The CheckerBoard

The place for inside information on the Tennessee Vols


Here is my opinion on the coaching board (long)

  • 1. Jon Gruden - This is one is going to cost a lot of money and is probably a real long shot as this point but there are some reasons for including him in this list. If it was really a control issue or an assistant coach budget issue, I think we are at the point where we can overlook those issues. Also, there are still reports of things going on behind the scenes that keeps him in play. For example, I heard last night that this was a reason that the South Pittsburg coach resigned. Admittedly, I am very skeptical of all these reports but sometimes where there is smoke there is fire.

    2. Mike Gundy - Technically, he has not publicly stated he is staying at OK State like Strong did this morning. Is he still in play? You have to make sure that it is done before you move forward if you really wanted him in the first place. This could have been a situation where he was given a time frame to make a decision and just wasn't comfortable making the decision in that time frame.

    3. Larry Fedora - This is one you have to make sure you don't get turned down publicly. Yes, he has told recruits that he is staying at UNC, however as Wes pointed out, that was a very weak statement by his AD regarding his job status. He wouldn't be the first or last coach to lie to a recruit. Also, I realize that he doesn't want to job jump after just one year. But once again, he wouldn't be the first and he wouldn't be the last to do this.

    4. Al Golden - He is a very good football coach and recruiter, who realizes that his program is about to get killed by the NCAA for things that he and his staff did not do. Yes, he has his warts but he also made Temple decent and has guided Miami thru the last 2 years while this NCAA cloud was going on. He was also was supposedly lied to about the whole situation during the interview process. Can you imagine how hard it was to recruit while other coaches are saying "They are going to hit Miami harder than they hit Penn State"?

    5. Gary Patterson/Chris Petersen/Jim Mora/Bo Pellini/Dana Holgorsen - I grouped these guys together because I think they all fall into the same category. All seem to be happy with their present situation and are probably not going anywhere. These are talks that HAVE to be very quiet and it can never be leaked that you talked to them unless they have signed the contract. We can't take anymore Charlie Strong type rejections.
    Phillip Fulmer - This will definitely fire up some of the fan base. You have to make sure that he can secure John Chavis (reports are that he would), plus you have to make sure he has a good OC. This could be Chaney or someone else. I think if he is hired Fulmer brings Tee Martin back, keeps Graham, Pittman, and maybe Hinshaw and this make up one heck of a recruiting staff. The one issue you would have is would Tennessee be labeled like Kansas State in that only one coach can be successful there? Yes, I know about the pre-Fulmer history but people under the age of 40 don't care about this and this is your recruiting base and potential future head coaches.

    6. Butch Davis - You definitely can't say the guy can't coach or recruit. Has he been cleared by the NCAA? That is the biggest question and will determine if he stays on this or any other list. If he has, he would be a great hire and would have tremendous "curb appeal".

    7. Greg Roman - He obviously wants the job and would bring NFL experience to the position that recruits love to hear about. The primary knock on him has been that Hart said head coaching experience was very important in this search. I could be mistaken but he didnt actually rule it out. Plus, I think that you could easily spin NFL assistant coaching that would alleviate any fears regarding previous head coach experience.

    This is the point where I really think the search has stopped by so the next few will be a little negative but for valid reasons.

    8. Butch Jones - I could be completely wrong on this one. However, the impression I get is that he has gotten alot of mileage off of Brian Kelly's players. He also seems to rub people the wrong way for whatever reason. I also notice that he is getting alot of interest from the Kentucky's and Colorado's fo the world...which UT hasn't fallen to yet.

    9. Bobby Petrino - Yes, he is a good coach. The problem isn't that he cheated on his wife. He also publicly flirted with Auburn while at Louisville, quit on his Falcons team in the middle of the season, and lied to his AD at Arkansas about the hiring of Jessica Dorrell and the whole situation. As Dan Wolken reported, an AD in NYC this week said "How can any AD hire a guy who has lied to his previous employer?". Think about that as a business owner, if you knew that a guy you were interviewing lied to his previous boss mulitiple times...would you hire him? Also, I know for a fact there are a lot of fans who would cancel their season tickets if he was hired. Yes, if he won they might renew but at this time the university can't afford to lose ticket sales.

    10. Jim Tressel - Once again, good football coach but too much baggage. If UT wasn't on probation, you might consider him a little more. If you hire him, you know the NCAA will be all over the campus with investigations. Let's also not forget that he has to sit out the first 5 games and his first team will not be bowl-eligiible in his first year.

    So there you have it...just one guys opinion about some possible choices.

    This post was edited by Seanbt 16 months ago

  • I see Gruden as a no go. Gundy is staying at Oklahoma State. I think Fedora would have a hard time leaving UNC after 1 year, but $$$ does speak volumes. With all the smoke around Golden earlier in the search, if he was a serious option he would have been pursued more. I think Pelini could be an option, Peterson and Patterson and Mora are extreme long shots.

    I think the options from here are Fulmer, Roman, Pelini are safe bets.

    If we are going to extremely overpay someone, I would rather pay the buyout of O'Brien at Penn State, JMO

  • From an outsider's perspective, start at #3 and continue down the list. #1 and #2 are completely out of the question.

  • 1. Told us no.
    2. Told us no.
    3. Told us no.
    4. What makes you think he's that good? Turned Temple into a decent, but not winning program.
    5. Have good positions; no reason to think any of them would not decline.
    6. Maybe. NCAA issues would be reason for pause.
    7. Not sure NFL assistant coach/position coaching is really an adequate prep for recruiting, coaching on the NCAA level. I don't know of any that have successfully made the jump (but they may be out there.)
    8. May be best option at this point.
    9. Hell no.
    10. Not possible.