After Tennessee and John Currie failed to pluck Mike Gundy away from Oklahoma State, the coaching search pivoted to N.C. State’s Dave Doeren — as you probably remember. It was a move that was not well received from Tennessee fans, who were just hours removed from having their hopes of Mike Gundy crushed.
All of this coming on the heels of the attempted Greg Schiano hire just 48 hours before.
So you’ll understand if Dave Doeren and his 34-30 record (15-25 in the ACC) didn’t exactly get Tennessee fans’ blood pumping. Regardless, Doeren seemed to be Currie’s guy — until he wasn’t.
According to documents obtained by USA Today, Currie simply stopped responding to Doeren’s agent.
After Tennessee didn’t reach a deal with Gundy, Currie exchanged messages with Doeren’s agent, Jordan Bazant.
”Let’s get this done,” Bazant wrote to Currie on Nov. 28.
Two days later, on the morning of Nov. 30, Bazant wrote: “He is fired up.”
When Currie didn’t respond, Bazant wrote: “Really need to hear from you.”
Doeren received a new deal from N.C. State later that day.
Mike Griffith of SEC Country reports further.
“I had every intention of being able to communicate and that we could still get a DD deal done while I was traveling but without an immediate answer, the negative social media assaults against him and the media news of their negotiating with NCSU, I was concerned that I needed to be in position to meet with other candidate [sic] including Coach Leach, who was in LA recruiting.”
Oddly similar to the Greg Schiano fiasco, John Currie’s choice had been met with backlash. It sounds like Currie decided to nix the whole thing and pivot once more, this time to Mike Leach.
Speaking of Leach, the documents showed Currie stating that Washington State head coach Mike Leach would take the job if offered.
Currie wrote that he had flown from North Carolina, where he was in pursuit of North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren, to California to meet with Washington State coach Mike Leach.
”Although I have not offered the job or discussed terms with him, he told me he would take the job if offered,” Currie wrote in his email. (via Blake Toppmeyer of Knox News)
At some point between Doeren and Leach, Chancellor Davenport called Currie back to Knoxville, where he was suspended and removed from the search. Phillip Fulmer was inserted in his place and Tennessee hired Jeremy Pruitt just six days later.