Davis is leading candidate to replace Fulmer

North Carolina coach Butch Davis yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. North Carolina won 28-7.

Photo by AP Photo / Gerry Broome

North Carolina coach Butch Davis yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. North Carolina won 28-7.

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North Carolina coach Butch Davis yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. North Carolina won 28-7.

Photo by AP Photo / Gerry Broome

North Carolina coach Butch Davis yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. North Carolina won 28-7.

Tennessee has tabbed North Carolina coach Butch Davis as the leading candidate to replace ousted football coach Phillip Fulmer, multiple sources have told the News Sentinel.

Whether UT can secure Davis remains to be seen. Davis has said publicly that he is happy at North Carolina because of the family environment in Chapel Hill and the opportunity to rebuild a program that has long struggled.

If UT can't get Davis, Mike Leach of Texas Tech and Brian Kelly of Cincinnati will become strong possibilities. Tim Brewster from Minnesota will also be considered.

As for Davis, UT will offer better facilities and more exposure than North Carolina. UT will also offer the chance to coach in the SEC.

That could be perceived as a pro or con. While the SEC is a much higher-profile conference than the Atlantic Coast Conference, it also is widely believed to be a more difficult conference to win and subsequently compete for national championships.

Davis, 56, turned down advances from Arkansas last season. He played defensive end for the Razorbacks before a knee injury curtailed his playing career. Davis became a volunteer coach and graduated in 1974.

Davis has turned around the Tar Heels in just his second season. North Carolina is 7-2 after finishing 4-8 in 2007.

Before Davis' arrival, North Carolina was 44-63 in the previous nine seasons under coaches Carl Torbush (17-18 from 1998-2000) and John Bunting (27-45 from 2001-06).

Davis went 51-20 at Miami from 1995-2000 and helped assemble a supremely talented team that won the national championship in 2001 under Larry Coker, who replaced Davis when he left for the NFL to coach the Cleveland Browns.

Davis struggled in Cleveland, going 24-35 and only making the playoffs once in four seasons.

Davis' greatest success came under Jimmy Johnson at Miami and with the Dallas Cowboys. Davis first coached with Johnson at Oklahoma State in 1979.

Davis followed Johnson to Miami as a defensive line coach where the Hurricanes won a national championship with a perfect 12-0 record in 1987. That coaching staff then went to Dallas and won consecutive Super Bowls with the Cowboys in 1992 and 1993.

Following Johnson's departure, Davis was elevated to defensive coordinator under coach Barry Switzer. That team reached the NFC Championship game, losing to the eventual NFL champion San Francisco 49ers.

Davis then returned to college football to rebuild Miami.

Different aspects of the coaching transition were a topic of conversation during UT's semi-annual board meeting on Saturday morning.

UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said the search process is "very, very active" for UT's next coach and that feedback from potential candidates has been positive.

Hamilton said the buyouts for UT's assistant coaches will be $3.6 million if no one accepts other jobs before their contracts are complete. Coordinators' contracts run through June 2011. Assistants are covered through June 2010.

That figure will almost assuredly not be reached considering most coaches on UT's staff will secure employment elsewhere.

UT is responsible for the difference between a coaches' future pay rate and his UT contract. That payout is mitigated by any job, football related or not.

Hamilton said that much of UT's support staff will be retained and possibly reassigned.

As for the effect of UT's coaching change on donations, Hamilton said he is unsure how the change will affect giving.

While there is certainly reason to believe that optimism in UT's new coach could spur donations, it's also possible some who have supported Fulmer will pull donations.

Faculty member Deborah Welsh said UT's academic support system is aware of the challenges during this emotional time for UT's players.

"They're helping to keep them motivated and moving in the right direction," she said of UT's academic support staff.

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Comments » 767

gohawks1 writes:

Huh? I thought Butch and family were happy at NC. I don't get it, Big Dan.

GreenDevilVol writes:

Aint gonna happen.

orangeinbama writes:

56 hUH? 6 YEARS AT MOST. Start from scratch. Not a good thing.

hippo writes:

I doubt he leaves NC.

gohawks1 writes:

Not sure I like this idea, anyway...

jimr07 writes:

I don't see it either. He has a chance to be a dominant coach in a slightly weaker conference.

yeavols#228407 writes:

Well, we all tried to suggest some good coaches, even though we all disagreed. I only hoped that my choice got an interview. No such thing. I had no illusions of my choice even getting hired, but I was at least hoping that a variety of coaches would be interviewed. It's now apparent that if Butch Davis gets hired, it was already a done deal without an interview process. That in itself is rather disturbing. Lastly, I have never supported an ACC coach coming into the SEC. That is totally disasterous..but I sure that someone will be happy to slam me and say Spurrier came from the ACC. I guess we can all make excuses..

utwick writes:

Davis is a good choice to stabilize the program. He beat Johnson and Georgia Tech today. 56 isn't too old as long as the desire is there.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

Sounds good to me. Let's do it.
GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

budd#207344 writes:

He is a proven head coach. A disciplinarian, knows the right people to hire to coach Off & Def. Understands the pro game which will help recruiting and still gets players from FLA. He would be the best one we coulde get.

Leach has never won a championship in a lesser conf. Kelly would take yrs to get to this level. I am betting there is somneone else besides those two

cltvol writes:

in response to hippo:

I doubt he leaves NC.

Look @ it like this..would bruce pearl leave UT to coach hoops @ UNC?

jacksfacts writes:

Hooker also predicted Tn to be "better than expected this year" with a record of 10-2. Maybe D Edwards can write a 5 Big Things article to hire Davis. We can only hope.

JMP_Vols writes:

This is the guy we need. Please come!

cltvol writes:

in response to orangeinbama:

56 hUH? 6 YEARS AT MOST. Start from scratch. Not a good thing.

he's younger than nick satan

jobrando#216494 writes:

He's to old for the pressure cooker. All the administration is thinking is we only got to pay him 2 million. Guess he will do until the 10 million to fulmer and company is replenished. Or maybe he will last long enough for Peyton to come marching home.

HighlanderVol writes:

AS long as it not Tim Brewster .I dont think he is know sec coach . IF you have seen the last 2 Minnesota games not that good .He is a very good at Recruiting not as good at coaching.

haus writes:

haslam was playing golf with lane kiffin.... i like davis but really he is too old for a long term fix for our coaching debacle. hiring davis will be like putting a band-aid on an amputation.

bluetick writes:

I'm sure there are plenty who will get their panties in a wad no matter who we get. I really don't care anymore. :) It will be what it will be. I thought it would be a slow process..isn't that what Hamilton said ? Now they are posting this less than a week after Hamilton said that. Go figure. Just hope Hamilton and Co. pick the right one or Hamilton will be seeking employment too. Someone is going to pick up Fulmer and someone is also going to pick up Chavis if he is let go though I think they will keep him. The coach that should have been retained last year IMO was Trooper.

mattlock writes:

B-U-T-C-H D-A-V-I-S (5+5=10)
B-R-U-C-E P-E-A-R-L (5+5=10)

Coincidence? Yeah, definitely. . .LOL

Kidding, I like this guy, and I like the other top candidates too. . .my guess is all of their teams would be Wyoming at home. That was the battle of two REALLY bad teams, my friends.

jobrando#216494 writes:

If they can payout 10mil to get rid of the current staff then we should expect 4mil for a new coach.

GerryOP writes:

Smokescreen...

tngivem6 writes:

yep..Bring Gundy in with Trooper..perfect fit IMO
Trooper as OC..

ctownvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

Huh? I thought Butch and family were happy at NC. I don't get it, Big Dan.

Maybe he's gonna r-u-n-n-o-f-t from Chapel hill and come to "The Hill". I hear he's a dapper dan man, but he didn't get hit by no train.

bobbyutvol writes:

ARE YOU WATCHING MIKE LEACH'S OFFENSE.....UNREAL... THIS IS THE GUY FOR THE VOLS ..... NO DOUBT...

tngivem6 writes:

If Fulmer would have picked a different OC, instead of Clawson..this season may have turned out differently and we would have been talking bowl game, Fulmer actually retiring in a year or too,,his replacement would be groomed to talk the the ship..
but it is what it is..

thevoice writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

If they can payout 10mil to get rid of the current staff then we should expect 4mil for a new coach.

And don't forget the $ to buyout our new coach from his existing school!

hotrodvol writes:

Hey, he is a Jimmy Johnson Desciple, thats good enough for me. JJ always believed in winning two out of three parts of the game, offense, defense, or SPECIAL TEAMS.

That being said, Mike Leach has to be strongly consider also. Maybe it is because of the enemic offense we witnessed this year I don't know, but this guy could take Crompton and make him a star, well OK there is no way that would happen. They have to be UT's top two, I hope.

CalPoly_Vol_Fan writes:

Gruden! Gruden! Gruden!

gohawks1 writes:

in response to ctownvol:

Maybe he's gonna r-u-n-n-o-f-t from Chapel hill and come to "The Hill". I hear he's a dapper dan man, but he didn't get hit by no train.

But is he bona fide? Can he become the paterfamilias of this team? I know he's doing ok at NC, but that place is a geographical oddity.

LeftCoastVol writes:

in response to HighlanderVol:

AS long as it not Tim Brewster .I dont think he is know sec coach . IF you have seen the last 2 Minnesota games not that good .He is a very good at Recruiting not as good at coaching.

As I mentioned in a previous post-Why the love affair with Tim Brewster? He's 8-14 in two seasons with Minnesota including today's beatdown to a 3-7 Michigan team. Petersen, Graham, Whittingham(not Willingham)=proven winners.

bobbyutvol writes:

MIKE LEACH//// MIKE LEACH//// OFFENSIVE GENIUS//// THIS GUY CAN COACH///// MIKE LEACH CAN BE HAD////// WHAT AN OFFENSE

haus writes:

just what exactly has leach done that makes you all crazy about him? yeah his offense puts up big numbers but it's against big 12 defenses.

TommyJack writes:

For Butch, TN = leverage

MadMax24 writes:

What part of "young, aggressive coach," doesn't Hammy understand? If we wanted a senior citizen, we could keep the one we have.

dirtywhiteboy writes:

hasn't davis had his wrist slapped by the ncaa before?? he's getting a little long in the tooth too. i'd prefer a younger coach that might give a little more longevity, although he might would stick around and be another joe pa. he's probably just saying he isn't interested to bleed some more cash out of hamilton. is it just me or does hamilton not look like an alien??

keithvol1971 writes:

Smokescreen! Its Gruden....take it to the bank! Just trying to work the details out with Tampa.

bobbyutvol writes:

BY THE WAY LEACH ALSO USES TIGHT ENDS IN HIS OFFENSE PHIL FOOLMER. DO THE VOLS HAVE ANY ????? LEACH FOR UT ///THIS GUY WILL TURN THE SEC UPSIDE DOWN/// HE CAN ALSO RECRUIT// RECRUITS LOVE OFFENSE// THEY WILL COME TO THE VOLS ///MIKE LEACH/// MIKE LEACH

weisgarber2003#313889 writes:

GreenDevilVol writes:

Aint gonna happen.

It may already have happened in principle.

kspyder17 writes:

What will become of Clawson?

vol52 writes:

Davis would be a great coach for the VOLS. He is a solid with recruiting and coaching skills. We would be back in the thick of the SEC race soon. GO get him ASAP.

mhillvol#275693 writes:

We are crazy if we don't go after Leach, this offense is awesome. He gets the most out of his players.

tnbigg writes:

Gotta' go boys...and phil-osophers...and especially my brothers where are thou'uns...keep the fires burning...

hotrodvol writes:

in response to MadMax24:

What part of "young, aggressive coach," doesn't Hammy understand? If we wanted a senior citizen, we could keep the one we have.

Davis would be the safest pick out there, and the easy pick, but it is fun watching TT.

OldNumber7 writes:

Meyer gets to go into recruits living room with a National Champ. Ring. So does Saban. So does Miles. Gruden could show them his Super Bowl Ring. Hmmm.

FedUpVolFan writes:

in response to TouchdownTenn:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You hit the nail on the head! UT will flash the cash.Start packing Butch!!!

gohawks1 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

For Butch, TN = leverage

Yup. You hit the nail on the head.

ctownvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

But is he bona fide? Can he become the paterfamilias of this team? I know he's doing ok at NC, but that place is a geographical oddity.

Well... pa did say never trust a hogwallup. Gopher Everit?

dirtywhiteboy writes:

i'm kinda turned on to leach too. maybe they'll get him in here and he'll keep chavis as dc. although i'd tell him to mothball the mustang package forever.

DennisVols writes:

In the middle of a winning season there was no way Davis was going to come out and say"I want to go coach UT" He has a good recuriting class being built and a chance to win the division and conference title along with a good recuriting class. No way would he publicly admit to that right now.
So who knows. Kind of exciting watching Leach's offense tonight though.
Lets hope for a home run in selecting the new coach.

snowvol writes:

Butch Davis? This is the best UT can do - come up with Butch Davis as, allegedly, their leading candidate? This has to be a smoke-screen. Please, tell me it's nothing more than that. Davis is a good coach but he's out of his league with guys like Meyer and Saban. If Davis is UT's idea of making a "big splash" with the next coach, this would be more of a dip into the wading pool.

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