Gary Patterson is one of the best coaches in the country and has built TCU into one of the best programs in the country. He’s always been viewed as a possible candidate for bigger schools such as Florida and Tennessee.
And he did once interview with the Volunteers back in 2009. But, in a story by ESPN’s Chris Low, Patterson admitted he knew that the Volunteers would be going in a different direction. And he says that Tennessee didn’t think that he could handle the big stage.
“Tennessee didn’t think I could handle the big stage,” Patterson said. “My wife and I went to dinner with them, and I could tell they had already decided on Kiffin.”
Kiffin of course ended up bolting from Tennessee after one 7-6 season, while Patterson has since won a Rose Bowl, a Peach Bowl and has the Horned Frogs once again competing for a national championship in the Big 12, as TCU is 8-1 on the season and ranked No. 6 in the country.
Since passing on Patterson, the Volunteers are now on their third coach in Butch Jones and he seems to be on the way out as rumors swirl about his job security. The Volunteers also lost a commitment from their top player in 5-star prospect Cade Mays. Tennessee is 4-5 on the season, and winless in SEC play. The Volunteers take on Missouri this Saturday and are a double digit underdog to the Tigers.
The Volunteers and Tigers kickoff at 7:30 pm ET on the SEC Network.