Ten days after we last posted that Tennessee was taking that winding dirt road off the map toward finding their next athletic director, it appears that the Volunteers’ search committee is still trying to find their way to their final destination.
In other words, the search is still trudging along.
Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich had his name thrown around, and appeared to be the frontrunner for the job for a while, but the recent NCAA woes at Tech looks like it’s derailed any chance Radakovich had in landing the position.
Unless he can explain his way out of how his staff “failed to protect the integrity of the investigation and violated the cooperative principle.”
Not likely, considering the last thing Tennessee wants is a guy with NCAA baggage.
The other names we’ve been hearing are Bubba Cunningham, AD of Tulsa, and Mike Thomas, AD of Cincinnati.
Former Vols quarterback and current congressman Heath Shuler may still be in the mix as well.
But another name that doesn’t require the search party to leave the state is senior associate athletic director David Blackburn, who in one instance, has been audaciously promoted by a certain ESPN blogger.
Blackburn has been with the program for 20 years, and although he’s not the head honcho like Cunningham and Thomas, he knows the ins and outs of being a Volunteer.
I don’t know how much stock Tennessee — or Parker Executive Search for that matter — is putting into hiring a “Tennessee guy”; if they’re taking this much time, then they’re clearly making sure they’ve considered all their options, which is what you want.
That, or they’re going about the process with stupendous inefficiency.