HOOVER, Ala. — Following the end of the 2018 season, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart lost two integral parts of his coaching staff to different schools.
Jim Chaney, the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs from 2016 to 2018, left the program to become the Tennessee Volunteers’ offensive coordinator.
Mel Tucker, the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2016 to 2018, left to take the head coaching job for the University of Colorado.
Smart was appreciative of Chaney and Tucker, but wasn’t worried about filling their vacancies.
“I think any time you build the infrastructure in a program, when people leave, as long as you're not changing that infrastructure, it doesn't create a lot of doubt or anxiety in the players,” Smart said. “And certainly from my perspective, very comfortable after being in our system for three years that we've got really good coordinators.”
James Coley, who was co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2018, will be the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs in the 2019 season.
“James, our offensive coordinator, has been with us a long time,” Smart said. “I've known James from his graduate assistant days back at LSU. I have tremendous respect for him. I know the offenses he's worked with in the past. And he's also been a part of ours. He has been a very integral part of that offense.”
On defense, Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann will be co-defensive coordinators as well as linebacker coaches.
“From a defensive standpoint, Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann are very bright, Mel was a really good teacher to them,” Smart said. “He gave them opportunities to grow, to get in front of the defense so we can see them interact. I'm still going to be involved defensively, makes me feel comfortable with Dan and Glenn and Charlton Warren and Tray Scott to do a tremendous job there.”
Also, Chaney is joining a rival in Tennessee, but Smart wasn’t worried about the potential of him sharing Georgia’s schemes.
“The fact he knows our personnel, I think that the game of football boils down to football players making plays,” Smart said. “There's not going to be anything that Jim Chaney or myself can do out there on that field that our players aren't going to control.”