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Fulmer says he would have ‘jumped all over’ Arkansas job

Phillip Fulmer AP

Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer can officially say he’s had a Hall of Fame career. As you’ve probably read by now, Fulmer was one of three coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame earlier today. It’s a great honor for a deserving person.

That said, Fulmer’s coaching days may not be over. Rumored to have been in contact with Arkansas for a brief time following the dismissal of Bobby Petrino, Fulmer told 104.5 The Zone that he would have “jumped all over” the Razorbacks gig had it been offered to him.

Instead, it went to former assistant John L. Smith, who has agreed to a 10-month contract to guide the BCS-ready Razorbacks through the 2012 season. After that? Athletic director Jeff Long says all options will be evaluated, but one would have to believe Smith is a candidate already.

If Long goes in another direction, though, expect Fulmer’s name to appear in the rumor mill once again.

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15 Responses to “Fulmer says he would have ‘jumped all over’ Arkansas job”
  1. rolltide510 says: May 15, 2012 9:54 PM

    It looks like Arkansas is going to win the Fulmer Cup even without Fulmer’s guidance.

  2. klandon52 says: May 15, 2012 9:59 PM

    Stating the obvious: Petrino is a dummy, John L. Smith a loony son of a gun, and Fulmer is jonesing for that job like Charlie Sheen is jonesing for a good time

  3. thegamecocker says: May 15, 2012 10:26 PM

    Philip Fulmer deserves another shot at a major institution. He was a great coach at UT. That school has not been the same since banishing Coach Fulmer. He’d be an upgrade at Clemson. Wonder how Fat Brad Scott is doing? Pig should be ashamed of himself.

  4. bradentonbuc says: May 15, 2012 11:56 PM

    Flew up to GSP from Ft Myers with Sammy Watkins and his sitter Brad “ain’t no candy ketchup” Scott yesterday. No pill popping reported. Watkins did seem to be a really nice kid though. Clempson must be the problem.

  5. phillyb6 says: May 16, 2012 6:57 AM

    man I would hate to be that arkansas job

  6. jimbo75025 says: May 16, 2012 9:01 AM

    thegamecocker says:May 15, 2012 10:26 PM

    Philip Fulmer deserves another shot at a major institution. He was a great coach at UT. That school has not been the same since banishing Coach Fulmer. He’d be an upgrade at Clemson. Wonder how Fat Brad Scott is doing? Pig should be ashamed of himself.
    ____________

    I am a UT grad and while I respect what Fulmer did, it was obvious things were deteriorating quickly near the end there. Starting a season in the top 5 and not making a bowl is pretty bad. The downslide started really when Cutcliffe left (the second time) for Duke but the Chavis defenses were (and at LSU still are) beasts and kept UT relevant for another few years.

    If Fulmer could “put the band back together” in a sense and promise getting Cutcliffe from Duke as OC and stealing Chavis from LSU as DC (never would happen), then any program would be a fool to pass that team over. Without that package and just Fulmer though-be very careful. How Chavis has never been offered a HC gig at a relevant school is mind boggling. Not sure if just due to personal tastes or what but the man has pretty much ran a top 10 defense every year for the last two decades running.

  7. halo81 says: May 16, 2012 9:10 AM

    Not an SEC fan at all, meaning that I don’t cheer for a particular school. That said, watching SEC football is so awesome it’s not even funny.

    Arkansas hiring John L. Smith was just laughable to me. I wanted to cry because they have so much potential down there and the man was an absolute freaking buffoon at Michigan State. His press conferences literally made your embarrassed by proxy.

    I’d have taken Fulmer over him, but I thought they’d try to snag they’re old OC back. Go after a guy like Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. Arkansas is turning into a bit of a power house – great creative.

    This was a huge step backward.

    Just my opinion. Arkansas fans may disagree.

    Any friends I have that are fans of other SEC schools loved the hire. That’s never a good sign. But hey, I’m sure Brian Kelly will be available in a year or two the way things are going at Notre Dame. He turned down Tennessee before they hired Dooley, so there you go.

  8. jimbo75025 says: May 16, 2012 9:36 AM

    But hey, I’m sure Brian Kelly will be available in a year or two the way things are going at Notre Dame. He turned down Tennessee before they hired Dooley, so there you go.
    __________

    Kelly was hired by ND before Kiffen even left UT so this could not be correct. If memory serves, Kelly ditched his Cincy team right after the regular season (Dec) and Kiffen left sometime in January after Pete Carroll was hired by the Seahawks after the conclusion of the NFL season.

  9. gotampabay52 says: May 16, 2012 10:10 AM

    Am a season ticket holder for UT Fulmer is not a good pick I wouldn’t take him as a coach for my team. He was good then but he wouldn’t be a good coach now

  10. wizardofhogz says: May 16, 2012 12:29 PM

    halo81…

    I get your comments from the perspective of an outsider. But understand that JLS’s hire was for THIS year only. Those of us close to the program can see why the decision was made. Smith had been on staff the last 3 years and knew ALL of the players and coaches, and was well liked. With a team like this that has all the key offensive components coming back (and a new D. coordinator Arkansas fans are excited about), all that was needed from a Head Coach THIS season was familiarity and NO change in the offensive scheme. There is absolutely no need to reinvent this wheel.

    In that context, Smith makes great sense. He may hold fantasies of being extended – I’d expect nothing less from a competitor. But the reality is that a new Head Coach for the long term will be hired next Nov/Dec. Smith is not the long term answer, so those other SEC fans can snicker all they want.

  11. hoophog says: May 16, 2012 4:32 PM

    I was going to say exactly what Whizardofhogz has already stated. John L Smith was hired just for this one year…and for all the right reasons.

    Look, he does not have a great track record as a head coach, but THAT was not why he was hired. Just as Wizard mentioned, John brings:

    A) Cohesiveness and a strong connection to both the existing line-up of coaches and players. &

    B) A strong familiarity to the offensive scheme that Coach Bobby Petrino implemented, of which this offense runs extremely well and will continue to do in this next year.

    The talent and potential of this team is so high (with the ALL-SEC QB and Running back as nucleus) that a promising year may have been squandered to make that choice (now) for a new head coach.

    What Ben Kercheval may not realize (and people don’t know) is that Coach John L Smith had a 1 year contract drawn up for his return to Weber State. It seems to be his own personal opinion that he only wanted one more year of coaching before he ‘officially’ retires. This is also why he was a great fit for this current situation. Of course things change (see Brett Favre), but it appears that Coach Smith only wants one year.

    Meanwhile, the Phil Fulmer angle is interesting, but word has it that Long already has the new coach hired…or at least in the batting circle. Compound this rumor with the swell that focused on the time John Gruden spent in Fayetteville shortly after Petrino’s dismissal…even (publicly) having dinner with Jeff Long. This just after John Daly’s and Gruden’s Tweets about the Arkansas job. It has cause Arkansas fans to say Hmmmmmmmmm?!?!?

    But know this. If you hear ANY Razorback fan say they have inside information regarding the next coach, pull the rug out from under them and give them a swift BS to the head. Hog fans know that posers will be posing AND that Jeff Long keeps his cards so close to the vest that not even the Who’s Who of wannabees around the program can break the news before Jeff Long steps up to the podium.

    Speculation is fun, but Jeff Long leaks NOTHING!

    Go Hogs!!!

  12. volfan2012 says: May 16, 2012 6:38 PM

    Fulmer won 10 games and went to the SEC championship games less than a year before he was fired. Phil wasn’t even given a full season to implement his new offense with Clawson after Cutcliffe left. Fulmer would be an incredible hire for Arkansas and a long list of other schools. Somehow, my fellow Vol fans claim Fulmer was “mediocre” and needed to go. So UT fired a 152-52 hall of fame head coach for a sub .500 coach we have now. The sad thing is most of those sheep still can’t admit that UT fired him too soon and the football program would be far ahead of where it is today.

  13. thegamecocker says: May 16, 2012 8:03 PM

    @volfan2012

    Agree completely. Coach Fulmer was fired way before he deserved to be.

  14. jimbo75025 says: May 17, 2012 11:15 AM

    volfan2012 says:May 16, 2012 6:38 PM

    Phil wasn’t even given a full season to implement his new offense with Clawson after Cutcliffe left. …. Somehow, my fellow Vol fans claim Fulmer was “mediocre” and needed to go. So UT fired a 152-52 hall of fame head coach for a sub .500 coach we have now. The sad thing is most of those sheep still can’t admit that UT fired him too soon and the football program would be far ahead of where it is today.

    ————-
    I am torn on whether letting Fulmer go at that juncture was the right or wrong call.

    On one hand, he did have one bad year, but it was a doozy of a bad year. That loss to Wyoming almost made me throw up.

    As I referenced in another post though-it was more just the overall decline-recruiting, etc. I think the Clawson hire was really what doomed him in the end. Would things be better than they are now if Fulmer had stayed? Who knows-maybe UT would have laid another egg the next season and was canned then we would be one year back from where we are now.

    No point crying over spoiled milk now. I just want to be able to wear my UT shirt on Saturdays again without being ashamed.

  15. volfan2012 says: May 17, 2012 11:57 AM

    I always like to remind people that the Wyoming loss was right after Fulmer was let go. There was so much emotion from coaches and players that it was a doomed game no matter who we were playing. I just don’t think a great coach gets bad all the sudden. The teams in the SEC got better and it became a much more competitive league. I think time is already telling that a huge mistake was made letting him go. I know a “Fulmer hater” who actually told me when Fulmer was fired that “winning 10 games isn’t a big deal anymore.” Fulmer won so much so fast that he actually created that mentality in people around Knoxville. His immense success actually ended up hurting him in the end. That’s a shame.

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