The Vols’ search for a new head football coach hasn’t gone exactly as planned. Butch Jones was fired on November 12th as Tennessee’s head coach, and Tennessee has had several near hires in that time. But thus far, Tennessee still doesn’t have a head coach.
Not only that, but Tennessee has made the unprecedented move of changing athletics directors mid-search as well. After John Currie failed to bring in a head coach and by all accounts was botching the search, he was suspended last Friday from his duties. Former Vol head coach Phillip Fulmer was given the job instead, and now he’s believed to have the search nearly finished after less than a week on the job.
But though Fulmer’s job on the search has gone much more smoothly thus far than Currie’s, that doesn’t erase the mess Tennessee’s search has been. And it’s been evident to everyone, even the president of the NCAA.
According to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, Emmert stated that “when a school isn’t in alignment with all of its key leaders on an important personnel hire, ‘Then you get Tennessee.'”
Emmert has been the NCAA president since November of 2010. He was previously the president of the University of Washington from 2004-10 and was the chancellor of LSU from 1999-2004. Emmert’s words may seem harsh, but there’s truth in them as well. The Vols started their search for a head coach weeks earlier than many schools such as Florida State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Arkansas. Yet all those schools either already have their coach or are about to close in on their guy.
The Vols’ search has been arduous and convoluted, but it does appear it’s about to come to a close. Reports have it that Fulmer is finishing up his interviews and is expected to have a decision made as early as tonight.