Taylor offered offensive coordinator job by Oklahoma State

Receivers coach has second suitor

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.”

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Comments » 94

bluetickhound writes:

This is getting ridiculous. They don't even have new quotes to put in there. You have to wonder is some "reliable source" is just having fun with KNS by leaking all these scoops.

Feared_Mustang_Package writes:

If we keep Trooper Taylor because these second rate schools want him and don't upgrade on the OC position then well we're stuck in the bottom tier of the top 25 and our offense will be stuck in the 1980's once again.

FWBVol writes:

I don't know if Trooper is the right man for the job or not. But whatever the case, I hope Phillip Fulmer is serious about taking his time and doing the search right way. Just because Oklahoma State and Baylor, a couple of average to poor Big 12 schools are offering Taylor an OC job it doesn't mean UT has to.

With 105,000 fans in Neyland every Saturday, and all the other things the Volunteers have to offer, Phillip Fulmer can be, and should be picky and get the top man.

DenmarkVol_aka_Mbumburu writes:

No way we win this bowl game with all this going on.

orangesox writes:

I think Trooper has done a great job at UT, and he will be missed. I just don't see him getting the OC job here. A guy with more experience really seems like the best way to go. It seems to also be Fulmer's preference to have an OC that can also double as QB coach. Jim Donnan on ESPN said yesterday he was hearing that Gus Malzahn was also a candidate.

calivol writes:

At least Phillip Fulmer is still working like heck

volfan73120#211815 writes:

mbumburu. I say you are wrong.

eb502us#225637 writes:

Let Taylor go to Baylor or OSU. We lose more in the recruiting dept. than the coaching dept. and the coaching dept. is where we need serious upgrades. He is replaceable just as anyone else.

oldorange writes:

I haven't posted here in quite a while, usually, it is because a lot of whining goes on here. I am glad to see you guys open mindedly discussing this issue. So take the other tact for a moment. What if he is offered the job. Can you see him succeeding in the pressure cooker that is UT football OC?

southernACmavs writes:

SEE YAA Troop .. IF troop was our OC dont you think phil would have allready named him?? Kippy is the man, Wonder who will replace Chavis.. A major donor in the Chattanooga area has been telling a lot of people Chavis is leaving allso..

bustervols writes:

I believe that's 'Boone', T Boone Pickens.

VOLinDAWGland writes:

If T Bone is calling the shots, I have to say that I'm not impressed with his FB judgement. Wouldn't want a Gandy type anywhere near our program and OK State hasn't been relivent since the Jimmy J era. You go T Bone.

VOLinDAWGland writes:

T Bone Pickens is the billionare musician cousin to T Boone Burnett...lol

VOLinDAWGland writes:

Good question by oldorange...would TT be successful as UT OC?

Strengths: leadership, discipline, attention to detail, energy

Weaknesses: experience with game planning, experience managing other coaches, experience calling plays and game management

If he'd been a successful OC at a smaller school and came to UT for big program experience as a position coach, then I think he'd be a more realistic candidate.

Contrary to what others have posted about Fulmer, my take from observing and listening to him is that he'd prefer NOT to be a micro manager but prefers to be more the CEO/leader and have compitent managers working for him. If he promoted TT, he'd have to be much more involved in the day to day workings of the offense until he we comfortable with TT. His experience with Sanders was not pleasant and his distraction with the offense was likely a factor in his inattention to other areas of discipline and control.

This seems like the ideal opportunity for TT to go get that OC experience that he needs. He now has Tennessee ties and will likely be in the mix with future Tennessee opportunities.

If goes, then God bless him, best of luck and thanks for your contributions to Tennessee football.

vol4good#206163 writes:

I really have a problem with Troop telling A Rogers that if offered the OC job at Tn he will stay but might leave if the job is not offered. That is info he shouldnt be discussing with players, and sounds alot like a threat! Personally I say if your not with TN than you should get the hell out!

vol52 writes:

This is a greater problem for Fulmer. If he lets TT go and he picks an OC who turns out to be a dog and TT is a successful OC then Fulmer will have egg on his face. If he keeps TT and he failed he has problems. His last pick for na OC was not good for reasons unknown. Was Sanders not given full control or was he unable to produce on his own?

inquiry writes:

Let's not let Trooper nor Cutliffe go period, unless they can prove they can beat a big 10 team this year in the Outback Bowl.

Baylor, athough Trooper's own home school, would be a pretty weak sister team for a guy like that.. now OK State would be interesting, plus he wouldn't have to change out much of his wardrobe..

I still like the idea of Kippy coming back, and probably is going to get "first dibs" before the others.

GreerVol22 writes:

I say , good for Trooper! Sounds if Phil will play the "distraction" card if we get blown out in the bowl game. It will also be interesting to see how or if we keep from inbreeding the coaching staff later on. Lord knows our offense is a second string quarterback away from being club footed as it is...

VOLinDAWGland writes:

my guess is that Fulmer, Hamilton and the board have known for quite some time who their short list of candidates are and their potential to accept the job...only question remaining are the contract details and current situation of the candidates.

I'm just curious if TT is/was on that list.

With Fulmer's age and statements about career horizon, succession planning is certainly part of the equation.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Its a little more important at this time to hope the d-line is ready for Wisconsin's straight aheads rather than whether Taylor is headed for OSU or Baylor.

It's obvious Taylor is going somewhere, out or up! Beat the Badgers.

Volalumnus writes:

While it looks like there could be a lot of coaching changes at UT (needed). The premise that our coaches are in great demand isn't correct.
We have 2 coaches being offered jobs.
Cutcliff got one offer and he wasn't the first or second choice and a positional coach that we might not want to even promote.

These changes will create several more, but that has been needed.
It is on the defensive side where there still needs to be many changes.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

ilovefootball, you're quote of Doug Matthews is right on! The spread offense is, in general, a gimmick offense and a fad. The fad will fade soon!

The spread offense causes a lot of 1-on-1 matchups and, with our poor tackling, exposes the gaps in our defense; however, teams have caught on and it'll be gone soon due to injuries, etc...

pabashia#208095 writes:

Whether or not it's the spread offense makes no difference. The fact remains that UT does not have the staff to run *any* scheme successfully.

The die is cast. It makes no difference who PF hires at this point - the end result will be the same.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I dont understand why people call the spread a fade when it has been around since 1907 (Single wing). Some of my greatest memories of the VOLS was Single Wing football or Spread offense. I want a person to come in with a new playback or see Coach Phil throw out the one he has and make Tennessee football exciting again. I hate pound the rock.

Gustoly writes:

The spread is not a gimmick. It is based on match-ups which is what every other O is based on. Every O tries to gain an advantage over the D, so I wouldn't call it a gimmick. We have had a sound D for the most part under Chavy-Wavy. Except for the option. We have never been able to stop the option.
I think when a coach takes a job elsewhere that is where he belongs. Don't stay around to coach a bowl game. Go to the new job and where your heart is. If we lose another bowl game, (big deal). P.F. is safe and he will "work like heck" to find us some more coaches. Life goes on ! ! !
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL & HAPPY NEW YEAR ! ! !

knoxtenor writes:

Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to get some fresh blood into the Vol program. I'm all for rewarding great assistant coaches with promotions, but Tennessee's history of promoting from within strikes me as a little clannish. The problem with marrying your cousin is that there are no new traits to be had in the kids. Yes, Tennessee has an excellent program, but it is often slow to adapt to trends in college football. Some new blood in the family would be great; then we can take advantage of it by going back to marrying cousins up.

orangebloodgmc writes:

I'm just concerned that if Trooper leaves and goes back toward Texas, the freshmen from there (Creer, Moore) might go too.

asleep#212036 writes:

Right on Dawgland,

There was a reason Cut only signed a two-year deal to come back and everyone from Hamilton down knew he would be looking for the first decent HC spot available. I guarantee they have had a short list for quite some time and I would be surprised if TT was really ever on it. I agree Fulmer doesn't want to be that involved with the day-to-day stuff and he certainly would need to be early on if Troop were made OC. I think Kippy Brown is the first choice but he (or Marrone) would likely have to take a pay cut to leave the NFL. Maybe a hotshot lower division head coach or a guy like Malzahn would be possibilities as well. Andy Kelly has been mentioned too.

I also hope like "heck" Fulmer is looking at our defensive deficiencies, esp. in the secondary. Slade needs his pink slip too. Chavis still has it but needs a better secondary coach and a dominant D-lineman and the D would be fine. Go Vols!!!

Txvol57 writes:

Don't you guys realize that Fulmer wants an OC that he can control and run HIS offense. It really doesn't matter who we get because it will just be the same ole stale offense. Take Randy Sanders...was he really the problem? From what he did with Andre Woodson and Kentucky's offense this year I say no. Fulmer is so stubborn and hard headed that no matter who we get they are just going to do what Fulmer wants. Think about it, did Cut coming back dramatically improve the offense? No!, when Sanders was here we ranked 8th is the SEC and 4th in the East in Total offense. With Cut here we were 6th and 5th...not exactly an offensive powerhouse. So, in conclusion, whoever is named OC be prepared to see the same ole, workin like heck, lets just throw safe three yard out passes, ding and dung offense. Can we please give Fulmer another extension!!!

waterskier3#226480 writes:

stay the course..... this is fulmers chance to prove he can change with the times...... if he fails than he's gone.

why36knot championships in football are hard to get but if your leader says his job is to bring championships and he doesn't perform then he's the wrong guy..... if tn fans only expect 8 wins then get a coach that says hey we'll win 8 games and go to a bowl game and we might luck up and win a championship then we have nothing to complain about...

but if you say your the man to bring championship to UT then YOU BETTER DELIVER.....

DroopyDrawers writes:

vol4good, I agree with you. There are some info that should not be discussed with players and where you are going is not one of them. TT, thanks for your hard work and good luck in your new position.

Kippy Brown would be a great fit, Mr. Fulmer.

cnalumni writes:

TT the writing is on the wall bro.

Brama writes:

If we can get Kippy Brown back as recievers and offensive coordinator we will be in better shape than we were if Trooper had stayed. If I were Cutcliff I would try to find someone with some experience at the Mid- Major level to bring in if my job depended on it.

silentfan writes:

sjt18, I can't say that Taylor won't be missed because not many coaches have his energy, but I don't think he's been a great teacher either, just pretty good. Comparing his job this year to Adkins' job, I'd have to say Adkins did better. Granted the ol had more talent, but they protected a fragile qb to the tune of only 4 sacks all year while enabling a modestly talented rb to gain 1100 yds. OTOH, the wr's continued to drop critical passes and run their routes inconsistently all year long. IMO, the vols can do better; they don't have to be in the ojt business. Adkins needs to continue his learning with TN, Taylor needs to get his oc experience elsewhere, and Fulmer needs to hire experienced coaches who can do their jobs without close supervision and have the guts to fire them if they don't. No more rs experiments, please.

BTW, Cut, I think, also did a pretty good job. A great job would have included scoring enough 2nd half points to avoid ot against SC and KY and making better adjustments as the games progressed. Vols can do better there, too. All of these guys were good choices at the time and produced the desired results, but now it's time to take the next step.

TommyJack writes:

This entire process sux. No one appears to be running the show. If TT is leaving, LEAVE. If not, get on with it..As one poster said recently, "It don't take a rocket surgeon" to figger it out. I smell another PSU on the horizon. CPF: Get outta da KK and do your job, man. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

volntx writes:

Sure we will miss the coaches who leave, but if they want to go cut them loose now and you have no more distractions. Everybody here knows when you turn in your "2 weeks notice" most people just dont try as hard before they leave. I would rather be shorthanded than full staffed and going through the motions.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

I have done some recruiting in the "other world" and what I have discovered is that the spouse more often than not drives the final decision. What does Mrs. Taylor want to do?

jobrando#216494 writes:

sjt18--spread(single wing) was exclusive from 1907-1952 when T took over ...so u would better refer to the spread as Legacy formation instead of "FAD" .
It is still used in high school all over the country.

Ironcity writes:

sjt hit it on the head. THose that hate Fulmer said no one was chasing our coaches because they all stink. Three weeks later the same people are saying all the coaches are bailing there must bbe something wrong. I guess if you have an agenda, you can always shape the arguement your way. As for Troop I think he's gone. IF he was going to be the OC It probably would have been announced. It could be that Brown is still mulling the decision and Fulmer is trying to hold Taylor here until that decision is official. I think the real question is who is going to be the QB coach? We need someone that can be respected by the QB's here and someone that recruits want to learn from. maybe an ex head coach that is in the market (Al Borges possibly).

TommyJack writes:

jobrando: The T didn't take over at TN till '64.

steve#413367 writes:

Staying, going, coming, leaving ... whatever Taylor, Roper, Luke, et al, decide to do is whatever they decide. There are always replacements and Kippy Brown would definitely be a top choice. What concerns me most, right now, is preparation for a bowl game on January 1. It is CRITICAL that Tennessee break its recent string of bowl disappointments, win this game and springboard into 2008. Think it's not important. What do you play a full season's worth of games for? To go to the best bowl game available, right? Does it follow that, once you get there, winning suddently means nothing? For too many years, we've had a "who cares" mentality about bowl season and I think it's 100 percent nuts. Now, we're talking about "distractions" and what impact they'll have on player psyches. Don't need any more excuses for losing a bowl game. Let's win the damn game first (I can GUARANTEE you Wisconsin will be ready to play), then worry about who replaces whom. Just win a damn bowl game for a change!

GerryOP writes:

Yes, sjt18, there is a reason that some of our coaches are being recruited. We have a few good men who would like the opportunity to really coach, not just do what the HC tells them to do.

PAF remembers how he got to where he is. So, he is reluctant to hire people who insist on bringing innovation and change to the program. Taylor as OC would bring innovation and change. Independent thinkers not welcome on the UT football coaching staff.

Ohiovol16 writes:

Someone needs to explain to all of us why Kippy Brown is so high on everyones wish list. He has been a UT coach twice and guess what he has LEFT TWICE!! Both times back to the NFL. That is a pretty good indication of where he wants to be long term. Why go after someone that, based on his track record, doesn't stay anywhere for long and will probably use UT as a stepping stone. Is that what we have become.

I for one would love to see Trooper get a shot, why not. Players take on the character of there coaches, Trooper is a high energy guy and loves the game of football. We need that at UT, Fulmer, Chavis and Cutcliff all are calm and cool from an emotional side. We need some fire in this program and I beleive Trooper can provide that excitement to the offense. Not to mention the element of surprise, new young coach hard for DC's in the SEC to figure out. He would not be set in his ways and so predictable as Cut and Chavis are. Give the job to Trooper and let's go win the Outback bowl!!

TommyJack writes:

GerryOP: Nor on this board.
BTW...If CPF was going to name TT, he would have already done so, IMO.

asleep#212036 writes:

GoVols57,
Your rankings are for total offense, NOT scoring. We went from 19 ppg in Sander's last year to over 30 per game the last two years. Big improvement. Sanders has done little at Kentucky. Joker Phillips is the OC, Sanders the qb coach. Woodson had no better stats this year than last and was actually the pre-season all-SEC QB but slipped behind Tebow by season's end. Sanders is a nice guy but not what UT needed. Did Fulmer intervene in the offense during Sanders' tenure? Of course, because he didn't trust Randy's ability to get it done. My question is this: if he thought Sanders wasn't the guy, why did he hire him? That's the same concern I have with Troop. If he's the guy, fine. If not, move on and get someone else. Go Vols!!!

bUTchVFL writes:

The Pokes or the Vols? Let him go!

GoVol writes:

Hasn't everyone figured out that Fulmer is paid to 'cheer' not actually take charge and think like a real 'coach'.

We'll miss TT more than some think. He brings many intangibles to the team, but he's not ready for the OC position at UT right now.

Southland writes:

Trooper--go to Ok ST. and you will eventually have a head coaching job at a good school or you can stay at UT and end up the head coach at Duke or temple

jdcdjc#246285 writes:

Can Phil not make a decision??? He is going to mess around and loose Trooper to Baylor or Ok St, waiting for goodness knows what. These other people he talks about does not have OC experience either, but we know Trooper can recruit and he gets on fine with the team.

GerryOP writes:

You're probably right TJ. My guess is that PAF probably never thought of Taylor as the OC, until Baylor recruited him. Then Good Ol' Phil started thinkin' -- and he is still thinkin'!

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