The only thing Jonathan Crompton regrets about his time spent with Jim Chaney is that it didn’t last longer.
Crompton, who just finished his sixth professional season in the NFL and CFL, was only able to play one season at Tennessee with Chaney, who was reportedly hired as UGA’s offensive coordinator on Saturday.
“He’s somebody I would love to play for my whole college career,” Crompton said. “I think most kids that played for him would say that as well. Georgia, they’ll be a high-powered offense because of him. He’s very intelligent.”
Chaney was hired by Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin leading into the 2009 season, which was Crompton’s senior season. Even though he currently plays for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL, Crompton has kept up with Chaney’s career.
“Look what he did at Pittsburgh this year, going from nothing to what they were,” Crompton said. “It was a lot because of him.”
Chaney is known for his laid-back demeanor in public situations. Crompton can attest that’s not how Chaney acts on the practice field.
“Coaches are very intense on the field,” Crompton said. “They’re going to coach you hard. They’re going to get on your butts, but as soon as you step off the field, it’s almost like they forget how they talked to you. Coach Chaney is one of the better ones at that. He’s going to coach you hard but as soon as it’s over, he’s going to walk with you, joke with you and you know it’s not personal. It’s just good, solid coaching.”
Tennessee finished 7-6 in 2009. The Vols finished tied for 60th in total offense under Chaney. However, that ranking doesn’t tell the whole story. Tennessee was adjusting to a new offense and its third offensive coordinator in three seasons. Injuries were also a factor early in the season.
The Vols started slow but improved greatly as the season went on. Crompton said Chaney and Kiffin deserve credit for that. Crompton said Chaney was responsible for noticing defensive subtleties from his spot in the press box, which he would relay to Kiffin on the field.
“They had to do even more trying to scheme up how we were going to attack teams because of the personnel they had with the young guys,” Crompton said. “I think they worked really, really well together.
Chaney doesn’t come across as a fire-and-brimstone motivator. Crompton said Chaney has his own style of motivating players.
“He relates well to the players,” Crompton said. “He relates well to the younger generation. He makes you feel comfortable then also he makes them want to play hard for them. I think it’s a phenomenal hire for Georgia.”
As a coordinator, Chaney’s main focus won’t be recruiting. However, he’ll have to be there when called upon, especially as UGA tries to hold on to 5-star quarterback commitment Jacob Eason. The Lake Stevens (Wash.) High School prospect has looked at other schools recently since UGA parted ways with Mark Richt, namely Florida. Chaney figures to be a big part of Eason’s final decision.
“He knows what he’s doing in recruiting,” Crompton said. “If the recruits do their homework and see his production during his career, then they’ll say ‘I do want to play for this guy.’ Then they talk to him and they’re sold.”