A new Tennessee Vols quarterbacks coach, a former UT baseball player retiring, and softball previews lead the Volunteers news for Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.
Yes, springtime is approaching. One day away from naming a new president of the United States in the depths of winter, the heart of the news surrounding the Tennessee Vols is still the football offseason and the midst of men’s and women’s basketball.
But the spring sports are right around the corner, and the administrative changes still dominate the news in Knoxville.
As a result, there’s lots of news to still bring you about the Tennessee Vols.
Today, that news still focuses on football staff changes. But there are also the first updates surrounding the spring sports to bring you, as they are a month away.
It looks like the Tennessee Vols have found their quarterbacks coach in football. Mike Canales appears to be the leader. He spent last year at Utah State and was at North Texas as the interim coach before that. Canales’s resume also includes stops at South Florida, Arizona, with the New York Jets, and at N.C. State, where he helped coach Phillip Rivers.
Tennessee will imminently name Mike Canales its new quarterbacks coach, sources told multiple members of 247Sports including Ryan Callahan, filling the final truly open position on its coaching staff — though more changes are expected as both Don Mahoney, offensive line, and Steve Stripling, defensive line, are under contracts that expire at the end of next month.
Canales is the only of Tennessee’s myriad candidates to be quarterbacks coach who received two in-person, on-campus interviews, being on Rocky Top as recently as Monday.
He was part of the last Tennessee Vols baseball team to reach the College World Series in 2005, but J.P. Arencibia appears to be hanging up his cleats a bit early after a pretty successful career in the MLB. He announced his retirement on Twitter.
After a three-year career at Tennessee, Arencibia was selected in the first round of the 2007 draft with the 21st pick overall by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Arencibia, 31, spent six seasons in the major leagues, playing for the Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .212 with 80 home runs, 67 doubles and 245 RBIs during his career.
Four other teams got first-place votes, which Ralph and Karen Weekly’s team did not receive. This was the softball coaches’ poll, and it was released Wednesday afternoon. Of course, given how loaded the SEC is every year in softball, the Top 6 teams in the conference are all national contenders. So at least the Vols are in the mix.
The Volunteers were also picked fifth in last season’s SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll before finishing tied for third in the regular season and advancing to the SEC Tournament semifinals. The poll was voted on by the head coaches of the league’s 13 softball-playing institutions and points were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 basis. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.