You didn’t even have to wait for the Tennessee job to officially hit the market on Sunday to know there are all kinds of possible names being thrown around as the next Vols head coach. It’s been going on for a couple of years now, even while Butch Jones was taking Tennessee to bowl games and winning those postseason games.
The two most common names have likely been Jon Gruden and Chip Kelly, which are always fun to talk about for a brief passing moment. Gruden is unlikely to return to coaching as a college coach when he could hand-pick any NFL job he desired, and that’s if he ever decides to leave the ESPN booth. Kelly, the former head coach of the Oregon Ducks, may be a more likely candidate to get back in the game sooner. And he may even be a legitimate candidate for the Tennessee job.
Or perhaps we are overlooking the ESPN employees that could be the best possible candidate for the Tennessee job. Rick Neuheisel dropped a name out of nowhere as a “perfect choice” for Tennessee on the radio this morning; former Texas and UNC head coach Mack Brown.
There are reasons why some refer to this time of year as the silly season, and this is one of the reasons. Sure, Brown getting back into coaching has been an idea floated around for a while now, but never for a job quite of this magnitude. And while Brown may be a well-liked coach who would command a certain level of respect if he ever were to hop back in the game, it would be praised and lauded by many.
But mark my words, Mack Brown will not be the next head coach at Tennessee. Not a chance. If Brown ever did get back into collegiate athletics, he would be far better suited for a role as an Athletics Director or an ambassador to help with fundraising. If he couldn’t keep the good vibes going at Texas, going to coach Tennessee isn’t the first step back to coaching you want to take.