Mike DeBord, much to the delight of a sizable portion of Volunteer Nation, had been strongly considering stepping down from his post at Tennessee and retiring from the profession. Instead, he appears set to head back to his home state as a gainfully employed coach.
First reported by Rivals.com and subsequently confirmed by others, DeBord is set to leave as the Vols offensive coordinator and take the same job at Indiana on new head coach Tom Allen‘s first staff. DeBord also served as the Vols’ quarterbacks coach; it’s unclear if he’ll hold that job with the Hoosiers as well.
DeBord spent two years on Rocky Top after spending the previous two years as a University of Michigan Olympic sports administrator. UT head coach Butch Jones had a previous working relationship with DeBord, with the former serving on the latter’s coaching staff at Central Michigan in 2000-03. DeBord, a Muncie, Ind., native, was an unpopular hire to begin with, and the criticisms grew louder over the years as the production on that side of the ball, according to some, never quite matched the perceived talent level.
This past season, the Vols were 24th nationally and second in the SEC averaging 36.4 points per game. At 35.2 ppg in his first season, UT was 29th in the country and second in the conference in 2015.
It’s being reported that former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich is Jones’ top target as DeBord’s replacement. Additionally, current staff members Larry Scott and Zach Azzanni are possibilities as well.