Tennessee Team News

Vols RB coach Chris Weinke only Heisman winner who will be a coach this fall

Chris Weinke
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Being a Heisman winner is belonging to an exclusive fraternity as it is. But Tennessee assistant Chris Weinke will be a Heisman winner in a fraternity of one this fall: He will be the only winner who also is a coach.

Weinke was hired by coach Jeremy Pruitt earlier this week as the Vols’ new running backs coach. While the school hasn’t officially announced it, there have been numerous media reports and Weinke describes himself on his Twitter home page as “University of Tennessee RB Coach.” The main photo on his home page is a shot of Neyland Stadium.

Weinke, 45, won the Heisman at Florida State in 2000, then played seven seasons in the NFL before becoming a coach. He was head coach at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from 2010-14, then was quarterback coach of the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams for two seasons (2015-16). Last season, he was an offensive analyst at Alabama.

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In 2017, the only on-field coach among the Heisman winners was BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, but he was fired after the season, his second in the role. That means Weinke will be the only Heisman winner in coaching this season.

The most famous Heisman-winning coach? Former Florida quarterback Steve Spurrier, at Florida and South Carolina as well as the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He retired from coaching in the middle of the 2015 season.

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Another Heisman winner who retired from coaching this decade is former Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan, who was head coach at TCU (1992-97) and FCS member Samford (2007-14); he was an Auburn assistant from 1986-91 and an assistant at UAB from 1999-2006.

Six former Heisman winners are in the NFL: Derrick Henry, Marcus Mariota, Sam Bradford, Mark Ingram, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston. Another retired after the 2017 season: Carson Palmer. And two – Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson – are preparing for the NFL draft.

A handful of Heisman winners are involved in the college game as TV and/or radio analysts: Matt Leinart, Gino Torretta, Desmond Howard, Andre Ware and Doug Flutie.

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