Tennessee fans have their eyes on a big-name hire to replace coach Butch Jones, who was fired on Sunday. Among them are Jon Gruden (the favorite), Chip Kelly and Bob Stoops.
The Vols want a splashy hire to rejuvenate interest in the program after a rough season that will likely see them miss a bowl game.
However, according to New York Daily News reporter Manish Mehta, an unlikely candidate could be emerging in the Vols’ job search. According to the New York Jets beat writer, Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers has drawn interest from Tennessee:
The Daily News has learned that the University of Tennessee has expressed interest in Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers to be its next head coach, according to sources.
That would be a surprising hire, as Rodgers has been on no one’s radar up until now. However, the Jets’ defense has been solid this year, even as the offense has struggled to put points on the board.
Rodgers used to play at Tennessee, so it’s not too far-fetched to see why he’s getting consideration. Rodgers was a Tennessee defensive lineman/linebacker from 1988 to 1991, playing for two SEC championship teams.
He served as the Arkansas defensive line coach in 2002 and has been on NFL coaching staffs ever since, taking over as the Jets’ defensive coordinator in 2015.