Kirby Smart releases official statement on Jim Chaney

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Kirby Smart will have to find a new offensive coordinator.

Kirby Smart released a statement on departing offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, who is leaving Georgia after three seasons to become the offensive coordinator at Tennessee.

“We were very fortunate to have Jim join our staff when I came to Georgia in 2016,” Smart said. “He has been an integral part of our team and program over these past three years and we are grateful for his contributions to the Bulldogs during that time. I’m sure this represents a new challenge that will be exciting for Jim and his family and we wish him all the best.”

The offense improved every year under Chaney, peaking this year as the Bulldogs finished 14th in scoring offense. Tennessee gave Chaney a massive raise, as he will now make $4.8 million over the next three seasons. Last season at Georgia, Chaney made $950,000.

With Chaney gone, a number of candidates have been mentioned as possible replacements. The top internal name is James Coley, as he spent the past season working as Georgia’s quarterbacks coach in addition to being the co-offensive coordinator. Multiple reports have indicated that an external name to watch is Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

Chaney was never popular in his time at Georgia, but the Bulldogs did lead the SEC in rushing in each of the past two seasons, and produced four different running backs who ran for 1,000 yards in that time span. Chaney also served as Georgia’s tight ends coach as well.

In addition to replacing Chaney, Georgia must find a new defensive coordinator, as Mel Tucker left to take the Colorado job in December.

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