Tennessee hires Mike DeBord as offensive coordinator

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee has hired former Michigan offensive coordinator and Central Michigan head coach Mike DeBord as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The assignment represents a bit of a role reversal for DeBord and Tennessee coach Butch Jones, who worked as an offensive coordinator on DeBord's Central Michigan staff from 2001-03.

''Mike is a tireless worker and innovator with a proven track record of success as both an offensive coordinator and as a developer of quarterbacks at a high level,'' Jones said Friday in a university statement.

Tennessee also announced that wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni has been promoted to passing game coordinator and that running backs coach Robert Gillespie would add the title of recruiting coordinator.

DeBord replaces Mike Bajakian, who left Tennessee to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterbacks coach. In Jones' eight seasons as a head coach, Bajakian had been his only offensive coordinator.

DeBord, who turns 59 on Saturday, has three decades of coaching experience. He was at Michigan from 1992-99 and 2004-07 and served as the Wolverines' offensive coordinator from 1997-99 and 2006-07. DeBord worked as an NFL assistant with the Seattle Seahawks from 2008-09 and the Chicago Bears from 2010-12.

He spent the last two seasons away from coaching while working as a sports administrator at Michigan.

''I was very selective about the job opportunities presented, and I'm very excited to be a part of the building of something special here at Tennessee,'' DeBord said in a statement. ''The familiarity with the system, the staff and Butch Jones will be a great asset as we build upon and enhance our offensive system at Tennessee.''

DeBord was the offensive coordinator for Michigan's 1997 national championship team. The Wolverines went 52-11 during his two terms as offensive coordinator.

DeBord went 12-34 as Central Michigan's head coach from 2000-03. Jones worked on DeBord's staff each of those four years, spending one season as running backs coach before becoming offensive coordinator.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.