All of Vol Nation is eager to know who will become the next full-time head coach at Tennessee (Kevin Steele is currently the interim coach in Knoxville) but before that decision can be made, the program needs an athletic director with Phillip Fulmer no longer filling that role on Rocky Top.

While Tennessee has not officially announced any candidates to be the school’s next AD, ECU AD Jon Gilbert and UAB AD Mark Ingram are the two names most associated with the opening in Knoxville.

Both men previously worked in the athletic department at Tennessee under former AD Dave Hart.

Now comes word from Stephen Igoe, who covers ECU for 247Sports, that Gilbert will not be Tennessee’s next AD.

“Sources: ECU athletics director Jon Gilbert informed interim chancellor Ron Mitchelson on Wednesday that he is not involved and will not be involved in the AD search at Tennessee,” Igoe shared on Thursday morning.

Read into this what you will, but if Gilbert isn’t in the running, that could mean Tennessee is closing in on its next AD hire — something that is expected to take place sooner rather than later.