What do you get when you combine the 13th best defense in the NCAA with the 19th best offense? Thanks to the latest hires by new Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema, Arkansas fans are about to find out.
Bielema yesterday announced the hiring of offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, who led the 19th ranked offense in the nation for the Tennessee Volunteers in 2012. Cheney will compliment Bielema’s choice for defensive coordinator, Chris Ash, who comes to Arkansas after leading the 13th ranked total defense in the NCAA for Wisconsin last year.
Chaney spent the last four seasons at Tennessee as the Vols’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and was the interim coach for UT’s 37-17 win against Kentucky in the 2012 season finale.
Prior to his time in Knoxville, he coached the St. Louis Rams for three seasons, and spent nine years as offensive coordinator at Purdue. Chaney has also held recruiting coordinator duties at three different schools.
“Jim Chaney’s approach will blend well with my ideas as we work to put together a plan for the team we have and over time develop our specific philosophy,” Bielema said. “While he was at Purdue, several of the best coaches in the nation sought his advice on how to use the spread offense. Jim went on to spend a few years in the NFL and gained a new appreciation for a pro-style offense similar to the balanced attack we will look to incorporate at Arkansas.”
Chaney is also known for his work developing quarterbacks. He spent the last three years working with Tyler Bray at Tennessee. Bray, who started for the Vols as a true freshman, moved into the top five in many of the school’s passing categories this season, ranking fourth in passing touchdowns, fourth in passing yards, fourth in pass attempts and fifth in completions. In 2012, Bray passed for 3,619 yards and 34 touchdowns. His touchdowns were the seventh-most in a season in SEC history, and his passing yards ranked 11th in conference history.
While at Purdue, Chaney helped develop quarterback Drew Brees, who was drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was named Super Bowl XLIV MVP and the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009.
As recruiting coordinator, Chaney helped Purdue sign some of the country’s top high school talent. The 1998 class ranked second in the Big Ten and 11th nationally, and each of his final five signing classes were in the top 30 in the nation.
A native of Holden, Mo., Chaney earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Central Missouri State in 1985. He played nose guard for Central Missouri State, and was named an all-conference performer as a senior.
Chaney and his wife Lisa have two daughters, Elizabeth and Sara.
Jim Chaney Coaching History
Dec. 2012 – Arkansas (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
2009-12 – Tennessee (Offensive Coordinator)
2008 – St. Louis Rams (Tight Ends)
2006-07 – St. Louis Rams (Offensive Line)
2002-05 – Purdue (Offensive Coordinator)
1997-2001 – Purdue (Offensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator)
1994-96 – Wyoming (Offensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator)
1993 – Wyoming (Graduate Assistant-Tight Ends)
1989-92 – Cal State Fullerton (Offensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator)
1988 – Western Michigan (Offensive Line)
1985-87 – Cal State Fullerton (Offensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator)
Birthdate: Jan. 12, 1962
Home Town: Holden, Mo.
Family: Wife, Lisa; Daughters, Elizabeth and Sara
Bowl Games: Music City Bowl, 2010; Chick-fil-A Bowl, 2009; Sun Bowl, 2004; Capital One Bowl, 2004; Sun Bowl, 2002; Sun Bowl, 2001; Rose Bowl, 2001; Outback Bowl, 2000; Alamo Bowl, 1998; Alamo Bowl, 1997; Copper Bowl, 1993