ATHENS — Georgia has changed roles on its offensive staff, with Jim Chaney and James Coley coaching new positions and Coley gaining a new title.
Coley is now the quarterbacks coach, in addition to the co-offensive coordinator. The change comes after Coley received interest last December from Texas A&M but elected to stay at UGA, receiving a raise up to $850,000, up from $450,000.
Chaney, who had been the quarterbacks coach, is now the tight ends coach. Chaney retains the title of offensive coordinator, without the “co” in front of it, and remains the play-caller.
“I think you can always look at yourself and say how can I improve?” head coach Kirby Smart said. “I think we improved our staff tremendously by retaining one of our best recruiters and best coaches in James Coley while also bringing an unbelievable personality and great background in (new receivers coach) Cortez Hankton. He’s coached in our league, knows our league, has recruited in our league. All we want to do is make our staff better, and that’s the ultimate goal is to improve each year, and that’s what I think I’ve been able to do. So I’m excited about that.”
Coley has a background coaching quarterbacks. He was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes from 2013-15. He began his coaching career coaching quarterbacks at the high school level, at Miami Senior High School from 1997-99, and he was later the QB coach at Florida International in 2007. He also has experience coaching tight ends, which he did for five seasons at Florida State.
In fact, this stint at Georgia was the first time Coley has served as a receivers coach. Now he is back to coaching quarterbacks.
“He’s a guy that’s been a coordinator before,” Smart said. “He’s worked with quarterbacks and had success working with quarterbacks in his history, and that’s something I thought that’s was a good move for our program.”
Shane Beamer, the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, left for Oklahoma in January. Chaney has coached tight ends before, most recently with the St. Louis Rams in 2007.
“He’s going to push us harder than we ever have been, and he’s the head honcho on offense, so he’s gong to have a very close look at what we do,” Georgia tight end Isaac Natua said. “I think it’s going to help us a lot.”
Scott Fountain, who is now Georgia’s special teams coordinator, does not have a position listed as coaching, at least in Georgia’s spring media guide.
“For us, the ability to add the 10th coach and have Scott Fountain working with our special teams excites me,” Smart said. “I thought Scott did a tremendous job last year working with our coaches and helping us in that regard and brought us some kind of momentum plays in special teams.”
Georgia’s salary pool for assistant coaches this year is $6.42 million, an increase from $4.56 million last year. Read more on that here.