Greg Schiano was almost Tennessee’s next head football coach. In fact, he and then-Tennessee Athletics Director John Currie had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for him to become the next head coach at UT.
But after Vol fans, former players, and Tennessee politicians all revolted against the hire, UT officers didn’t give their signatures to the MOU. And Tennessee decided to back away from their tentative agreement with Schiano and look elsewhere for a head coach.
Schiano has stayed away from the media since the incident with Tennessee happened. But he had to face media members on Wednesday as part of the Cotton Bowl festivities, and questions about the Vols eventually came up.
And according to video of the session from 247Sports, Schiano answered those questions. Kind of.
“I’m going to speak about that whole thing at some point when it’s appropriate,” Schiano responded when asked about almost becoming the Vols’ head coach. “Right now, I don’t think it is. Right now, it’s all about this season, and the Cotton Bowl and us closing out this season the right way.
“There will be a time that’s appropriate to speak on that, and then I will.”
Schiano declined to comment further when asked if there were legal reasons why he was refraining from commenting on the situation.
“You know what, again, I’m going to refrain from speaking about it, period,” Schiano added. “Because I want all the focus to be on this football game.”
Schiano, Ohio State’s defensive coordinator, will be coaching his Buckeyes against USC in the Cotton Bowl this Friday, December 29th.
According to the released MOU, Schiano was in line to make around $4.5 annually with Tennessee on a six-year deal. What happened, instead, was that John Currie ended up suspended as UT’s AD and Phillip Fulmer took his place. Fulmer didn’t even need a week to find a head coach, and he tabbed Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to be the Vols’ next head coach for a six-year, $3.8 million annual contract.