Vols offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian reportedly leaving Tennessee for NFL

Vols offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian reportedly leaving Tennessee for NFL

January 22nd, 2015 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College
Mike Bajakian

Mike Bajakian

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee's 2015 football schedule included seven games against teams that changed offensive or defensive coordinators this offseason.

The Volunteers now can add themselves to the list.

According to a report from Fox Sports's Bruce Feldman, Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian is leaving the Vols "to pursue other coaching opportunities."

Sports Illustrated later reported Bajakian was headed to the NFL to be the quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

He could also be in play for the head coaching vacancy at Central Michigan. Dan Enos resigned his position with Chippewas on Thursday to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas, replacing former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Bajakian spent two different stints at Central Michigan.

Bajakian has been Tennessee coach Butch Jones's offensive coordinator for all eight years he's been a head coach at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Tennessee.

Before linking up with Jones, Bajakian had graduate assistant stints at Michigan and Rutgers, coached quarterbacks at Sacred Heart and Central Michigan and spent three years in the NFL as anĀ  offensive quality control/receivers coach for the Chicago Bears, coached then by current Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith.

He was linked to the head coaching vacancy at Bowling Green after the 2013 season.

Tennessee is set to lose one starter (right tackle Jacob Gilliam) from an offense that finished the season strong with Josh Dobbs at quarterback.

The Vols averaged 36.4 points per game in Dobbs's five starts to end the season. Tennessee averaged more yards and more points per game this season despite changing quarterbacks and replacing an offensive line that lost three NFL rookie starters. Seven true freshmen started for Tennessee's offense over the course of the season.

Bajakian's salary, according to his current Tennessee contract, was $480,000, and for terminating his contract, which was rolled over another to run through next season, he would owe Tennessee 33 percent of his salary.

More on this story online as it develops and in Friday's Times Free Press.