The Tennessee Volunteers fired head coach Derek Dooley and the search for a replacement is immediately underway.
When looking for a man to join the head coaching ranks in the Southeastern Conference, the Vols will be looking to add a big name that will drum up excitement and help with recruiting in the nation’s toughest conference.
A few names have begun to surface in regards to the opening and, as you would expect, it is loaded with stars from the college ranks along with a certain former NFL coach.
The names that have been linked to Tennessee’s head coaching search are former NFL coach Jon Gruden, Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher, former college football player and Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong, Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden and current Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville, who is very familiar with the SEC after head coaching stints at Ole Miss and Auburn.
Gruden is the leading candidate for the Tennessee job and is the most commonly linked name to the opening. He was in Tennessee last week for an extended period of time, though the nature of the visit has not been cleared up in the media.
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach won Super Bowl XXXVII with the team and has an overall NFL head coaching record of 100-85.
Gruden is also familiar with the program. He was a graduate assistant for the Vols during the 1985-1986 season.
In the SEC, you need to have star power to compete. There is no one that could bring a bigger buzz to the team than a guy like Gruden. Whether or not the team lands him is another story.
One thing we do know for certain — the Vols are looking to make a splash with their next head coach and appears that they will accomplish their goal.