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Gee…finding a replacement for Fulmer is going to be harder than what anyone expected

Posted by Thomas the Terrible on November 7, 2008

praisejesushn8As coaches line up to say no to Tennessee, I’m sure some fans are wondering why considering a job has not been offered to them. That’s really a simple question to answer. Whether you like it or not, in 10 years Fulmer will be revered as a legend. He’s already an institution and no body wants to be the guy to follow a legend. Just ask Ron Zook about that.

Steve God Spurrier, Butch Davis & David Cutcliff have all publicly said that they are not interested in the Tennessee coaching position.

It’s even gone so far that Charlie Sexton, the agent for both Fulmer and Butch Davis, has publicly said that Davis was staying put. Of course anything can happen and money talks.

I’m sure most of you know that Lane Kiffin was in Knoxville recently and was spotted playing golf with a prominent Tennessee booster. I hate to remind people of this but it means nothing.

ESPN’s PTI stated that John Gruden is rumored to be in Knoxville this weekend. Again even it that was true it means nothing.

Mike Hamilton the Tennessee AD stated yesterday that:

“I think it’s more important that you hire the right person than you put a timeframe on it,” Hamilton said on Thursday. “I do think that we’ll efficiently and expeditiously tie it up as quickly as possible but I’m more concerned about the who than how long.”

He is right of course but it’s also funny how on Monday he stated a new coach would be hired within a matter of weeks.

The bottom line is honestly the Tennessee job isn’t as appealing as some fans seem to think. It may not even be as appealing as some of the other jobs that are open this year.

How attractive is it to a candidate knowing Tennessee just fired a coach who has been there for 17 years and only had 2 bad seasons? The candidates can’t help but wonder what if they go 6-6 or 7-5; will they be the next one to go?

Whoever takes the Washington job will be held as great coach for going 6-6.

Though Clemson might have a stadium the size of ours they have a great fan base and a softer schedule that should propel them into a BCS bowl. Tennessee, on the other hand, plays in the SEC East which is the gold standard of college football.

Look at the requirements someone would need to have in order to be the new coach:

  • Leadership skills beyond norm: Must be battle tested to be a leader in the toughest conference in the country.
  • Recruiter: Enough of talking about not having the richest recruiting grounds. Must have energy and the ability to sell UT in any environment. UT used to recruit well even in GA & FL. If you have a winning program the recruits will come to UT
  • Character: This is without question the biggest part of replacing Fulmer that will be tough. We do not need the NCAA breathing down our necks, we do not want to continue to read about our players in the crime section more often than we do in the sports section. None of the win at all cost. We want a coach who leads by example and will not accept the tough discipline necessary to win in this conference.
  • Thinks outside the box: I know this is used too much these days but it is true more so today in college football than ever. The teams that are winning have expanded their play calling to become less predictable and keep there opposition guessing.
  • Passion: Must be passionate not only about winning but winning at UT. Needs to understand the tradition and how passionate one of if not the largest fan base is concerning their football team.
  • Thick Skinned: Face it if you coach here and you don’t come out the gate running you will be judged harshly. Beating GA, UF, UA, LSU, & AU is not an option. It is necessary in order to win the SEC and that is the low bar for this job. The high bar is of course a National Championship. A goal we believe we should at least be considered to have a chance at every year.

changesWith other coaching opportunities out there like Syracuse, Washington & whatever else might come open, you can see why finding a coach is a lot harder than you think.

Soon UT fans will forget the last few disappointing seasons and remember Fulmer in the big picture. The guy spent his life at UT and bled Orange. That is rare in these days of coaching carousels and contract buyouts.

As Tennessee fans we expect a lot from the coach and quite possibly we expect too much. Potential coaching candidates understand all this. So stop the talk about bringing in Butch Davis or Bob Stoops.

What are reasonable expectations for the Tennessee program, anyway?

Who knows maybe we will land Kiffin, Muschamp or even Gruden, but realize this, it’s possible they aren’t the right candidate to begin with.

Also realize that history shows us that whenever a coach like Fulmer is replaced it takes years to find the right replacement. Look how long Alabama had to wait before Stallings got there and look how long they waited after Stallings left before they found Saban.

Nebraska, Texas A&M are still searching for that coach. Oklahoma replaced Switzer with Gary Gibbs and Georgia replaced Dooley with Ray Goff.

Whatever the case may be one thing is certain, I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes a Mike Hamilton right now.

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7 Responses to “Gee…finding a replacement for Fulmer is going to be harder than what anyone expected”

  1. VolFaninChatt said

    Uhh, no actual candidate has turned the job down, and that includes Gruden. What a crap, Fulmerite blog entry.

  2. VolFaninChatt said

    And what’s your logic in saying that it means nothing that there have reportedly been a couple of potentials playing golf in Knoxville. Please back that up with some reason, Vickie.

    Additionally, I couldn’t care less that Failmer “bleeds orange” and I suspect every other logical fan doesn’t either.

  3. “Uhh, no actual candidate has turned the job down, and that includes Gruden. What a crap, Fulmerite blog entry.”

    Uhhh no they just publicly say I’m not interested. Like Cutcliff and Spurrier did. I mean if that isn’t turning it down then what is.

    As for as Fulmerite you should read the other entries because if you had you would realize how much of fool that comment makes you look.

    See here & here as examples.

    “And what’s your logic in saying that it means nothing that there have reportedly been a couple of potentials playing golf in Knoxville. Please back that up with some reason, Vickie.”

    Just what it says. It means NOTHING. Why do you think it means anything? First it’s a rumor and second it has not been confirmed. It’s report stating a blogger wrote it in his blog. Does that mean anything? If it does to you then I have some “beach” front property to sell you.

  4. zigzag said

    VolFannin, sip a couple of Rocky Tops, take 10mg of Valium and get some rest. You’ve let this shit get way too serious.

  5. bobby werples said

    Gruden stated today he was not interested in the job. Cutcliffe and Spurrier have also said the same.
    Let’s look at this,
    1) Of course Cutcliffe would say no, he and Fulmer are great friends. In addition Cutcliffe may have the easiest place in the world to coach football. Duke is a basketball school they don’t expect their football team to be good.
    One more thing UT did not offer Cutcliffe the job.

    2) Spurrier said he would have taken the job 5 years ago. I would have taken him then, but I wouldn’t want him now, like Fulmer the game appears to be passing him by. In addition. UT did not offer Spurrier the job.

    3)Gruden, he is my top pick. He said publically today he was staying in Tampa. Saban said the same thing about Miami. Hang on Chuckie, UT did not offer you a job either.

    4)Butch Davis, he and Fulmer have the same agent so there is probably some talk going on. Davis said he is not interested, could he be posturing for more dollars? Once again, UT did not offer Butchie Boy the job either.

    Get the connection, UT hasn’t offered the job to anyone yet, how is it this article states coaches are turning UT down? Sounds like the author is in the tank much like the MSM was for Obama

  6. Well Bobby I never stated that UT offered the job to any of those people now did I? Nevertheless they all managed to say no. I wonder why. I also stated that things can change because money talks…funny how you didn’t mention that.

    Even though the job hasn’t been offered to these coaches, which I never said it was, I merely pointed out that they said “no” to the idea (for now).

    Please show me oh not so Bright Bobby where I said any of these coaches were offered a job. You must be reading into things like the rumor that Lane was playing golf with a booster…typical fan. Very typical…

  7. Darrell said

    Don’t forget the ‘third’ requirement: “Needs to be able to bridge the gap between pro-Fulmer and anti-Fulmer boosters”.

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