KNOXVILLE — Tennessee ended the Butch Jones era a day after losing at Missouri 50-17.
Now the conversation officially changes to: Who will become the Tennessee’s next head football coach?
Here’s a look at a wish list:
Jon Gruden (Monday Night Football analyst)
The Super Bowl champion head coach who started his coaching career at UT as a graduate assistant under Johnny Majors is who most Vols fans want to become the next head coach.
Chip Kelly (ESPN analyst)
The former Oregon head coach who is awaiting his next job after not panning out in the NFL is a prime candidate to return in 2018. Can Tennessee outduel the likes of Florida and others and land a big name hire in Kelly?
Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic HC)
The former Tennessee head coach is back in good graces with a lot of Tennessee fans due to the past eight seasons of mediocre football since his 2009 departure. But do not count on a Kiffin return; not everyone in the athletics department is on good standing with the current FAU head coach.
Scott Frost (UCF HC)
Frost was the offensive coordinator for three seasons at Oregon following being Kelly’s wide receivers coach in Eugene. Frost is in his second season at UCF and currently undefeated, but there is concern that Nebraska could be his landing spot since he played quarterback for the Cornhuskers. Florida also is reportedly interested.
Dan Mullen (Mississippi State HC)
Mullen has built a stable program this decade at Mississippi State, but he might want to escape the SEC West and compete for championships.
Mike Norvell (Memphis HC)
Norvell has continued the winning ways at Memphis in Justin Fuente’s footsteps. There would be little skepticism in him not being interested in the Tennessee job.
Jeff Brohm (Purdue HC)
Brohm falls under the Bobby Petrino coaching tree and is an offensive-minded coach. Petrino has never won a conference championship without Brohm on his staff.
Kyle Whittingham (Utah HC)
Whittingham has kept the Utah program on stable grounds after taking over for Urban Meyer in 2004. Whittingham, like Mullen, might want to take the next step and coach at a historic program.
David Cutcliffe (Duke HC)
Cutcliffe was a longtime offensive coordinator and assistant coach at Tennessee and would be a good fit to guide the UT program back to competing for championships. He’s been happy at Duke and resisted overtures before.
Brent Venables (Clemson DC)
Venables has been a great fit under Dabo Swinney in creating a championship foundation at Clemson. If the Vols want to go in the defensive route, Venable would be ideal.