Tennessee AD Danny White discusses his plan for hiring next Volunteers football coach
If you base the timeline for Tennessee’s upcoming football hire on the quick turnaround it took the school to land Danny White, the Vols could have a coach by Monday.
While it may be unreasonable to expect a hire that quickly, White has made it clear that was his first priority upon his arrival on Rocky Top was to hire a new football coach.
That being said, Tennessee’s AD has a proven method for hiring successful coaches and it all starts with reaching out to the players that are already entrenched in the program.
When asked for a timeline to make the hire, White noted that he must first receive feedback from the players on the football team.
“I’m meeting with the football team later this afternoon. I have never started a coaching search without hearing from the student-athletes,” White shared. “They know a whole lot about what’s going on. What’s going on well, what’s not going on well.”
White then shared that he plans to ask the team to vote privately on captains and openly discuss their concerns or issues with those selected players. He then plans to meet with the selected captains to get a better sense of the pulse of the team.
“That’s helped me in every search that I’ve led and I think it’s been a big part of why the vast majority, if not all, of those searches have led to a better than expected first year,” White added. “Which allows a new leader to get some momentum early on.”
Will Tennessee interim coach Kevin Steele be a candidate for the head coaching position?
White isn’t ready to rule out any candidate for the job.
“I’m scheduled to visit with Kevin later this afternoon. Everyone is a candidate, everyone in this room is a candidate at this point,” White continued. “We have not narrowed — (White then pointed at a reporter) email me your stuff! We have not narrowed this thing down at all.
“We are working through it but we are going to work quickly and I think there is a way, just as I witnessed seeing how quickly our leadership moved, in moving us a lot quicker than we ever thought we would in terms of making decisions.”
Lastly on the search, the new Tennessee AD was asked if the next coach requires head coaching experience to land the job.
“We are going to be expansive in our search to make sure we turn over every single stone and look for, again, what makes this place distinctive? We’d love to excite our fan base with whatever the hire is, and hopefully we do,” he concluded.