KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee officially is in the market for a football coach after firing Butch Jones on Sunday.
Will it be the older veteran coach to guide the Vols to another level, a young up-and-comer ready to prove himself on the biggest stage or possibly Jon Gruden?
Tennessee athletic director John Currie gave some insight Sunday into what he is looking for in the Vols’ next coach.
“Certainly, all of our searches will start with integrity and a commitment to doing things the right way,” Currie said. “If you look at our program and in the areas of particular improvement of our program, under Coach Jones’ leadership, you see the APR, the involvement of our student-athletes in our community and all of those things — those are certainly prerequisites. Certainly, we expect our coach to have the dynamics that would enable him to lead us to where we know Tennessee football can and should be. Our coach needs to know what that looks like.”
The integrity comment could shrink the pool of potential candidates right off the bat. This seems to eliminate the chances of someone like Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin or Louisville’s Bobby Petrino from consideration.
Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s previous run-in with the NCAA might be a holdup for the Vols administration as well. The NCAA slapped Kelly with an 18-month show-cause penalty for recruiting violations.
Tennessee might want to go after a bigger name, too. A splashy hire would help bring the Vols back into national relevance quicker, similarly to Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. This would suggest the elimination, at least early on, of names such as Central Florida’s Scott Frost and Memphis’ Mike Norvell.
Don’t expect to hear much from Currie now the coaching search is underway in Knoxville. He likely won’t make a statement until a hire has been made.
Check out a Facebook Live below of SEC Country reporters Mike Griffith and Blake Morgan discussing potential hires.