Quarterbacks coach Halzle promoted by Heupel to Vols’ offensive coordinator

Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle was elevated Thursday to offensive coordinator by Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel.
Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle was elevated Thursday to offensive coordinator by Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel.

Joey Halzle, the quarterbacks coach of the Tennessee Volunteers the past two seasons, was promoted to offensive coordinator Thursday by head coach Josh Heupel.

Halzle replaces Alex Golesh, who was named last month as South Florida's new head coach.

"Joey has been instrumental in our record-setting offensive success over the past two seasons, and he has built great trust within our team," Heupel said through a release. "I have known Joey for over 15 years, and his track record of player development has impacted every place he has been. He has complete knowledge of our aggressive offensive identity and principles.

"Having played and coached at this level, he understands how to connect with players and will continue to make a significant impact in recruiting. This will be a seamless transition for him as we strive to build a championship program that Vol Nation is proud of."

Tennessee set a program record for points with 511 during the 2021 season and then shattered that this past season by compiling 599. The Vols completed an 11-2 season with last Friday night's 31-14 downing of Clemson in the Orange Bowl, marking the program's first 11-win campaign since 2001.

Halzle assumed Golesh's duties in Miami Gardens and helped guide Tennessee to an impressive win despite not having quarterback Hendon Hooker due to injury and top receivers Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman due to opt-out decisions.

"I am grateful to Coach Heupel for this opportunity, and I look forward to building on the dynamic offensive success we have achieved thus far," Halzle said. "Our offense will continue to be the attacking, sophisticated and up-tempo unit that Vol Nation is accustomed to, while maximizing the potential we have as a team and individually. I have great appreciation for our players and want them to fulfill their aspirations at Tennessee.

"It's our job as teachers to put them in a position to be successful on and off the field and to have fun while doing it."

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Thursday that Halzle will go from making $400,000 to $850,000. Golesh earned $750,000 during the 2021 season but was bumped to $1.2 million this past year.

Halzle will continue having quarterbacks as his position area. He will be moving forward with sixth-year senior Joe Milton III, who had three touchdown tosses against Clemson, redshirt freshman Tayven Jackson and five-star freshman and early enrollee Nico Iamaleava.

Golesh had the responsibility of tight ends, so Heupel still has to hire a tight ends coach.

In addition to amassing 599 points, the Vols also set single-season standards in points per game (46.1), total offense (6,832 yards), total offense per game (525.5), yards per play (7.2), total touchdowns (79), passing touchdowns (38), completion percentage (68.7), passing efficiency (181.4), passing yards (4,239), fewest interceptions (three) and first downs (330). Tennessee led the nation in scoring offense, total offense and team passing efficiency, while ranking second in fewest interceptions thrown, third in red-zone offense (94.0) and fifth in completion percentage.

Hooker finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, the highest finish for a Vols player since Peyton Manning in 1997, while Hyatt became the first Biletnikoff Award winner in program history.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com.

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