Jim Bob Cooter
Quick Bio: Aside from having arguably the best name on this list, Jim Bob Cooter has Tennessee ties and NFL success to boot. He’s been a fan favorite ever since he was on the Vols’ roster, and he’s gone on to make a name for himself in the NFL.
Pros: JBC has been the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions since the middle of the 2015 season, and he’s helped the Lions find new life on offense. He’s also served on three other NFL staffs and was a graduate assistant for the Vols in the last two years of the Phillip Fulmer era.
Cons/Questions: He has no head coaching experience, and it’s highly unlikely he would leave his position in the NFL to come back to college. All signs point to JBC having NFL aspirations for the rest of his coaching career.
Quick Bio: David Cutcliffe checks off a lot of boxes for Vol fans. He not only has Tennessee ties, but he was arguably one of the best offensive coordinators in school history, and he has head coaching experience both in the SEC and ACC. He’s also worked wonders with quarterbacks.
Pros: Cutcliffe was the reason Tennessee’s offense had success under Phillip Fulmer in the 1990s and again from 2006-7. He had some success as the head coach of Ole Miss, taking them to six bowl games and a 10 win season in 2003, but they decided to part ways with him in 2004. He rejoined Tennessee in 2006 before taking the head coaching position at Duke where he’s turned that program from a bottom feeder in the ACC to an opponent nobody can overlook.
Cons/Questions: Cutcliffe had great success at Duke several years ago, but his trajectory has seen a downward turn over the last couple seasons. Even despite that, hiring Cutcliffe, who turned 63 this past September, likely wouldn’t be a long-term hire and would likely only last another five or six years at most.