The Tennessee football head coaching job is starting to look a lot like that girl who was bad in high school, but aged like milk instead of wine over the past decade or so. Per Cnnsi.com, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is now the second head coach today to reject an offer from SEC heavyweight emeritus Tennessee. Earlier today, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy opted to stay in Stillwater after entertaining overtures from the Vols.
We told you yesterday that although Strong has significant SEC roots, he was still a good bet to remain at Louisville. You can’t really blame him. Louisville is giving him a pay raise, he will have a good team coming back next year, and Louisville is moving to the ACC where they already would probably be the third best team in the league behind Florida State and Clemson.
As for the Vols, this is just another embarrassing episode for many of their fans who remember the glory days of the 1990s and early 2000s. If you told a Tennessee fan that they would be getting rejected by coaches at Louisville and Oklahoma State four full seasons after they ran Phillip Fulmer out-of-town, they may have had second thoughts about getting rid of a coach who went 152-52 in seventeen seasons at the school. Speaking of Fulmer, there are reports that he would coach at Tennessee again if he was asked to do it. Here‘s a quote from the man himself courtesy of AL.com:
“I’ve been out four years, I’ve never once said, ‘No, I’m done with coaching,'” said the 62-year-old Fulmer. “If I have the opportunity to coach at a very special place – and Tennessee is a very special place – then absolutely, I would take advantage of it. I’d probably, really quickly, put all of my staff back together, or most of them, and get back to work.”
Fulmer, 62, is not as old as you might think. Steve Spurrier is still getting the job done at South Carolina at 67. Bringing Fulmer back to right the ship while a young coordinator is groomed to eventually replace him may be the best move that Tennessee AD Dave Hart can make to placate a hungry fan base right now.