The latest twist in Tennessee’s saga of a search for a new athletic director certainly is an intriguing one.
The possibility of former Volunteers football coach Phillip Fulmer becoming the university’s athletic director gained traction this past weekend, and ESPN on Monday reported that Fulmer was a “prime candidate” to replace the outgoing Dave Hart.
When reached for comment by ESPN’s Chris Low, Fulmer neither addressed the athletic director job nor ruled himself out as a candidate, according to the report.
“Since I was 18 years old, UT’s best interests have always been my interest,” Fulmer told ESPN. “I want what is best for UT. (New chancellor) Dr. (Beverly) Davenport has laid out a clear process, and we have to respect the time and her vision to complete that process.”
USA Today also reported Fulmer’s emergence as a viable candidate.
Tennessee’s search process, according to USA Today, has been “murky at best and highly political,” and now “a group of influential boosters have been working behind the scenes to help install” Fulmer as the new athletic director, the national newspaper said.
One can only hope for the resurrection of donut jokes, so I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here. Fulmer has no previous experience as an athletic director, but at Tennessee, I’m not sure he could do any worse in certain regards than the last two guys he would succeed in the position. Certainly, he would usher in a new relaxed relationship with the local constabulary.
But all falls short of the single best take on his potential hire that I saw yesterday, which would be this.
Now that’s an area where Fulmer has experience.