Chaney joins Razorbacks as offensive coordinator

Jim Chaney, who boasts experience in the NFL, SEC and Big Ten, has been named Arkansas’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the University of Arkansas Athletic Department announced late Wednesday (Dec. 12).

“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,” head coach Bret Bielema said in the statement. “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. He has spent his career developing numerous players for the NFL including Drew Brees. He knows the SEC, having coached at Tennessee, and is familiar with what it takes to be successful in this conference.”

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 after nine years as offensive coordinator at Purdue. Chaney also has held recruiting coordinator duties at three different schools.

Chaney oversaw the development of UT quarterback Tyler Bray, who was named the Vols’ starter as a true freshman. After playing in 28 career games, Bray moved into the top five in many of the school’s passing categories, ranking fourth in passing touchdowns, fourth in passing yards, fourth in pass attempts and fifth in completions.

Before his time at Tennessee, Chaney spent three seasons with the St. Louis Rams. He coached the offensive line two seasons and worked with the tight ends in 2008. Chaney’s offensive line blocked for running back Steven Jackson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards all three seasons Chaney was in St. Louis.

Chaney made the move to professional football after nine years as Purdue’s offensive coordinator. In his first four seasons, he also was the Boilermakers’ recruiting coordinator and helped break a 13-year bowl drought in his first season. In his time there, Purdue led the Big Ten in passing offense five times and passing offense three times. The Boilermakers were ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA in total offense six times, including in 2000 when they were fourth in the country.

While at Purdue, Chaney tutored 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. Brees led the NCAA in total offense in 2000, averaging 349.1 yards per game, and won the Maxwell Award.

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.

Before Purdue, Chaney was at Wyoming for four years, serving as offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 1994-96 and was a graduate assistant coaching tight ends coach in 1993. Chaney began his coaching career at Cal State Fullerton in 1985. He served in many areas, including offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

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.