Dave Hooker audio
Trooper Taylor’s decision just got a lot tougher.
While considering an offer from Baylor to be its offensive coordinator, the Tennessee receivers coach has been offered the same position at Oklahoma State, a source close to the situation told the News Sentinel on Tuesday night.
Taylor traveled to Baylor, his alma mater, on Sunday and was offered the position. He returned to practice at UT on Monday.
Taylor was his normal, excitable self during Tuesday’s 90-minute practice on Haslam Field.
Taylor again declined interview requests following practice, and UT coach Phillip Fulmer said nothing changed since Monday.
“No new updates,” Fulmer said.
Wide receiver Austin Rogers said Monday that Taylor and Fulmer were expected to meet that night, however Fulmer said the two did not talk about Taylor’s future at Tennessee on Monday.
When asked if he still plans to talk with Taylor, Fulmer replied, “Certainly.”
Rogers said Monday that Taylor told players “if he gets the coordinator job here (UT), he probably will stay. If not, he might go.”
How long Taylor remains at Tennessee remains to be seen. Taylor has yet to make a decision about Baylor’s offer, however that decision could come as early as today.
Taylor has plenty of ties to Oklahoma State, having coached with Cowboys coach Mike Gundy and offensive line coach Joe Wickline at Baylor.
He also coached with former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, who left Baylor to take the head coaching job at Southern Miss.
Since reports emerged late last week about offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe leaving for Duke, coaching changes have been a hot topic as the Vols continue to prepare for the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin on Jan. 1.
The Vols have contacted Detroit Lions receivers coach Kippy Brown and are considering New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone and UT offensive line coach Greg Adkins for Cutcliffe’s job.
Running backs coach Kurt Roper and tight ends coach Matt Luke may have an opportunity to join Cutcliffe’s staff at Duke.
The News Sentinel was told that Roper is thought to be pegged as Duke’s offensive coordinator while Luke will take over the offensive line.
All the talk of coaching changes is distracting, Fulmer said.
“They are distractions,” he said. “It is. Anything like that is a distraction. Our team, they have been really good about putting things behind them and managing themselves during the course of the year. I expect them to do it again.
“David’s worked extremely hard. Trooper’s worked extremely hard getting ready for this game on the practice field. And the players have worked extremely hard. You guys seem to be most interested in it. I’m sure they (the players) are to some degree. That’s a progression in life; that’s the way things happen. If they’re aggressive people, they’re upwardly mobile. That’s how it goes.”
Once those decisions are made, Fulmer said he’s looking forward to finding a new coach — or coaches — depending on how those decisions unfold.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I get to work like heck to get some other guys in here eventually, whenever we make the transition, and create a whole new environment here.”