Vanderbilt football coach Bobby Johnson promoted Jimmy Kiser from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Thursday in an attempt to improve an attack that has finished last in the Southeastern Conference each of the past two seasons.
Kiser was the team’s co-passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He assumed play-calling duties from Ted Cain in 2009.
Johnson informed the team of the change, and other resultant ones, at a meeting late Thursday afternoon.
"I've been pleased with Jimmy's play calling. I now want to give him the responsibility to take charge of the process of determining what plays will be called in all situations,” Johnson said in a release announcing the decision. “I also feel the quarterback needs to be comfortable with and capable of executing the call. In our offense, the quarterbacks coach would know that better than anyone.”
The Commodores averaged 16.3 points per game overall and 8.9 per game in conference play last fall. They were last in the SEC in total offense at 306.3 yards per game and were the only team in the league to average fewer than five yards per play (4.6).
Cain will remain as VU’s tight ends coach and will assume the role of special teams coordinator.
Also, running backs coach Des Kitchings was given the added role of running game coordinator, and wide receivers coach Charlie Fisher will be the lone passing game coordinator after having shared that role with Kiser for the last four years.
Assistant head coach/offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell is unaffected by the changes.
"I'm excited about the opportunity, and excited about continuing to work with a group of great coaches," Kiser said. "All of us will be focused on the same goal, to make sure we are doing everything possible to get better as an offense and give our team the very best chance for victory."
• Nearly 70 players and coaches from Vanderbilt’s 1974 Peach Bowl team, including head coach Steve Sloan, will be recognized Saturday during the basketball game against LSU.
The group will present a check for $360,000 to endow a football scholarship. The university will present each member with a watch to commemorate the 7-3-2 season, which ended with a 6-6 tie with Texas Tech in the bowl game.
Legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells, an assistant on that team, will be unable to attend due to a prior engagement.
• Johnson and his staff plan to commence spring workouts on March 17. The annual Black and Gold scrimmage is scheduled for April 10.