Randy Smith: John Currie Finally Pulls The Trigger

Monday, November 13, 2017 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Well, it finally happened. After weeks of speculation regarding the future of head football coach Butch Jones, Tennessee athletic director John Currie did what many members of the Vol Nation had been wanting. He fired Coach Butch Jones. After all, a 50-17 loss at Missouri doesn't get you a contract extension. Neither does an 0-6 start in SEC play which the Vols now have. And following just two head coaches in a 32-year period, (Majors and Fulmer) Tennessee will soon be hiring a head coach for the fourth time in nine years

Butch Jones was given an opportunity to coach the Vols in their final two games of the season but he declined.
That chore on an interim basis now belongs to former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke who has spent this season coaching the team's defensive line. Both remaining games are at home beginning with LSU and ending with Vanderbilt the following  weekend. Tennessee must win both games to finish 6-6 and qualify for a bowl game, though that is not a likely scenario.  

So now the search is officially underway to hire the next guy who will be the "caretaker of Tennessee football." That's a direct quote from Butch Jones by the way. Just like "Champions of Life" and "Brick by brick." Who that person will be is anybody's guess right now. John Currie has very likely had a few people in mind for several weeks now but he's not telling anyone and he doesn't plan to make any comments publicly about the hire until the press conference announcing who it will be.

I have written and spoken about who I think should become the next head Vol. Tennessee should look no further than Starkville, Mississippi to find their new guy. Dan Mullen has drawn the interest of several schools including Florida and he is headed somewhere next season......it's just a matter of where. It may as well be Knoxville. Mullen isn't the only good choice that Currie could make. He could also hire UCF's Scott Frost or even Iowa State's Matt Campbell. Either one of those guys would make a great choice. 

Tennessee is a great job to have in college football. It is potentially a top-ten position, though like Vol teams over the last decade, it hasn't really met that potential. UT has first class facilities, a huge and passionate fan base and a recruiting budget that surpasses every other school in the SEC, including Alabama. It would be a dream job for any coach not named Saban or Meyer. John Currie simply has to find the right guy.

The right guy is out there. A good young coach with a great mind and attitude toward recruiting who doesn't mind working 350 out of 365 days a year. A coach who can be as passionate about the game of football as his fan base would be, and a coach who can take the pressure of coaching in the SEC week after week. Finding that right guy will be quite a challenge. Good luck John Currie. You'll need it.  
* * *

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer.  His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga television for more than a quarter-century. In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith. They have five grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, Mattingly, DellaMae, and CoraLee.

 






UTC Football Recognized For FCS Traditions

College football is full of traditions on campuses across the country.  No matter the size or level of play, there are certain customs on every campus that make them unique and special to the fans, student body, athletes and coaches.  The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is no different when it comes to gameday lore.  UTC begins football Saturdays with ... (click for more)

GPS Rower Invited To US Rowing National Camp

Along with 40 other girls from across the United States, GPS senior Larkin Brown  was selected to attend the US Rowing National U-19 Team Selection Camp beginning June 16 at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. The girls stayed on the campus of Connecticut College through July 9 while being put through intense workouts and tryouts. Ultimately only 19 rowers ... (click for more)

Person Killed, 2 Injured In Accident On Suck Creek Road Saturday Morning

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies and traffic investigators were on the scene of an accident that occurred at approximately  8:45 a.m.  near the 2100 block of Suck Creek Road. The accident involved two vehicles, a van and a car. Reports at this time are only preliminary, but two people sustained injuries and were transported by HCEMS to a local hospital. ... (click for more)

A Jury For 2nd Time Convicts Randall Reed Of Murdering 70-Year-Old Woman In 2011

A jury for the second time has convicted Randall Reed of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Jane Stokes in East Ridge. The verdict was returned in the courtroom of Judge Tom Greenholtz’s on Friday. The earlier verdict had been thrown out by an appeals court. Reed testified in his own behalf. The victim was murdered in her home during a robbery in 2011. ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)