During the 90's and into the 2000's Tennessee football was a powerhouse in the SEC and on the national stage. Over the past decade the Vols have not been as successful. In fact it has been 10 years since Tennessee last made it to the SEC championship and 19 years since they last won it. Tennessee has also gone through three coaches since Philip Fulmer left and they have both been fairly unsuccessful in the eyes of Tennessee fans.
This week Tennessee has been the butt of a lot of jokes since they have been unsuccessful in hiring a new coach after multiple attempts. It all started with Greg Schiano on Sunday when the deal appeared to be done but after a wide spread protest of fans and alumni the University backed down at the last moment. Multiple more attempts since then and Tennessee still doesn't have a coach and as of today they have fired their Athletic Director John Currie. Many people thought that Philip Fulmer had a hand in rejecting all of these coaches in order to get Currie fired and it appears that was the case because shortly after Currie was fired, the university named Fulmer the new AD.
Could this be the solution to the problem? Tennessee fans sure hope so, but where do the vols go from here? With Fulmer now in charge there is a possibility that some of their previous targets could be interested again. While I would not consider Tennessee as a top program or a great job at the moment they have the fan base and the support to be that type of program again one day. It will be a tough situation here but I think they have a few options.
I think one option they could go with is to just name Brady Hoke as the Interim Coach for the next year. This wouldn't be a popular choice but he does have head coaching experience and with many of the good coaches in this years class gone they could start over next year with a fresh group of candidates.
Another choice they could make which I think would be the best choice long term is to get a coach with a good recruiting history but may not have the on field success and bring him in for a year or two and if things don't work out then let him go and they have some talent at least.
The final option that Tennessee could make is go all out and try to find a coach that the believe can have long term success but is under the radar and would take a few years to get going. I think this would be hard because you never know what you are going to get and if you waste 3-4 years and he never gets to that level you wasted that time. If they are able to get a coach like that it would probably be a coordinator for a large school now or a head coach at one of the smaller D-1 schools.
No matter what way Tennessee goes I am sure that we will find out very soon and the Tennessee faithful will be sure to let everyone know their opinions. The biggest challenge Tennessee has is the fact that the East is on the rise again and if they don't move quickly they could be the new South Carolina of old where on a good year they win 7 games and are happy just to make a bowl game.