It has now been sixteen days since Butch Jones was fired following a blowout loss to Missouri. Sixteen days for Tennessee administrators to make a call, with plenty of names on the docket, on who will be the next head coach at Tennessee. Sixteen days in, and things could not be more confusing in Knoxville.
On Sunday, it had looked like former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was all set to become the next head coach of Tennessee football before a ton of backlash from fans and politicians alike forced John Currie to pull out of the deal hours after hit the airwaves.
By Tuesday, there was some real optimism that Tennessee had lured Mike Gundy away from his alma mater at Oklahoma State for the same job. Gundy ultimately decided to stay in Stillwater, while SMU’s Chad Morris and Auburn’s Kevin Steele were thought to be the focus of the coaching search that night.
On Wednesday morning, the search looked to be officially over when reports began to fly that Purdue’s Jeff Brohm had “agreed” to a deal with John Currie to take the head coaching job. By the afternoon however, Brohm appeared to have been preparing for a new contract with the Boilermakers.
According to a report from Football Scoop on Wednesday, with Brohm no longer being a viable option, Tennessee administrators could be making their move on NC State’s Dave Doeren.
The chatter from coaches across the land over the past two hours has been that Jeff Brohm is more likely to agree to a new contract at Purdue than to jump to Tennessee at this time.
Working off the assumption that is likely, which we’re told it is, sources with knowledge of Tennessee’s plans tell FootballScoop the Vols intend to pivot to NC State head coach Dave Doeren. In five seasons at NC State, Doeren has posted a 31-29 regular season record (wins per year: 3, 7, 7, 6, 8).
ESPN’s Chris Low stated via twitter that his sources were also indicating a move from Tennessee onto Doeren following Brohm’s decision to stay in West Lafayette.
No deal was reached between Tennessee and Purdue's Jeff Brohm, and Vols have now turned their attention to N.C. State's Dave Doeren.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) November 29, 2017
If the sources here prove true, Doeren is now sixth name in as many days to be attached to the Tennessee coaching search. It is also a name that may not excite the fanbase, especially having been followed by guys like Gundy and Brohm.
Doeren has served as the head coach at NC State since 2013, having previously spent two seasons in the same position at Northern Illinois. There was some speculation that Doeren was on the hot seat in Raleigh heading into his fifth season, but has led the Wolfpack to an 8-4 mark and a second place ranking the ACC Atlantic division.
There is no doubt that fans are getting more and more frustrated with the current hiring process of first year Athletic Director John Currie, especially when a coach has a less than stellar overall record of 31-29 at a Power 5 program. It will interesting see over the next couple of days (or hours) to see how this story develops and if the last few days are an indication, it will be a wild ride.