Tennessee athletic director John Currie went from embattled to fired. So now what for the program?
Well, that went well.
Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie was supposedly a fantastic hire from Kansas State. He’s young, dynamic, and a whiz at fund raising and doing the things athletic directors are supposed to do.
But he whiffed in the one thing he needed to do as the head of athletics at the University of Tennessee – he thought he was in control.
It wasn’t that he tried hiring Greg Schiano – it was that he tried to push it through like a gigantic tax bill. He didn’t float the idea out there for public consumption, he didn’t go through the Tennessee channels to get its blessing, and he didn’t properly understand all the nuances to what that hire might mean.
And then, after that disaster, he tried to do everything the right way. He tried to play the game, and then Mike Gundy (okay, fine) turned the gig down, and then Jeff Brohm (uh, what?) reportedly said no, and then Dave Doeren (the guy who’s been a bag of meh at NC State?!) politely declined.
Just when Currie appeared to be ready to pull the plane out of the nosedive with a terrific idea in Mike Leach – nope. He lost out in the power play.
So if Phil Fulmer really and truly has the ear of the power players, what does this mean for the Tennessee coaching search?
Best guess? USC offensive coordinator and former Tennessee national championship quarterback Tee Martin. He would be one of the few guys who’d satisfy the base, and also fits into exactly what Tennessee needs – a coach who can grow into the job over the next few seasons.
At the very least, whomever gets the job will likely be a part of this whole thing fast. Tennessee needs a hire, it needs to stop being a national punching bag, and it needs to get this all in a positive direction to start the recruiting process.
Or else …