Mike Griffith and Blake Morgan Live from Calhoun’s in Knoxville after QB Club meeting
Posted by Tennessee Volunteers Insiders on Monday, November 27, 2017
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The circus-like atmosphere surrounding the Tennessee football coaching search continued on Monday, with more high-profile Vols getting pulled into what continues to be a mess.
The fallout from John Currie’s misstep catch-and-release of Greg Schiano amid fan retaliation on Sunday was seemingly at each click on social media channels and every turn in Knoxville.
Currie penned a letter to fans Monday acknowledging that Schiano was indeed “a leading candidate” for the Vols’ head-coaching position. Currie proceeded to give a detailed biography of the Ohio State defensive coordinator in what appeared to be an awkward attempt to prove he had vetted him thoroughly.
Currie concluded his letter by thanking fans for their patience in the coaching search, and saying he looks “forward to making that introduction soon.”
Meanwhile, some were speculating that Currie’s job could be in danger because of the public embarrassment the Schiano incident has caused. Many wondering how the Vols’ athletic director could have failed to anticipate the backlash associated with a coach many other FBS programs have passed on.
One of Tennessee’s most influential boosters told SEC Country that Currie’s job security is in no way an issue at this point, but by the end of Monday night, fans were making their feelings known at an event in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Currie’s strategies have come open for debate as they relate to how football money will be invested.
Currie’s drive since taking over as Tennessee athletic director on April 1 has been a $340 million plan to renovate Neyland Stadium.
But if Currie doesn’t make the right coaching hire, the Vols won’t be winning enough games to fill the seats, and the donors will not be pledging the necessary funds.
A former Tennessee administrator told SEC Country that the biggest flaw in Currie’s plan is that it will not help recruiting, and the Vols should be investing their money into other improvements that would enable the program to bring more elite players to Knoxville.
Tennessee legend Johnny Majors said Monday during an interview at Calhoun’s on the River following his Quarterback Club appearance that he believes the Vols can still recruit successfully on the national level.
As for the fan support, Majors said that simply comes down to winning football games.
“Tennessee, it’s not something that sits out there all by itself, that is more unique place because of the fan base — fan base my ass,” the Vols Hall of Fame running back and former head coach said.
“If you win you’re gonna have a fan base, and Tennessee is a good enough place to win and be successful at, and that’s been proven.”
Majors said he believes the Vols have good enough facilities and tradition to have the same sort of success recruiting nationally as it did during his tenure.
Shortly after Majors was wrapping up his dialogue along the Tennessee River, the father of Tennessee redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano took to Twitter to challenge Vols fans who objected to the Schiano hire:
Schiano — best known for his successful rebuild at Rutgers, where James Guarantano played receiver and is in the school hall of fame — reportedly offered Guarantano a scholarship when he was 6 years old.
James Guarantano, however, tweeted that “Schiano was never on my radar, and I was as surprised as anyone,” later tweeting out that his coaching short list was always Chip Kelly, Dan Mullen and Scott Frost.
Not surprising, considering all three of those coaches are viewed as quarterback-friendly offensive gurus.
According to one Tennessee booster, Currie may interview recently fired Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin for the position with the Vols.
Others, most notably ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit and former Vols players, have suggested Tennessee consider former national championship quarterback and current second-year Southern Cal offensive coordinator Tee Martin for the position.
Other young coaches still on the radar include Purdue’s Jeff Brohm and Memphis’ Mike Norvell.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe, a popular choice throughout the process, reportedly said late Monday night he has no interest in the Tennessee job.
The post WATCH: Tennessee football’s coaching search has turned circus, fallout Monday appeared first on SEC Country.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.