KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has promoted Larry Scott to offensive coordinator and has hired Mike Canales as quarterbacks coach, bringing the two former South Florida colleagues back together.
After former offensive coordinator Mike DeBord announced earlier this month that he was leaving for the same position at Indiana , Jones said he wanted to "enhance" the offense but didn't anticipate making "monumental changes." The decision to promote from within to replace DeBord reflects that approach.
"You spend all your career working hard, being diligent, trying to be out in front of everything, (on the) cutting edge, learning as much as you can everywhere you go, taking every experience and opportunity as a learning opportunity so that one day these types of opportunities present themselves," Scott said at a news conference Friday. "I'm super excited."
Scott was Tennessee's tight ends coach and special teams coordinator this past season. As offensive coordinator, he will continue to operate as the Volunteers' tight ends coach as well. Charlton Warren, hired Monday as defensive backs coach, will coordinate special teams.
Scott lettered at South Florida as an offensive tackle from 1997-99 while Canales worked as the Bulls' offensive coordinator. Scott and Canales also worked together on the USF coaching staff from 2007-09.
"I think we were pretty good when we were together (before), so I'm expecting good things again," Canales said.
Tennessee offensive coordinator Larry Scott on how his long background with new QBs coach Mike Canales should benefit the Vols. pic.twitter.com/6OwqrNEmUd
— Steve Megargee (@stevemegargee) January 20, 2017
Tennessee ranked 24th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in points per game (36.4) and 40th in yards per game (443.7) this past season in DeBord's second year as offensive coordinator. Tennessee went 9-4 with a Music City Bowl victory over Nebraska and was 22nd in the final rankings .
"Larry played an important role in the success we had offensively last year and was heavily involved in all aspects of our game plan, both during the week and on game day," Jones said in a statement. "We felt it was vital to maintain our continuity on offense and keep building on what we have established the past four seasons."
Both Scott and Canales have experience as interim head coaches.
Scott went 4-2 as Miami's interim head coach for the final six games of the 2015 season. Scott was Miami's tight ends coach from 2013-15 after spending eight seasons at USF.
Canales served two stints as North Texas' interim head coach in 2010 and 2015, and he posted a combined 3-9 record.
Canales has 32 overall years of coaching experience, including a stint as Utah State' running backs and tight ends coach this past season. He will earn an annual salary of $300,000 and has a contract running through February 2019.
He inherits a quarterback competition, as Joshua Dobbs completed his eligibility after making 35 starts over the last four seasons. Quinten Dormady backed up Dobbs the last two seasons. Other quarterbacks include Jarrett Guarantano, Sheriron Jones, walk-on Zac Jancek and early enrollee Will McBride.
"I think it's an exciting time," Canales said. "I think it's open competition. I think they're all biting at the bit to get out there and perform. I'm looking forward to working with them because I think there's going to be so many new and exciting things they'll be able to bring to the table."