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Vols zeroing in on a Strong hire?

Louisville v Rutgers Getty Images

With three of the four coaching vacancies in the SEC already filled, the lone remaining coach-less school in that conference could be on the verge of a hire that would trump them all.

According to ESPN.com SEC blogger Chris Low, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong “has emerged as the front-runner to be the next head coach at Tennessee.”  Low stressed in his report that nothing has been finalized, and Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has already gone on record publicly as stating that he would do whatever it takes to retain Strong, up to and including making him the highest-paid head coach at the FBS level.

That honor currently belongs to Alabama’s Nick Saban at nearly $5.5 million in 2012.

Strong has been connect to numerous vacancies in the past month, including the one at Auburn that will be filled by Gus Malzahn.  In the wake of that speculation in late November, what was described as an angry Strong vehemently denied the rumors to several media out lets.

“I didn’t interview with Auburn, I have a job,” the coach said at the time.

Less than a week later, Strong was asked Monday about the speculation still surrounding him and his coaching future.

“I will say that at the right time,” Strong said in answering the question of whether he will be the coach at Louisville next season.

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy has also been connected to the UT job.

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26 Responses to “Vols zeroing in on a Strong hire?”
  1. kozbee says: Dec 4, 2012 7:14 PM

    Vols are zeroing in on Charlie Strong.Goodluck Tenn.

  2. gotampabay52 says: Dec 4, 2012 7:25 PM

    Gundy i will renew my season tickefs Strong i will not renew and support this city team go back to my alumi Go Canes

  3. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 4, 2012 7:27 PM

    Smokescreen. I just dont see this happening, and I sure dont understand why it would.

  4. stoopwitzer says: Dec 4, 2012 7:34 PM

    Gotampabay52… Just curious, did they offer an introduction to writing course at Miami, while you attended?

  5. dredddog says: Dec 4, 2012 7:38 PM

    Hope you come to Knoxville Charlie. This defense needs kicked in the a$$.

  6. vols84 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:10 PM

    Who knows what is going on. Hart has run this search like the CIA, except less information.

  7. wabbitslayer says: Dec 4, 2012 8:11 PM

    So, in order to keep him, Louisville is willing to pay Strong more than ‘Bama pays Saban?

    Uh, yeah, right. Sure.

  8. Deb says: Dec 4, 2012 8:24 PM

    Does the football program bring in that much revenue for Louisville? You’re really going to make a Big East coach the highest-paid guy in NCAA football? Really? That just seems over the top. Is that what Strong truly wants? To be the highest-paid guy at a substandard (sorry) program? I’d rather take a paycut and play in the Big Leagues. But maybe that’s just me.

  9. wvuandsteelers says: Dec 4, 2012 8:34 PM

    If anybody pays Charlie Strong $5.5 million/year, they need their head examined.

  10. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 4, 2012 8:42 PM

    Deb, Louisville is moving to the ACC. Pretty funny though since ESPN ranked the Big East higher in their conference power rankings.

  11. jason1214 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:44 PM

    Well, the previous two comments cleared up my questions. RTR

  12. js20011041 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:49 PM

    Deb, these coaches aren’t just spending the next four years at these places. This is a home (at least hopefully) for the long term and a place to raise a family. Considering the opportunity to coach in the SEC is only one of many factors considered. If Charlie Strong and his family are happy at Louisville and he has a chance to make a large sum of money, why wouldn’t he make that choice?

  13. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 9:31 PM

    I could see Fedora landing in Tennessee. In fact, the longer out takes to hire a coach, the more likely he does.

  14. truetarheelfan says: Dec 4, 2012 9:43 PM

    Sorry but Fedora wont go UNC will raise his salary and up his bonuses. As far as athletic revenue goes UNC is in the top 10 so that means sec that money won’t be an option.

  15. Deb says: Dec 4, 2012 9:54 PM

    @js20011041 …

    You make an excellent point. But if he’s happy in Louisville, they shouldn’t have to pay him Saban money to keep him. However, in the football business, most ambitious coaches are looking to move up–and Tennessee is a move up from Louisville.

    @hound …

    A move to the ACC would better explain their willingness to spend that kind of money. But still … Saban money? I wouldn’t pay Saban that amount if he hadn’t already delivered the goods.

  16. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 4, 2012 10:09 PM

    I actually havent seen any reports of UL planning to offer Saban money. 3.75 mil is what I read, and that seems realistic to keep the guy, but he’s not going anywhere anyway.

  17. Deb says: Dec 4, 2012 10:31 PM

    I’d just like to see the Vols make a good hire and become competitive again. But the Steelers are the only people who seem to have mastered the formula for hiring great coaches on every attempt–at least since 1969.

  18. thefiesty1 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:41 PM

    Gundy isn’t leaving OkieState anytime soon. His “I’m a MAN” stunt may have scared everyone away. Go Strong Tennessee.

  19. doc53 says: Dec 4, 2012 11:07 PM

    Not sure Tennessee hiring Strong would trump Bielema and Malzahn.

  20. kattykathy says: Dec 5, 2012 6:49 AM

    Louisville cant pay Strong as much as Saban.
    They also can’t pay their players as much either.

    Cue the attacks from “classy” Deb……………

  21. normtide says: Dec 5, 2012 7:48 AM

    Wow, who would think that someone with katty in her name would be so….. katty. I rarely go to PFT, but it sounds like this one has had her ass handed to her a few times. Guess I’m happy to see the stereotype torch being carried so strong.

  22. blitz4848 says: Dec 5, 2012 9:39 AM

    $$$$ aside
    Charlie Strong =

    Class act
    Top notch Defensive mind (needed in SEC)
    Great recruiter with long time connections in Florida—especially S.Florida.
    Plus he will bring in a “strong” OC since that is his area of weakness!!!

    Don’t sell Strong short—proven winner at Florida and he has built a solid foundation at Louisville.

    Louisville won’t and can’t pay “Saban $$$” but that was the AD’s way of saying how much Strong has meant to the Cardinal program in such a short time.

    Great hire IF Tennessee can pull it off!!!

  23. blueinok says: Dec 5, 2012 9:50 AM

    I don’t see Gundy leaving Okie State. T Boone has his back – and he writes the checks.

  24. Deb says: Dec 5, 2012 1:05 PM

    @normtide …

    You’re very perceptive. It was weird. She just popped up one day and started attacking–trying to get attention by piggybacking on another woman. Guys from both my team and hers told me not to waste my keystrokes on her. Guess she got bored and decided to hunt me down over here. So far, she hasn’t done anything but call me out. No indication that she even follows college ball or any particular team. Sad.

  25. normtide says: Dec 5, 2012 1:20 PM

    That’s usually a reflection of ones everyday life and mentality. When you have to find someone online to badger, you probably don’t have anyone around to badger, or at least no one that will let you.

  26. Deb says: Dec 5, 2012 1:33 PM

    Maybe that explains it. I just want to talk football, and other people are looking for someone to bash :)

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