There's no truth in a coaching search until there's a podium, but several local and national outlets tonight have put Tennessee's quest for a new basketball coach in a specific direction: Louisiana Tech's Michael White.
Gary Parrish reported it tonight, with echoes from both VolQuest and GoVols247. This does not mean the search is over, though Parrish's report mentioned the Vols' flirtation with "A-listers" didn't find any mutual attraction.
White played for Ole Miss in the mid-90s then served as an assistant for the Rebels from 2004-2011. He took over at Louisiana Tech for the 2011-12 season. The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since 1991 and have only five all-time appearances. They were 12-20 before White took over and have since gone 18-16 (6-8 WAC), 27-7 (16-2 WAC Co-Champs), and 29-8 (13-3 C-USA Co-Champs). Losses in conference tournaments have sent the Bulldogs to the NIT in the last two years, meaning White has a strikingly similar resume to Cuonzo Martin when he came to Knoxville.
White is 37 years old and just signed a six-year extension for $600,000 per year. That's also the amount of his buyout, meaning the Vols - who are owed $1.3 million from Cal for Cuonzo's buyout - could certainly give him a raise without significantly raising the basketball coaching budget. Make of that what you will. Either way, if Parrish's report is correct the Vols will be taking a chance on someone without a proven track record with this hire.
We'll keep an eye on the story and the search as it develops.