College football reporter Brett McMurphy reported Friday that Currie was prepared to name Washington State's Mike Leach the new head coach at Tennessee, but that Fulmer had been trying to stop that from happening in an effort to take the AD position.
Butch Jones was sacked as coach after a blowout loss to Missouri; Tennessee finished its season 4-8 (0-8 in SEC play). Worth reported on Twitter Thursday that Leach "is working on a deal to become the next coach at Tennessee", and that "a deal could be announced Friday". That deal fell through amid a public backlash. Currie had also courted Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Duke's David Cutcliffe, NC State's Dave Doeren, Purdue's Jeff Brohm and new Florida coach Dan Mullen. Before Leach took over as head coach in 2012, the Cougars hadn't had a winning season since 2003 when they went 10-3. The Vols were winless in Southeastern Conference competition for the first time since the league formed in 1933. Jones had a 34-27 record in five seasons at Tennessee. People chanted "Fire Currie" on a handful of occasions Monday night during a wrestling show on campus and again Wednesday night during the Tennessee men's basketball team's victory over Mercer.
We've heard from multiple sources there is a lot of in-fighting, finger-pointing and back-stabbing taking place amongst Tennessee brass. This marks Tennessee's fourth coaching search since Fulmer's exit.
And to think it was less than a year ago that Currie's hiring was lauded as a "great call", "great hire", "the smart thing" and "a very good get".
Fulmer was reportedly a favorite of a group of top boosters, who wanted to bring back one of the football program's winningest coaches to lead the entire athletic department.
Tennessee announced in June that Fulmer had been named a special adviser for community, athletics and university relations.
Hamilton forced out Fulmer as football coach in 2008.