Swing and miss.
In simple terms, that is probably the best way to describe the Tennessee Volunteers coaching search at the moment. But just like the home run hitter who strikes out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th, now is not the time to panic-just time to regroup.
The Volunteers hold one of the most storied traditions in the Southeastern Conference. The Tennessee fan base is as passionate as any and the cathedral in Knoxville named after General Neyland is one of the biggest in the country. Tennessee is a school that can win and win big.
However no one has been winning big lately.
Tennessee is down, yes, but now is not the time to panic after three of the top targets to fill the vacancy have said thanks, but no thanks. No, panic is what put Tennessee in this position in the first place.
The thought of not being able to keep up with the Jones’ put then Athletic Director Mike Hamilton into a tailspin forcing out one of the program’s most winningest coaches(Phil Fulmer) in favor of Lane Kiffin, who was just looking for a stepping stone. Then less than one year later, Kiffin was gone, and so was any sense of stability in Knoxville.
Hamilton rushed to make a hire, eager to settle the rough waters the Tennessee program was enduring, settling on Derek Dooley. While he looked the part, he never made the win column look any better to the tune of a 15-21 record.
Now is the time to learn from past experiences-Tennessee can not afford to get this hire wrong.