Urnge top tier

Supposedly, this is where Danny White has set his sights on replacing Jeremy Pruitt:

Multiple college football sources confirmed to FootballScoop Saturday that Fleck, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and SMU head coach Sonny Dykes are among those coaches being vetted for the Tennessee job. At least one of those coaches and his agent have reached out to gauge interest of assistant coaches around the country in a potential opportunity to join a staff on Rocky Top.

Color me a little underwhelmed.  First of all, considering the situation, I marvel that UT would consider hiring another assistant coach.  Sure, Elliott is widely respected, but so was Chad Morris and look how that turned out.  Speaking of Morris, Tennessee wants to look at his successor at SMU?  Fine by me.  As for Fleck, he’s a quirky dude who, as the linked article notes, has never remained at one program longer than four years.  I’m not exactly sure the Tennessee football program can be turned around that quickly.

All in all, I wonder if the situation in Knoxville is so dire this group is the best White can summon, or if he’s juking everyone out while he’s chasing someone better under the radar.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

35 responses to “Urnge top tier

  1. spur21

    I think White was an excellent hire unfortunately for him the lights are off in Vol land. White is in a very dark room holding nothing more than a kitchen match as he searches.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Until the NCAA situation becomes clearer (have to assume White has to be honest with candidates about it), I wouldn’t want to go close to that job without a 5-7 year contract and a monster buyout.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. theotherdoug

    If PJ Fleck is a good fit then he’d a solid hire. As for the other two, Elliot and Dykes, I gotta ask if Monken would be a better hire?


  4. gastr1

    But PJ Fleck worked under…Greg Schiano. Can he handle the press conference?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Derek

    Fleck is on his second head job. The first being 4 seasons at Western Michigan. The “he never sticks around very long” angle is lost on me.

    I’d be more focused on the fact he won over ten games at both places.

    13-1 at WMU and 11-2 at Minnesota ain’t bad.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Russ

      I agree. I think Fleck is a pretty good coach but his slogans and shtick will rub people the wrong way if he doesn’t win immediately, and he won’t. Tennessee is in too deep of a hole to win anytime soon.

      Liked by 3 people

    • junkyardawg41

      Your point is well made. I would just point out that Butch Jones also sported similar success. (Central Michigan and then Cincinnati) I would caveat that Fleck’s recruiting abilities showed in better and better performance every year he was there. I just don’t know how a guy coming from growing up, playing and then coaching his entire life in the far north can make the inroads necessary to build a competitive team in the south (with or without sanctions). There are outliers who have done it I am not sure if he is one. (Whoever goes there is going to have to find some diamonds at QB in the transfer portal)


      • Fleck is a terrific recruiter—he’s brought some pretty impressive talent to Minneapolis, which is probably an even harder place to do that than Knoxville—and a guy whose players love him. But he’s a young guy who hasn’t produced consistently yet at the P5 level—other than his 11–2 season in 2019, he’s 15–17 with the Gophers). So I don’t know that he’s the kind of guy I’d put in charge of such a massive rebuilding job at a place like Tennessee, where—the past decade notwithstanding—they consider themselves a powerhouse and feel they deserve automatic success no matter what.


  6. Terry McCullers

    By looking at their track record they are sure to screw this up to. Man it’s great to be a Dawg!


  7. siskey

    Elliot could be an excellent choice. One of the big power schools is going to luck into hiring the first superstar African American coach and that may be Tennessee’s only way back to the top re recruiting. That doesn’t mean that Elliot is definitely that guy but he could be.
    Dykes is not too inspiring. He has done well at SMU but I see him as a better Dooley in the SEC.


  8. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I don’t know much about any of these guys except what you folks are saying. Underwhelmed? Overwhelmed? Neither – I don’t care who UT hires as long as we continue to beat them. More and more I think hiring coaches is a crap shoot. I do know this: no one with a serious track record will touch this job, so Danny is just looking for someone that might be able to keep things from sinking further. Pruitt could coach, but he couldn’t manage. It’s too bad for UT (and to some extent, the SEC in general) that there is no such thing as Chapter 11 for football teams.


  9. argondawg

    When White was in his press conference he kept talking about integrity and I kept thinking no way this guy hires Freeze. Honestly I think Freeze would turn it around faster than anyone and also probably get them as close to the death penalty as the NCAA would dole out these days.


    • HirsuteDawg

      No way I’d use Honestly and Freeze in the same sentence. You are right though, he would have them deeper in the soup in no time.


    • If they hired Sleeze in the aftermath of this scandal, the NCAA probably would invoke the death penalty if Tennessee so much as put a tub of cream cheese out with bagels on a recruiting weekend.


  10. Greg

    Haven’t heard Luke Fickell’s name in a while….but I guess that is where Butch came from and I believe Fickell was interviewing for the Eagles job.

    Not many good HS football players in the state of Tennessee, but Ohio has a few of them. They could do worse, just not sure if there is any interest from both parties.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If they go with Elliot, that hurts Auburn with a Lake’s offseason continuity and Sunshine’s backup has to get used to a new OC before playing us. So I think that’s who they should go with. None are likely to win much there, but Elliot hurts Clemson a bit too.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. 69Dawg

    Either way it looks like Danny wants an offensive guy as HC. He is at least aware you can’t stop any good O team any more. His UCF coaches sure could score. I guess he will not be going for the UCF coach. Elliot would be a good pick for recruiting. Good that the NCAA thing is going to be biting his butt in his efforts to get a first rate coach.


  13. Ozam

    Many of us here from long business careers can tell you, by way of analogy, that the skills necessary to be an expert in a particular area (ex. accounting or legal) do not necessarily translate well to managing an entire organization. There are so many other facets to being a college football head coach than running a good offense or defense.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Hogbody Spradlin

    Look at the bright side. He hasn’t stumbled on to anybody we should be afraid of . . . yet.


  15. ZeroPOINTzero

    Vols saving $12mm (possibly) by looking for dirt appears to be a Pyrrhic victory at best. I really hope Pruitt claws back a good chunk of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ASEF

    I can’t believe White would take the UT job without some confidence he already had a good lead on a good hire.


  17. Scotty King

    Where Rush Probst when ya need him?

    Liked by 1 person