UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton let it be known what his working philosophy is:
“Most of you know that I have this feeling that you should always be prepared as an AD for any change that comes about. It is inevitable from time to time and that allowed us to get on the move very quickly and we are down that road. I don’t like to put too many timetables on anything of this nature, but everybody knows that we are about to hit a live recruiting period again and this is an absolutely critical time for our program as it relates to wrapping up recruiting and approaching signing day. We will work very diligently to bring closure to this process as quickly as possible so that we can bring the right head coach here for our student-athletes, for our university and for our fans.”
Feel better? I will when this is all over. I think. Depends, doesn’t it?
So, here’s not what makes sense, necessarily, but what’s being mentioned, as of this evening, by folks who should know (better)…
Will Muschamp – Texas Defensive Coordinator
Supposedly Mike Hamilton’s Number One target. Tony Barnhart says it is clear that Hamilton has set his sights on Muschamp, will pay him big money, and will tell Will that Mac Brown ain’t quitting any time soon, but that Muschamp’s agent will have all of the leverage. UT can’t be too picky if they are in a hurry. Apparently Mike Hamilton is in a huge hurry, saying that he intends to name a new coach by the end of the weekend. Chris Low of ESPN says Tennessee can’t to go much past this weekend without a coach because the recruiting period is set to go live again Sunday. Low names Muschamp as Hamilton’s bullseye. Money talks. And, Will just might be getting sick and tired of Mack Brown’s whiny voice. But, has anybody considered that Muschamp, if hired, might just quit and go back to Texas to replace Brown when he retires? Could we all handle that scenario again?
Troy Calhoun – Air Force Head Coach
Calhoun just completed his third season at Air Force, and was considered the runner-up for the Tennessee job next to Kiffin last season. I wonder if he knows that Tennessee’s drug policy calls for four positive tests before a player is thrown out of the program? I’ll bet that’s not the policy in Colorado Springs. I don’t see this working out…
David Cutcliffe – Duke Head Coach
Don’t laugh. Chris Low of ESPN says that if Muschamp balks, then the former Vol coach might be the guy, apparently Hamilton is interested, and Peyton Manning would be an advocate. Heather Dinich of ESPN calls Cutcliffe the “Anti-Kiffin.” Heather, I’ll bet we can come up with about 70 other coaches that fit that moniker. Hamilton may be serious, but this would be the wrong choice. Hiring a very young coach from Duke might be OK, but not Cutcliffe. No.
Kippy Brown – Tennessee Assistant
UT’s newest assistant coach could retain it’s ‘current model’ of stuffing its staff with NFL coaches. And, Kippy would certainly be a breath of fresh air. Something in the air tells me that the next coach is right under Hamilton’s nose, but he doesn’t want him because he needs to “make a splash.” The last time Hamilton made a splash-hire, all the water came out of the pool and was refilled with slime.
Phil Fulmer – North Shore Management Company
Mike Hamilton says Fulmer isn’t in the running. Tony Barnhart suggests that Mike Hamilton may be taken out of the decision-making process, leading to Fulmer becoming the new head coach, or the new Athletic Director.
Chris Low adds Houston Nutt (Ole Miss), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), and Randy Edsall (Connecticut) to those mentioned above. Some other names I’ll just throw out there that I’ve seen this afternoon/evening from random orifices include: Gary Patterson (TCU), Butch Davis (North Carolina), Chris Peterson (Boise State), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Mike Leach, Bobby Petrino (Arkansas), John Chavis (LSU), and Jim Leavitt. Jon Gruden is not a candidate, reportedly having turned down Mike Hamilton’s advances Tuesday night, just like he did before Lane Kiffin was hired before the 2009 season. Gruden will contine his work with ESPN. Good.
Obviously, what this all means is that our next coach will be someone who is not listed on this post. Obviously. After all, I’ve relied in large part on the professionals for the current candidate list.