undisputed national championship except Neyland. It is all Mike Hamilton and KNS's John Adams fault. They went after Fulmer and got him and look at the mess you are in now. Hamilton is gone...time the KNS got rid of Adams so UT can really start over.

EXACTLY! Paterno had good years and bad years, but the fan base supported him and he won a lot more than he lost. Spurier didn't turn South Carolina around in the first few years but look at them now. The Tennessee fan base got used to winning and couldn't deal with a down season or two and turned on Fulmer. Tennessee deserves what it got.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Quick question....are you bases keeping Jay on the incredible, league-leading rushing attack we have or is it just personal??? Just wondering because based on your assestment of the other staff members Jay would have to go as well....Personally there are several I would keep but that rarely happens....Offensive Line coach comes to my immediate attention....

voodoo101 writes:

in response to FishtailCove:

All this mess goes back to Fulmer's firing...the only UT coach to win an undisputed national championship except Neyland. It is all Mike Hamilton and KNS's John Adams fault. They went after Fulmer and got him and look at the mess you are in now. Hamilton is gone...time the KNS got rid of Adams so UT can really start over.

You have to include the industrial strength donors, too. Their money doesn't come without strings, and they don't believe in losing. In this case their short term thinking is probably beginning to sting a bit. Collegiate athletics is going involve a lot of perception because you can't hire and fire the staff (players in particular) like in business. Attracting talent is a different story when you can't pay for it - like cars, money under the table, etc. If you think about it in a different way, a scholarship and diploma from an expensive private school like Vandy is monetarily worth more than UT, and the pros scout teams with far less talent and in less respected conferences than Vandy.

A new coaching prospect should insist as a condition of his hiring that Adams be fired.

bUTchVFL writes:

"I have no idea what a head coach does,"Chaney said.
Dooley said the same thing.

HighPlainsVol writes:

in response to govolsn3:

Lost the MILES kid to TEXAS A&M, so goes the kid out of GEORGIA, 2 great deffensive backs that were coming to UT. This is going to happen for a long time till we get a coach and stick with him. Gonna take more than 3 years for any coach to fix this mess.

Losing a Texas kid to A&M is a negative of bringing A&M into the SEC. Texas kids who want to play in the SEC can now stay in-state and play in a program second only to the shorthorns in the hearts of TX kids. It's going to be even harder to recruit in Texas.

tnvol34 writes:

KEEP CHANEY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ALL YEAR LONG ON THIRD AND ONE, AND HE TROWS THE BOMB! AND WE GET NO FIRST DOWN! HE DOES'NT KNOW WHAT TO CALL! HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GONE WHEN KIFFIN LEFT!

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