Tennessee football: Ranking all 28 offseason coaching changes by impact on Vols

Tennessee Herd Coach Josh Heupel at the 2021 Music City Bowl NCAA college football game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.Kns Tennessee Purdue
Tennessee Herd Coach Josh Heupel at the 2021 Music City Bowl NCAA college football game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.Kns Tennessee Purdue /
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Jan 29, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies football head coach Kalen DeBoer speaks at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies football head coach Kalen DeBoer speaks at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

818. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Washington Huskies. 14. Jimmy Lake. Kalen DeBoer. player

Previous role: Head coach, Fresno State Bulldogs

Even if it’s not in SEC country, taking over as head coach of a Power Five program always takes precedent in its effect on Tennessee football. Kalen DeBoer did just that. We mentioned him being replaced by Jeff Tedford after two years with the Fresno State Bulldogs and a 9-3 campaign this past year. Well, now he’s heading to the Washington Huskies.

Just like their in-state rival, the Washington State Cougars, the Huskies fired their second-year head coach in the middle of the season due to an incident that has nothing to do with winning. Amidst a 4-5 start, Lake was suspended due to shoving one of his players out of the way of a developing altercation against the Oregon Ducks. He was fired six days later.

Bob Gregory finished the year and lost his final four games. This is where DeBoer comes into play. If the Vols are going to take that next step, they can’t just overlook a program like Washington, which did make the College Football Playoff under Chris Petersen back in 2016.

Such success is why you have to take all Power Five hires seriously if you are a Power Five program, and despite this being a move purely on the West Coast, it could impact the Vols. Both Washington programs’ hires impact the Vols the least, though, of all the Power Five hires.