Randy Smith: John Currie Finally Pulls The Trigger

Monday, November 13, 2017 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Well, it finally happened. After weeks of speculation regarding the future of head football coach Butch Jones, Tennessee athletic director John Currie did what many members of the Vol Nation had been wanting. He fired Coach Butch Jones. After all, a 50-17 loss at Missouri doesn't get you a contract extension. Neither does an 0-6 start in SEC play which the Vols now have. And following just two head coaches in a 32-year period, (Majors and Fulmer) Tennessee will soon be hiring a head coach for the fourth time in nine years

Butch Jones was given an opportunity to coach the Vols in their final two games of the season but he declined.
That chore on an interim basis now belongs to former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke who has spent this season coaching the team's defensive line. Both remaining games are at home beginning with LSU and ending with Vanderbilt the following  weekend. Tennessee must win both games to finish 6-6 and qualify for a bowl game, though that is not a likely scenario.  

So now the search is officially underway to hire the next guy who will be the "caretaker of Tennessee football." That's a direct quote from Butch Jones by the way. Just like "Champions of Life" and "Brick by brick." Who that person will be is anybody's guess right now. John Currie has very likely had a few people in mind for several weeks now but he's not telling anyone and he doesn't plan to make any comments publicly about the hire until the press conference announcing who it will be.

I have written and spoken about who I think should become the next head Vol. Tennessee should look no further than Starkville, Mississippi to find their new guy. Dan Mullen has drawn the interest of several schools including Florida and he is headed somewhere next season......it's just a matter of where. It may as well be Knoxville. Mullen isn't the only good choice that Currie could make. He could also hire UCF's Scott Frost or even Iowa State's Matt Campbell. Either one of those guys would make a great choice. 

Tennessee is a great job to have in college football. It is potentially a top-ten position, though like Vol teams over the last decade, it hasn't really met that potential. UT has first class facilities, a huge and passionate fan base and a recruiting budget that surpasses every other school in the SEC, including Alabama. It would be a dream job for any coach not named Saban or Meyer. John Currie simply has to find the right guy.

The right guy is out there. A good young coach with a great mind and attitude toward recruiting who doesn't mind working 350 out of 365 days a year. A coach who can be as passionate about the game of football as his fan base would be, and a coach who can take the pressure of coaching in the SEC week after week. Finding that right guy will be quite a challenge. Good luck John Currie. You'll need it.  
* * *

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer.  His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga television for more than a quarter-century. In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith. They have five grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, Mattingly, DellaMae, and CoraLee.

 





PREP SCHEDULES

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SCORES

Covenant's Smith First To Run In NCAA Cross-Country Championships


PREP BASKETBALL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Walker Valley at William Blount (HoF) Walker Valley vs. Campbell Co. (HoF) MBA at East Hamilton Cumberland Co. at Cleveland Cleveland at ... (click for more)

TSSAA State Quarterfinals: Division I Class 1A: Whitwell 34 S. Pittsburg 28 FINAL 2OT Class 2A: Meigs County 42 S. Green 14 FINAL Class 3A Upperman 50 Red Bank ... (click for more)

Covenant women's cross country senior Lilly Smith capped her incredible cross country career with another record as she set a program mark and finished 104th overall at the NCAA Division III ... (click for more)


Sports

PREP SCHEDULES

PREP BASKETBALL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Walker Valley at William Blount (HoF) Walker Valley vs. Campbell Co. (HoF) MBA at East Hamilton Cumberland Co. at Cleveland Cleveland at Knoxville Webb PREP WRESTLING MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Howard at East Ridge TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Polk Co. at East Ridge Hixson at Stone Memorial WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER ... (click for more)

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SCORES

TSSAA State Quarterfinals: Division I Class 1A: Whitwell 34 S. Pittsburg 28 FINAL 2OT Class 2A: Meigs County 42 S. Green 14 FINAL Class 3A Upperman 50 Red Bank 21 FINAL Division II MUS 10 McCallie 7 FINAL (click for more)

Breaking News

Attorneys Ask Lifting Of Home Confinement For Hazelwood After Higher Court Allows Him To Stay Out During Appeal; Government Is Opposed

Attorneys for former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood are asking Judge Curtis Collier for the lifting of his home confinement after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said he could remain out during his appeal. In the alternative, the attorneys ask that he be able to leave his Knoxville home between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The motion also requests that Hazelwood be ... (click for more)

Tyner Man Arrested When Woman Finds Him With Items From Home Of Her Deceased Parents

A Tyner man has been arrested after police said a woman found him at the home of her deceased parents. J.C. Donaldson, 32, of 7239 Tyner Road, is charged with aggravated burglary. The woman said she found a white Buick in her parents' driveway. She said she called her sister to ask if it was her, but she said it was not. She ran into Donaldson, who told her that someone ... (click for more)

Opinion

Bring Jeff Styles Back Now That His Case Was Dismissed

Now that prosecutors have dropped charges against Jeff Styles — and he's not been found guilty by a jury of his peers — I hope Bill Lockhart and WGOW will return him to the station. I'm believe his listeners will welcome him back with open arms. After one has been through a ringer like this, I'm not sure how you get your life back unless a good guy like Mr. Lockhart steps up ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The 2018 Turkey Edition

We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving so today we are going to take a tiny turn away from regular Saturday Funnies to give way to our 2018 Turkey Edition Special. The idea is for this year’s Turkey edition to help you be the first invited for “seconds” in honor and recognition of your marvelous wit. Actually, this setup is remarkably easy. Early next week you next begin ... (click for more)