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Tennessee football: Could Jeff Lebby rejoin Josh Heupel as Vols OC?

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If Joey Halzle doesn’t get the offensive coordinator job for Tennessee football to replace Alex Golesh, who is now head coach of the South Florida Bulls, the Vols have an obvious choice. Josh Heupel could just bring back Jeff Lebby.

Currently the offensive coordinator of the Oklahoma Sooners, Lebby was Heupel’s OC with the UCF Knights in 2018 and 2019. Golesh actually replaced him after he left.

Now, though, Heupel is in a different position and could easily lure Lebby to Tennessee football. The move would be a proven hire, maintain continuity and is very possible.

When Lebby was working under Heupel, the offense was as explosive as it is now. They averaged over 43 points per game the two years they were together and had an undefeated regular season in 2018.

Before this year, Lebby’s offenses actually put up better numbers under Heupel than Golesh’s offenses did. Given the fact that they have worked together, you can’t be more certain of success than hiring Lebby.

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The move also maintains continuity since they have worked together. There would be no change in the system. Now, it would be different this time around since Lebby was the quarterbacks coach at UCF, a role Halzle has now.

Still, Lebby coached tight ends for a high school team once, and he has coached running backs at the college level. As a result, he should have no problem taking on Golesh’s role as tight ends coach as well.

Of course, the real question is whether or not he would leave OU. After the 2019 season, Lebby left Heupel to join Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels. He then left Kiffin to join OU in 2022.

Brent Venables brought in Lebby to maintain the same offensive system Lincoln Riley was running while he would focus on the defense. However, the move hasn’t worked so far.

OU stumbled to a 6-6 campaign, and it’s not like Venables didn’t inherit a good program. If you were an assistant coach right now, would your future be in better hands at Tennessee football with Heupel or OU with Venables?

Obviously, the answer is the Vols. This isn’t about which job is better. Even with OU joining the SEC, both have enough prestige that you could work for either one.

Instead, the move is about positioning yourself for the future, and it’s pretty obvious Lebby would be in a much better position working under Heupel. Golesh just proved that with a head coaching job.

Taking all this into account, Lebby would be an excellent hire for Tennessee football. If the Vols don’t bring him in, then Halzle is the obvious choice, but Lebby to UT is the surest choice for himself and Heupel.

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