Report: Tennessee's coaching search has vetted 3 well-known coaches, including current Power 5 head coach
Three names have emerged as possible candidates to be Tennessee’s next head coach.
Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and SMU coach Sonny Dykes have been vetted for the Vols job, FootballScoop reported. At least one of those coaches and his agent have reached out to gauge interest of assistant coaches around the country in a potential opportunity to join a staff on Rocky Top.
The report noted that Fleck was among the names that sources tell FootballScoop has been identified and vetted by Parker Executive Search for the opening. Fleck in recent years has been a hot name on the coaching market as he moved from Western Michigan to Minnesota, and later led the Gophers to an 11-2 season in 2019 that included an upset of Penn State and a win against Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
That was an unprecedented season for Minnesota. The Gophers won 11 games for the first time since 1904. Minnesota also won seven Big Ten games for the first time in school history, beat two top-10 teams, and ended the season ranked No. 10.
FootballScoop also noted that Fleck’s buyout figure dropped shortly after the Big Ten’s truncated 2020 season ended by more than 50 percent. That previous $10 million tag dropped to $4.5 million when the calendar turned to 2021.
Earlier on Saturday, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Fox Sports also noted that Elliott was “high on the list” for new Athletics Director Danny White.
Dykes won the WAC Coach of the Year award in 2011 at Louisiana Tech, then went to Cal and won eight games in 2015. Recently, his teams at SMU the past two seasons have won a combined 17 games and earned back-to-back bids to the Boca Raton Bowl.