FAYETTEVILLE – Multiple media outlets reported Sunday night that Arkansas offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim Chaney is leaving coach Bret Bielema’s Razorbacks to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh under new Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi.
Neither the Pitt Panthers nor Arkansas sports information departments issued any statements about Chaney’s status Sunday.
If Chaney leaves, he will become the second of second-year Arkansas coach Bielema’s assistants to leave this year’s staff.
Last week linebackers coach Randy Shannon left to become the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Florida.
Shannon has not been replaced but the UA and Athletic Director Jeff Long last week announced raises and contract extensions for defensive coordinator Robb Smith, defensive backfield coach Clay Jennings, defensive line coach Rory Segrest, offensive line coach Sam Pittman, tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. and strength coach Ben Herbert and reported that contract amendments were being worked on for Chaney, running backs coach Joel Thomas and receivers coach Michael Smith.
Shortly after leaving Wisconsin to take the Arkansas job in December 2013, Bielema hired Chaney and Pittman off the staff of fired Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. Chaney served as interim coach for Tennessee’s last game of 2012 with Dooley dismissed.
Chaney served both Arkansas seasons with the Razorbacks, improving from 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC in 2013 to 7-6 and 2-6 in the SEC in 2014 — and ending the season routing Texas 31-7 in the Advocare Texas Bowl.
Senior-to-be quarterback Brandon Allen improved vastly in his second season under Chaney, while running backs Jonathan Williams, a senior-to-be, and Alex Collins, a junior-to-be, exceeded 1,000 yards rushing in 2014. Collins exceeded 1,000 yards in 2013 while Williams rushed for 900.
Though a nose guard at Central Missouri State in his playing days, Chaney in college and the NFL has always coached offense.
He had offensive coordinator tenures at Cal-State Fullerton from 1985-87 and 1989-92 with a 1988 season in between coaching offensive line at Western Michigan.
Chaney then coached the offensive line and tight ends while serving as recruiting coordinator at Wyoming.
He then coordinated Purdue’s offense from 1997-2005 and coached the offensive line and tight ends from 2005 to 2008 for the St. Louis Rams in the NFL before coordinating Tennessee’s offense from 2009 to 2012.