Georgia promotes James Coley to offensive coordinator

Georgia promotes James Coley to offensive coordinator

January 11th, 2019 by David Paschall in Breaking News

Georgia quarterbacks coach James Coley visits with sophomore with Jake Fromm (11) and freshman Justin Fields during a practice earlier this month at Sanford Stadium.

Photo by Steven Colquitt/Georgia

Updated with more information at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2019

James Coley, who had the titles of Georgia co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this past football season, was promoted Friday to offensive coordinator.

Coley has been a Bulldogs assistant for all three seasons under head coach Kirby Smart, and he replaces Jim Chaney, who left earlier this week to become the offensive coordinator at Tennessee.

"James has been a critical part of our staff since we came to Georgia," Smart said in a release. "He's done an incredible job in all aspects of his responsibilities — coaching wide receivers for two years, serving as co-offensive coordinator this past season and coaching the quarterbacks, and in recruiting. James has extensive coordinator experience during his entire coaching career and will transition easily into his new role."

Coley's two seasons as Georgia's receivers coach yielded a pair of NFL draft picks, with Isaiah McKenzie selected in 2017 and Javon Wims last spring. The switch to quarterbacks coach was accompanied by the opportunity to work the past several months with sophomore Jake Fromm and freshman Justin Fields.

Fromm ranked fifth nationally in efficiency this past season with a rating of 171.21, which ranks second in school history to Aaron Murray (174.82) in 2012. The success and stability of Fromm, who has yet to lose to a Southeastern Conference Eastern Division foe, resulted in Fields transferring last weekend to Ohio State.

Before coming to Georgia, Coley worked as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Miami Hurricanes from 2013 to 2015. Before that stint, he served as Florida State's offensive coordinator from 2010 to 2012, with the 2012 Seminoles averaging 39.3 points per game.

With the Seminoles, Coley helped develop three NFL first-round quarterbacks: Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel and Jameis Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy the year after Coley left Tallahassee.

Coley is yet another member of the Nick Saban coaching tree, having worked the 2003 season as a graduate assistant at LSU. The Tigers won the national title that season.

The promotion of Coley still leaves the Bulldogs with a staff opening, with Chaney having been responsible this past season for the tight ends.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.