Coaching rumors: Chris Weinke has ’emerged as front-runner’ for Vols vacancy

Could the Tennessee Vols be preparing to add a Heisman Trophy winner to the program?

According to a report from VolQuest.com’s Jesse Simonton, former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke has “emerged as a front-runner” to fill the vacancy on the Jeremy Pruitt’s on-field coaching staff at Tennessee. The opening developed when the Vols agreed to part way with former running backs coach Robert Gillespie on Tuesday. SEC Country’s Mike Griffith reported that the divorce was a mutual decision.

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Weinke, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2000 for his work as a Florida State quarterback, spent the 2017 season coaching alongside Pruitt at Alabama. He was an off-the-field analyst on Nick Saban’s staff.

Prior to his arrival in Tuscaloosa, Weinke spent the previous two seasons as a quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams under former coach Jeff Fisher. Weinke also has head coaching experience from his time at the famed high school recruiting hotbed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He was the coach there from 2010-14.

The news of Weinke’s candidacy comes alongside the revelation that Pruitt will be adding former JUCO coach of the year Joe Osovet to his staff in what is believed to be an analyst role.

There is not yet word on what Weinke’s role might be if he joins the Vols program. The vacancy is at running backs coach, but there is the possibility that roles could be shifted among Pruitt’s offensive staff.

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