Tumultuous coaching search leads to AD John Currie's dismissal

Jonathan Hernandez
December 2, 2017

Phillip Fulmer will take over as Tennessee athletic director, the university announced Friday in a release. "He has been a student-athlete, a head coach, and a father of UT student-athletes", Davenport said.

The Hall of Famer coached the Volunteers to a 1998 national title. That deal fell through amid a public backlash.

Currie flew back earlier Friday to Knoxville after interviewing Washington State coach Mike Leach on Thursday in Los Angeles.

A source told Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman that Tennessee reached out to Brohm and North Carolina State's Dave Doeren. Before Leach took over as head coach in 2012, the Cougars hadn't had a winning season since 2003 when they went 10-3. Jones had a 34-27 record in five seasons at Tennessee. The Vols were winless in Southeastern Conference competition for the first time since the league formed in 1933.

News of Leach's interest in the Tennessee job came just a day after Cougfan.com reported that a WSU recruit in Colorado had been assured by Leach in person that he was staying put. People chanted "Fire Currie" on a handful of occasions Monday night during a wrestling show on campus and again Wednesday night during the Tennessee men's basketball team's victory over Mercer. If he were to leave Purdue before December 5, Brohm would owe $5 million to the university, according to ESPN. Especially with Tennessee being an SEC program.

FootballScoop on Thursday named Grinch one of seven finalists for Defensive Coordinator of the Year. Before coming to Kansas State, he worked at Tennessee for about a decade in various capacities, most recently as a chief deputy and adviser to former athletic director Mike Hamilton. FootballScoop reported that Leach "seems to have a very good shot at being offered the position" and that the WSU coach "would accept the position if offered".

Davenport said that Fulmer will continue the Vols football coach search beginning immediately. The former Tennessee AD was prepared to hire Leach to become the Volunteers' coach, according to Brett McMurphy, but "university officials wouldn't allow him to do do".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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