Heisman Trophy-winning QB Weinke to coach RBs for Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Chris Weinke is joining Tennessee’s staff as a running backs coach.

Tennessee announced Weinke’s addition to the staff Wednesday. His contract runs through Jan. 31, 2020, and pays him $355,000 annually.

Weinke quarterbacked Florida State’s 1999 national championship team and won the Heisman Trophy in 2000.

He spent the 2017 season with new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt at Alabama while helping the Crimson Tide win a national title. Weinke was an offensive analyst, while Pruitt was defensive coordinator.

”He has a great eye for talent and knows the game on the offensive side of the ball as well as anybody I’ve been around,” Pruitt said in a statement. ”He will be a great fit for our Tennessee program.”

Weinke played with the Carolina Panthers from 2001-06 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2007. He was the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback coach from 2015-16 and spent five years as program director at IMG Academy.

Weinke replaces Robert Gillespie, who coached Tennessee’s running backs the last five seasons on former coach Butch Jones’ staff. Gillespie was initially expected to continue in that role on Pruitt’s staff before the two sides parted ways.

Athletic director Phillip Fulmer said last week Gillespie was no longer part of the staff and added that ”it was simply a matter of Coach Pruitt doing what he thought was right for his program and Robert.”

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