KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s athletic department is in chaos, a botched football coaching search leading to the firing of the Vols’ athletic director.
SEC Country has confirmed John Currie will no longer be the athletic director, and Hall of Fame coach Phillip Fulmer is among the candidates to assume the interim position.
Fulmer, who was hired by UT as special advisor to the president last June, was a candidate for the athletic director position before Currie was hired for the athletic director position in February.
ESPN first reported Currie was fired on Friday morning after negotiations for a potential coaching deal with Washington State coach Mike Leach in Los Angeles.
Currie, along with booster Jimmy Haslam and legendary QB Peyton Manning, was at the point of the coaching search.
Currie lost the trust of the fan base on Sunday when word leaked they were in final negotiations to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.
At that point, Fulmer had not been involved in the coaching search as an advisor or recruiter.
Fulmer’s lack of involvement and Tennessee’s lack of communication — or consideration for former Vols’ QB and current Southern Cal offensive coordinator Tee Martin — became points of contention among other major boosters and former players as the week progressed.
The frustration was evident on social media channels and Knoxville sporting events.
Fans chanted for Currie to be a fired at a Monday night WWE event and the Vols’ Wednesday night men’s basketball game.
Currie publicly initiated the coaching search on Nov. 12, firing Butch Jones in the same press conference.
Currie said there would be no search firm involved and that he was confident he had the relationships to carry out an effective search.
After Sunday’s Schiano fiasco, Tennessee was turned down by Duke coach David Cutcliffe, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, Purdue coach Jeff Brohm and North Carolina State Dave Doeren.
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