Why is Tennessee football suddenly so toxic?
With a stadium that seats more than 100,000 fans and a tradition that goes back decades and includes a national championship, how come the University of Tennessee can’t find anyone to take over its football program? Maybe the Vols should have kept Butch Jones, who had two top 25 teams in Knoxville.
Perhaps coaches from David Cutcliffe to Dave Doeren want want no part of that multi-million-dollar paying job because a social media backlash and a hundred protesters outside of the UT athletic department made the school rescind its offer to Greg Schiano, who had been vetted cleanly for a month by the Tennessee athletic director and search firm.
Nothing turned up on Schiano except for a few unsubstantiated rumors and a rap that he was a tough guy with his players. So what? Butch Jones was, and remember Phil Fulmer and Johnny Majors, both tough guys who coached Tennessee?
After Doeren said no to stay at N.C. State for million-dollar bump and contract extension, Tennessee is now talking to fired Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, and supposedly some defensive coach with the New York Jets who happens to be from the Volunteer state. Maybe I should chime in with a few suggestions.
Mack Brown is from Tennessee and knows the recruiting area from his days at Carolina. Hire Mack as the CEO, tell him to bring his along his designator successor and let him stay a few years until he is 70 and has the program humming again.
How about Peyton Manning, the former Vols’ All-American and hero who seems bored doing cheesy commercials for Nationwide? Maybe he could get his benched brother Eli to come as offensive coordinator, and hire dad Archie as senior advisor.
The mad hatter, Les Miles, is available and he coached at LSU in the SEC West division, which is like another conference with Alabama and Auburn, too. Actually, the SEC East is an easier path to the championship game with Georgia the only threat.
Then there is Steve Spurrier, who could put on his visor for a third SEC East team after coaching at Florida and South Carolina. Spurrier was the funniest when cracking on the Vols. Remember when the visor revealed why Manning returned for his senior season there? He came back so he could be the first UT quarterback to play in four straight Citrus Bowls. Yep, hire him.