Tennessee did what had been expected for weeks on Sunday morning when the school announced the firing of Derek Dooley effective immediately.
Now that the coaching position is officially vacant, now athletic director Dave Hart can go about finding the next coach of the Volunteers who will be responsible for bringing the former SEC east power back to prominence after a tumultuous past few seasons.
Ever since the school parted ways with Philip Fulmer four seasons ago the school had the Lane Kiffin one-year fiasco and three years of Dooley who seemingly got worse every year he was in Knoxville.
With three coaches in the last five seasons and now what will be four coaches in the last six seasons with the next hire, Hart must be sure to establish continuity in the program and find a long-term solution to the Volunteers problems.
One possible option I speculated about before Dooley’s firing became official was former NFL head coach and current Monday Night Football analyst, Jon Gruden, which would be a homerun of a hire for the program.
Admittedly, this is a long shot and Volunteer fans should not hold their breath for “Chucky.”
However, one coach that would be far more attainable is Clemson offensive coordinator, Chad Morris, who is leading the fourth most prolific scoring offense in the nation at 44.6 points per game for the 10-1 Tigers.
Operating a balanced attack that features a top-ten passing attack and a rushing attack that produces more than 200 yards per game is the perfect blend that would give the elite defenses in the SEC headaches trying to slow down.
Clemson faces South Carolina this weekend, if Morris’ offense is able to pile on the points vs. the Gamecocks great defense, then Hart should get Morris on the phone immediately.
Morris would be a far more affordable candidate than a current or former head coach would demand and with his offensive mind could bring Tennessee back to a place of prominence.
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt
Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.