Out of everything that has come out on Thursday night regarding the Tennessee coaching search this past offseason, this one might be the strangest.
When John Currie, the former athletic director at Tennessee, was trying to hire Greg Schiano as the next Volunteers football coach, he pleaded with a national college football writer, Dan Wolken, to help sway the public opinion of the hire.
That text where an AD calls diehard UT supporters wacko and seeks the help of a national sports writer to help with a positive narrative. pic.twitter.com/puy0HczLdD
— Joel Barker (@joelabarker) March 23, 2018
Currie forwards an email to Wolken, who writes for USA Today, that he received from a fan who was dismayed at the Schiano hire, calling Currie a “sicko.”
Wolken, for his part, agreed to help Currie out with the narrative, saying, “I’ll help. Not sure they’ll listen. LOL. I know he a very good coach and is about the right stuff.”
Schiano was ultimately not hired by Tennessee because of public outrage by both fans and boosters. Currie would be fired in December less than a year after being hired to run the athletic department.
It was reported earlier on Thursday that Mike Leach, the current coach at Washington State, was ready to accept the same position at Tennessee, while Chip Kelly, who would end up accepting the position at UCLA, was never a true candidate, but his name was placed by his agent to be interested in the position.
The Volunteers ended up hiring Jeremy Pruitt, who spent the last two seasons as defensive coordinator under Nick Saban at Alabama.