The search for the next Tennessee head coach has been long, meandering and ridiculed but it appears it finally has a clear direction.
A report from ESPN posted on Wednesday afternoon says that new Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer is bringing in three SEC defensive coordinators as part of a second round of interviews for the job, a sign a hire could be coming somewhat soon. The report lists Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele (a Tennessee alum), Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as the three candidates brought back for another interview with Fulmer and the school’s chancellor in New York.
USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin also spoke with his former head coach in an extensive phone interview, the report added.
It remains to be seen if any of the three SEC coordinators will actually be the hire at the end of the day — especially with all of them involved in playoff or New Year’s Six games — but at least you can read into what Fulmer is looking for a little with three defensive-minded candidates being brought back for a second go-around. Many of the Vols brass is in the Big Apple this week as part of the annual National Football Foundation festivities and the induction of Peyton Manning into the College Football Hall of Fame.
We’re almost at the one month mark since the school fired Butch Jones in mid-November. Since then, Tennessee has replaced John Currie with Fulmer as athletic director and then reportedly been turned down by Mike Leach, Dave Doeren, Kevin Sumlin, Jeff Brohm, Mike Gundy, David Cutcliffe, and, of course, Greg Schiano.
Either way, another day nets the Vols another spin of the coaching carousel wheel in Rocky Top.