KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee has interest in SMU coach Chad Morris and Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, according to a source with direct knowledge of the Vols’ coaching search.
The Vols didn’t plan to waste any time moving on from Mike Gundy after the Oklahoma State coach turned down what the source described as “an aggressive offer” on Tuesday night.
The source said Tennessee has not yet interviewed Morris, but Vols representatives placed calls to other prospective candidates to gauge interest even before Gundy informed Tennessee of his decision.
Morris, 48, makes $2.1 million in his third year leading the Mustangs’ program, according to the USA Today coaches salary database. Morris is a Texas native and Texas A&M graduate who spent 16 years coaching in the high school ranks. He has improved SMU’s record each season, from 2-10 in 2015, to 5-7 in 2016 and 7-5 this season.
Chad Morris’ career record as a head coach:
Brohm makes $3.3 million and has a $15.8 million buyout after one season coaching at Purdue, also according to USA Today. The former Louisville quarterback and one-time Tennessee football recruit is 36-16 as a head coach, having led Western Kentucky to seasons of 8-5, 12-2 and 10-3. Brohm won Conference USA titles with the Hilltoppers in 2015 and 2016 before being hired away by Purdue, where he is 6-6 this season.
Jeff Brohm’s career record as a head coach:
Vols athletic director John Currie is intent on getting the hire done soon. Indeed, Currie’s timetable is being pushed by the new early Signing Day that begins on Dec. 20.
It has also become evident that the Haslam family — Tennessee’s flagship boosters — are prepared to provide the financial means to protect the Vols’ football pride.
Currie has pitched a $340 million renovation to Neyland Stadium since taking his position on April 1, but there have been questions about that plan, because it doesn’t direct resources directly to recruiting.