KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Veteran offensive coordinator Mike DeBord is leaving the Tennessee football staff to become the offensive coordinator at Indiana, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.
More staff changes are expected for the Vols as SECcountry.com reported on Friday, with coach Butch Jones having made it clear on more than one occasion that he is intent on delivering a championship.
DeBord has been the Vols’ offensive coordinator the past two seasons, most recently engineering an offense that set the school’s single-season record for touchdowns and points scored.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones worked under DeBord at Central Michigan when DeBord was the head coach there from 2000-2003, so bringing him to Knoxville made perfect sense.
There wasn’t any dissension between Jones and DeBord, as the two continued to work well together for the Vols.
DeBord’s move to Indiana has to do with him wanting to be closer to home, according to sources close to the program.
The 60-year-old DeBord is an Indiana native who was inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame in Indianapolis in 2005.
DeBord directed a more conventional attack while working under Lloyd Carr at Michigan, where the Wolverines won a national title in 1997 and an Orange Bowl with Tom Brady after the 1999 season.
Tennessee managed a 9-4 campaign this season and a Top 25 ranking despite a barrage of injuries that left the Vols with just four starters healthy enough to start every game.
Only two of those every-game starters were on offense — quarterback Josh Dobbs and receiver Josh Malone.
DeBord miraculously directed a record-breaking season despite having to go through seven different offensive line combinations on account of the injuries.
Tennessee’s offense averaged 443.7 yards per game and 36.4 points.
Tennessee has met with former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich on more than one occasion, though there has been no formal offer made, according to sources close to the situation.
Helfrich was thought of as a coach who could come in and work as quarterbacks coach alongside DeBord.
Jones has indicated for weeks that changes would be coming to the Vols’ staff, but DeBord was not expected to be among them.