The national media’s obsession with Greg Schiano is.... weird. The former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator had a laundry list of reasons why he shouldn’t have been Tennessee’s next head coach, but most of the national media isn’t interested in any of that logic.
Tennessee ended up coming out of this mess with Phillip Fulmer as the new AD, ousting Haslam family puppet John Currie in the process. Fulmer hired Jeremy Pruitt, a guy with deep southern ties and one of the most well respected recruiters in the country.
He’s a clear upgrade over Greg Schiano from a recruiting standpoint, which has proven to be the name of the game in College Football. Is it a risk? Sure. There’s no guarantee Pruitt can handle the day to day rigors of running a football program. But from an upside standpoint, there’s no comparison.
In the end, Tennessee ended up with an inferior coach, an overmatched athletic director and setting a new standard for a disastrous coaching search. The hires that former athletic director John Currie was on the cusp of making – Greg Schiano and Mike Leach – are exponentially more accomplished and better qualified for the Tennessee job. But Phil Fulmer’s power play ended up with him in control as athletic director and Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as coach. Pruitt is just inexperienced enough that Fulmer will be able to keep sticking his nose in the program, which is what he’s wanted since he was run out of the job nearly a decade ago. (The classic clueless Fulmer moment was treating the press conference to dismiss Currie like he’d just been hired as coach again, as his tone – including introducing his family in attendance – showed a stunning lack of self-awareness.) Opposing SEC athletic directors, by the way, are giddy to have Fulmer in charge, as his administrative acumen presents little threat to the rest of the league. Expect Tennessee’s glory to remain faded.
Did I miss something here with Thamel and Fulmer? Sure sounds like there’s an axe to grind here. I get questioning Fulmer’s experience, but this seems like a little much.