Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord is out of Knoxville. He accepted the same position at Indiana University on Tuesday morning. DeBord often received the ire of Tennessee fans over his two years as offensive coordinator for what many fans saw as predictable and unimaginative. The feelings came to a head after running back Jalen Hurd transferred late this season over reported disagreements about his usage and play calling. Regardless, the move comes as a shock. Despite the inconsistency, the Vols broke several school offensive records in 2016. Butch Jones was expected to make coaching staff changes over the offseason, but DeBord seemed safe. He and Jones were known to have a close personal relationship after working together at Central Michigan as well. Obviously, the relationship deteriorated more than was publicly known, or DeBord no longer wished to handle the heat in Knoxville.
Several sources claim the Vols entered preliminary discussions with former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich before Debord left. However, these talks focused solely on Helfrich becoming Tennessee’s quarterbacks coach. I imagine the talks will now be about a more important position on the staff. Oregon rose to the top of college football behind an offensive pioneered by Helfrich and Chip Kelly. Despite this, Oregon fired Helfrich this past season from its head coaching position. Tennessee finds itself in the perfect position to scoop up Helfrich and help him rebuild his image.