Tennessee has been on the search for a new head coach for two and a half weeks. They thought they had their man this past Sunday in Greg Schiano, but Tennessee athletic director John Currie’s decision to bring in Schiano was shut down by angry Vol fans, media members, and politicians.
Since Sunday, the Vols have been in scramble mode to find their next head coach. And according to one long-time reporter, they may be closing in on the hire.
According to long-time Knoxville reporter Jimmy Hyams, Tennessee is “closing in on a deal” with Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm.
Source: Tennessee is closing in a deal with Purdue coach Jeff Brohm. UT interviewed Chad Morris of SMU last night but apparently UT favors Brohm.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 29, 2017
Brohm just wrapped up his first season as the head coach of Purdue and took them to a 6-6 record and their first bowl berth since 2012. Purdue had won a combined nine games in the four years before Brohm took over and had only won three Big Ten games in those four years. Brohm got them to 6-6 and a 4-5 record in conference play in his first season.
Before Purdue, Brohm was the head coach at Western Kentucky. He led the Hilltoppers to a 30-10 record in those three years and helped Western Kentucky to a 12-2 record in 2015. That was the most successful season in school history.
Brohm also played quarterback at Louisville and went on to play in both the NFL and the XFL.
If Tennessee hires Brohm, they will have to pay a sizable buyout to get him. According to data from Journal & Courier, if Brohm leaves Purdue before December 5th of this year, he owes Purdue $5 million.
It’s worth noting, however, that there’s a contradiction to Hyam’s report. Dan Harralson of Saturday Down South claims he spoke to Purdue Associate Athletics Communications Director Matt Rector and he stated that Brohm has been recruiting and getting prepared for Purdue’s bowl game and “has not been contacted by Tennessee.”
Talking to Purdue Associate Athletics Communications Director Matt Rector and says “Jeff Brohm has been out recruiting since Monday, getting ready for a bowl game and has not been contacted by Tennessee.”
— Dan Harralson (@danharralson) November 29, 2017
We will have more on this story as it develops.