Tennessee’s search for a head coach has taken over three weeks at this point. But the Vols’ search rebooted this past weekend as Phillip Fulmer was named the new athletics director on Friday after John Currie was suspended with pay.
But according to reports, Fulmer may want to wrap up this search in a timely manner just days after he took over as AD.
According to Football Scoop, Fulmer wants to “have his man on board by the end of the day (Tuesday)” and has already interviewed several candidates. And John Brice of Gridiron Now confirmed that as well, and he stated that Fulmer is set to interview a few more candidates as well.
Football Scoop and Brice both report that Fulmer has contacted or met with Les Miles, SMU head coach Chad Morris, Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. Football Scoop also claims Fulmer has contacted or met with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as well.
Brice adds that it’s “likely” that if Miles or Steele were to be named head coach that USC offensive coordinator and former Vol quarterback Tee Martin would be added as offensive coordinator to their staff.
Another part that Brice adds is that Fulmer’s next round of interviews includes (but is not limited to) Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Washington head coach Chris Petersen.
Football Scoop noted that one source told them that Fulmer has “discussed being very present in the program with a number of candidates; and we also hear he has relayed a similar message to several Tennessee recruits.” This means Fulmer is allegedly planning on being very involved with Tennessee’s football program even after he helps find its next head coach.
Tennessee’s search for a head coach has seen more drama than any Vol fan was expecting. John Currie tried many times to hire a head coach over the last week-plus, but all his efforts came up short. Then he was removed from his role as Tennessee’s AD on Friday, and Fulmer was put in his place and given command of the search.
So far, Fulmer’s search for a head coach has been much quieter and less dramatic than Currie’s. But the newly established early signing period in college football is rapidly approaching, and it’s imperative that the Vols have a coach soon.
Fulmer knows this, and if the report from Football Scoop is correct, the Vols may finally have their man within the next 24 to 36 hours.