football Edit

BREAKING: Tyson Helton to be named head coach at WKU

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is in the market for a new offensive coordinator.

Barring a surprise, Tyson Helton will officially become the head coach at Western Kentucky, where he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons working under Jeff Brohm.

Helton is not on the road recruiting with Tennessee and has been in deep talks with WKU officials the last several days. An official announcement is expected to happen in the next 24-48 hours.

Helton will replace Mike Sanford, who was fired on Sunday after two years on the job.

Sources say Helton to Western Kentucky has been trending since late last week.

Following Tennessee's 38-13 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday, Helton was rumored to be on the way out by Pruitt’s doing in a report by footballscoop.com. Pruitt refuted that report to Volquest and other media outlets.

Sources say that Pruitt told people he was pleased with the job Helton had done in 2018 even though other sources had indicated the relationship had been strained at times throughout the season.

Helton leaves a Tennessee deal that has two years left on it with a salary at $1.2 million annually.

Tennessee has placed a quality control coach on the recruiting road in Helton’s place.

With Helton’s departure, the question is what direction will Pruitt turn in Year 2 to lead his offense? Chip Lindsey Is one name that will be floated about. Lindsey is currently at Auburn. Lindsey and Pruitt have known each other for several years. Another potential candidate is former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze.

But the overriding question is what is the identity that Pruitt wants to have with his offense? Pruitt has repeatedly mentioned the need to run the ball in the SEC. In 2018, Pruitt’s offense ranked 112th nationally in scoring.