University of Tennessee Football

University of Tennessee: After Schiano Debacle, Coaching Search Trudges On

The University of Tennessee completely botched the hiring (and non-hiring) of Greg Schiano. Due to that mishap, their coaching search trudges on, and who knows where it ends up.

After this past weekend’s debacle with Greg Schiano, the University of Tennessee continued their coaching search. As they would end up meeting with and interviewing Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy in Dallas. After some discussions, Gundy decided he is staying in Stillwater to continue with the Cowboys. It is expected he will get a new deal.

There reports out that John Currie, Tennessee’s athletic director, has reached out to Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, NC State’s Dave Doreen, and SMU’s Chad Morris. The hopeful end game is filling its coaching vacancy. It is also known that former Volunteers quarterback Tee Martin remains in play, but no word has gone out to him as of yet.

Brohm, a Louisville native, had a very strong first season at Purdue. He succeeded in getting the Boilermakers to a bowl game for the first time in some time. He is a brilliant offensive mind and Tennessee would consider him financially manageable. However, there is doubt he would leave after one season, given the volatile nature the University is dealing with.

Doeren, a Kansas native, has a record of 56–34 in coaching stints with Northern Illinois and NC State. In fact, he led the Wolfpack to an 8–4 finish this season, being in the “hot seat” a year ago. It is not known if he would jump at the chance to move. There happen to be contract extension talks ongoing with the Wolfpack. He could use the Volunteers as leverage.

Morris, a Texas native, is in his third year leading the Mustangs program. On the other hand, he has ties to the SEC as a graduate of Texas A&M.  He had spent 16 years coaching in the high school ranks. While he was the offensive coordinator for Clemson, he was responsible for a high-powered offense along with head coach Dabo Sweeny. Since then he has improved SMU’s record each season. From 2-10 in 2015 to 5-7 in 2016 and 7-5 this season. As of now, there are not any indications that either side has talked.

Martin, the quarterback for the 1999 national championship squad, now has a legit shot at the Volunteers vacancy. Consequently, Martin coached in the SEC as an assistant at Kentucky and many consider him a very good recruiter in the south. In the court of public opinion, many would consider the hiring of Martin a “home run.” However, he doesn’t have any head coach experience and it could hurt the school.

 

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Nick Ficorelli

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