Tennessee athletic director John Currie’s reported meeting with Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden was reportedly a “procedural move” to help his perception with members of the fan base, according to SBNation‘s update of several notable college football coaching searches.
Currie, who was hired last spring, was criticized by many Vol fans for prolonging the termination of former head coach Butch Jones’ until last week.
According to 247Sports’ Grant Ramey, Tennessee athletic director John Currie made a pitch to Gruden on the coaching job in Tampa on Wednesday.
Gruden, who hasn’t coached since 2008, has long been a dream candidate for Vol fans, but has spurned the program’s coaching advances numerous times in the past.
SBNation also reports that Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano are Tennessee’s top candidates. The report confirms interim coach Brady Hoke will not be considered for the full-time job and could seek a position in the NFL.
Mullen currently holds a 69-45 (33-38 SEC) head coaching record and has led the Bulldogs to seven consecutive winning seasons.
In 2010, Mississippi State earned its first No. 1 overall ranking in program history and finished with a 10-3 (6-2 SEC) overall record, earning Mullen several coaching honors including the AP and Athlon SEC Coach of the Year awards and the Maxwell Football Club Coach of the Year award.
Schiano went 68-67 (28-48) during 11 seasons at Rutgers (2001-2011), which included six bowl game appearances in seven years. He went on to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-13 and went 11-21.