Adams: Kelly, Pearl like two peas in a pod

Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, left, celebrates with Kazeem Alli after the Bearcats defeated West Virginia 26-23 in overtime last Saturday.

Cincinnati football coach Brian Kelly can't match the career accomplishments of North Carolina coach Butch Davis. And he can't match the excitement generated by Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

But University of Tennessee fans should know that Kelly has more in common with Bruce Pearl than either Davis or Leach. If you're wondering what that has to do with UT football, you haven't been paying attention.

Pearl has become so popular after three seasons as UT's basketball coach, referencing his name could enhance almost any venture. For example, if you are looking for a car salesman, how fast would you check out someone whose resume presents him as a "Bruce Pearl-type personality?"

Pearl hasn't just won games at UT. He has won over fans by promoting the program like no one since the legendary Ray Mears.

You might argue that UT football promotes itself. That's true to a degree.

But this season's 3-7 record doesn't depict all the program's shortcomings. UT football has lacked excitement for a long time.

Why do you think so many fans want UT to hire Leach? He has the most exciting offense in college football.

Kelly doesn't win with Leach's flair, but he wins wherever he goes. And he wins over fans and media, too.

I talked to a couple of media-types who deal with Kelly. They both rave about the guy - and not just for his coaching. They give him high marks for his media accessibility and for his promotional skills. One of them said a businessman who heard Kelly speak described the experience as "electric."

Obviously, it's crucial that a college coach in a pro market be able to promote his product. Pearl had to do the same at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

There are other similarities between Kelly and Pearl.

Kelly was born in Chelsea, Mass. Pearl was born in Boston.

Kelly played linebacker at Assumption College. Pearl looks like he could have played linebacker at a small college.

For 13 years, Kelly was the coach at Division II Grand Valley State, where he won six conference titles. For nine years, Pearl was the coach at Division II Southern Indiana, where he never won fewer than 22 games in a single season.

Kelly took over a struggling program at Central Michigan, which improved each season under his direction. His third and final Central Michigan team went 9-4 and won the Mid-American Conference championship.

Pearl went from Southern Indiana to Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His fourth and final team there finished 26-6 and advanced to the sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

Kelly won 10 games in his first season at Cincinnati and is 7-2 with four regular-season games remaining this season. Pearl has taken UT to three consecutive NCAA tournaments.

One UT fan took the comparison a step further. He spelled it out in an e-mail. Kelly and Pearl both have five letters in their first and last names.

That clinches it right? UT has to consider Kelly.

UT wouldn't be the first big-name school to be linked to Kelly. His name came up last season in conjunction with the Michigan vacancy. He had no comment on that speculation. He also declined to comment last week when asked about the UT job.

But if the Vols are interested in Kelly and they want to get him interested in them, maybe they should have Pearl give him a call. The two couldn't help but hit it off.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 140

jabark82 writes:

Love the article! I've been big on Kelly for a while now. Kelly is my #1 choice, Tim Brewster #2. Mike Leach, Lane Kiffin, Butch Davis should not even be considered. Leach will drive the program further into the ground. Get Kelly!!!

hotrodvol writes:

Sounds good, but still has to be about the forth option.

1 Davis
2 Leach
3 Petersen

rusty_shackleford writes:

I wonder what Chris Low thinks about Kiffen going to Clemson?

Pullingguard writes:

Oh John for heavens sake, you are wanting someone who will make you feel important... You are not capable of either selecting a coach or writing a decent sports column.. You have been so anti-UT they should not allow you on campus. Oh, yes Bruce Pearl is great coach, but big difference in coaching football and basketball, but if they do select Kelly/ Lets wish him the very best,. but you still should not be allowed on campus...

JohnnyU writes:

Anybody heard anything about Kiffin? Who is our second choice if Davis is really not interested? Cowher would have been great.

bsc819 writes:

Look guys remember my login on here. I know who the new UT coach is going to be and it will be a shocker. It is going to be Pete Carroll, I know that sounds crazy but he is coming so get ready for it. I will say I told you so when it happens, I will just put it that way.

swclaw writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Oh John for heavens sake, you are wanting someone who will make you feel important... You are not capable of either selecting a coach or writing a decent sports column.. You have been so anti-UT they should not allow you on campus. Oh, yes Bruce Pearl is great coach, but big difference in coaching football and basketball, but if they do select Kelly/ Lets wish him the very best,. but you still should not be allowed on campus...

Could not agree more. If Adams wants him, we need to stay very far away. Just what is your self-defined role in this process, John? Are you just trying to slime your way back into the program? A little advice, wait at least 3 years, b/c one of the present players you have made such a wonderful impression on might find you in the locker room. It's not safe in their for a 150 lb bully with a pen.

ect1983 writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Oh John for heavens sake, you are wanting someone who will make you feel important... You are not capable of either selecting a coach or writing a decent sports column.. You have been so anti-UT they should not allow you on campus. Oh, yes Bruce Pearl is great coach, but big difference in coaching football and basketball, but if they do select Kelly/ Lets wish him the very best,. but you still should not be allowed on campus...

Is there some reason that you and the other morons that continue to bash the best sportswriter in the state also continue to read his columns ? Maybe you are masochistic. Give it a rest and go read Rick Russo and Packer.....and eat your pablum little boy

ect1983 writes:

in response to swclaw:

Could not agree more. If Adams wants him, we need to stay very far away. Just what is your self-defined role in this process, John? Are you just trying to slime your way back into the program? A little advice, wait at least 3 years, b/c one of the present players you have made such a wonderful impression on might find you in the locker room. It's not safe in their for a 150 lb bully with a pen.

I'll bet BJ Coleman would be one of the present players who would beg to differ

bobbyutvol writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

Sounds good, but still has to be about the forth option.

1 Davis
2 Leach
3 Petersen

Leach , Davis , Peterson,

cjraney writes:

1. Muschamp
2. Kiffin
3. Kelly

The link has articles on all the coaches UT may be considering.

http://3rdsaturdayinblogtober.wordpre...

blitzshoot writes:

Kelly is a very good coach and one heck of a recruiter. IMO, I would be concerned that if the Boston College job came open, he would jump after it. I still would look at these two:

http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/MF...

http://ballstatesports.com/ViewArticl...

blitzshoot writes:

and by the way, UT would be very smart to include Coach Pearl in the interview process.

The_Mayor writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Oh John for heavens sake, you are wanting someone who will make you feel important... You are not capable of either selecting a coach or writing a decent sports column.. You have been so anti-UT they should not allow you on campus. Oh, yes Bruce Pearl is great coach, but big difference in coaching football and basketball, but if they do select Kelly/ Lets wish him the very best,. but you still should not be allowed on campus...

Pullingguard, I couldn't agree more, as it relates to this particular JA article. I don't know if a journalist could possibly draw a more trivial, meaningless analogy. I mean, it sounds like one of those chain emails comparing Nostradamus and the numerical coindidences of the JFK assassination. Yeh, Adams is really reaching now in his attempts to twist the knife in Fulmer. His affirmation of Kelly coming from two "journalist types" pretty much sums up the validity of his knowledge of an adequate successor to Fulmer. I suspect Adams has about as much insight as my 2 year old neice.

rusty_shackleford writes:

in response to ect1983:

Is there some reason that you and the other morons that continue to bash the best sportswriter in the state also continue to read his columns ? Maybe you are masochistic. Give it a rest and go read Rick Russo and Packer.....and eat your pablum little boy

Do you ever ad anything worthwhile or do your posts only bash those that don't impulsively bow down to tuscaloosa john's drivel? Why is OK for the adamites to hammer anyone who disagrees with tj, but won't allow those of us who see through the "leader of the dead media" to voice our opinions? Hypocrite!

Get a real journalist for the editor at what's left of the sports page! Hire Chris Low!

andy112382#209793 writes:

in response to JohnnyU:

Anybody heard anything about Kiffin? Who is our second choice if Davis is really not interested? Cowher would have been great.

You know, I am thinking most of these stories stating 'Davis is main target' and so on are nothing but BS. Hamilton stated one of the main reasons of using a search agency was to keep things a bit more internal, he wasn't looking to get anyone a raise, and it is the searching agency that makes initial contact and arrangements.

All of these articles, blogs, forums, and columns are SO contradicting, one says Kiffin is best then you read Kiffin was never an option, and another says Kiffin is an option and contacted but no word otherwise. Same thing with all of the names being thrown around.

My head is spinning from all of this speculation, fact of the matter is there are several solid names mentioned, a few could get us back in a real good situation, just in a different way. Personally, I could live with Leach (and a Chavis or simliarly led defense), Brian Kelly, or Lane Kiffin...those are probally my top 3.

Each one of those three could easily make up for any weaknesses with smart staff hires, like Leach and defense, he could retain Chavis. Brian Kelly is a solid/balanced coach, probally could use solid recruiters with ties places he doesnt have that I am aware of (FL, TX, CA) or Kiffin, surround him with maybe a more seasoned staff to aid in making up for lack of experience (Chavis again?)

Plenty of solid choices, each have their ups and downs just like anyone else, just be smart with the staff they hire and lets get Tennessee back on top!

GO VOLS!!!

jabark82 writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Oh John for heavens sake, you are wanting someone who will make you feel important... You are not capable of either selecting a coach or writing a decent sports column.. You have been so anti-UT they should not allow you on campus. Oh, yes Bruce Pearl is great coach, but big difference in coaching football and basketball, but if they do select Kelly/ Lets wish him the very best,. but you still should not be allowed on campus...

So let me get this straight... Writers should agree with everything a school/coach/team/administration does in order to be a good writer? He has to somehow write about all the nice cuddly things that go on in sports? I'm sorry but I'm thankful for a writer who writes what he feels instead of just "drinking the koolaid" like so many other kiss ups do. Good job John... keep it up.

cdonsbach writes:

No thanks.

james_lay writes:

Bronco Mendenhall is supposedly on the top rung of Hamilton's wish list as well. Davis is the one the Haslam's etc want since he's the big name. If UT fans want a short term fix, get Butch. He will do the trick 2-5 years. Then, he's gone. If you want someone that will REALLY get behind the program, go after Kelly, Mendenhall or Kiffin. Leach is a GREAT coach. But honestly people. WHY would he leave TT?????? He's a top 3 team. He's one of the 3 best recruiting grounds in the nation, he's worshiped in Lubbock. Money is great. But come one. Long term potential, he knows which side his bread is buttered on. It honestly DOES NOT make sense for him. And for those on the Tim Brewster band wagon. SERIOUSLY. What has he done that is soooooooo great that he needs to be mentioned??? I like Kelly, Kiffen, Mendenhall in that order for a long term fix. Short term, look at Davis.

eduardo writes:

Hire Brian Kelley Now Mr. Hamilton!

volunteer_cowboy writes:

in response to bsc819:

Look guys remember my login on here. I know who the new UT coach is going to be and it will be a shocker. It is going to be Pete Carroll, I know that sounds crazy but he is coming so get ready for it. I will say I told you so when it happens, I will just put it that way.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take_Back_Knoxville writes:

in response to swclaw:

Could not agree more. If Adams wants him, we need to stay very far away. Just what is your self-defined role in this process, John? Are you just trying to slime your way back into the program? A little advice, wait at least 3 years, b/c one of the present players you have made such a wonderful impression on might find you in the locker room. It's not safe in their for a 150 lb bully with a pen.

You guys are right. Adams' only interest in a coach at UT is what Adams' can get out of it. If he likes Kelly then there's something wrong with him that he wants to expolit down the road. And I guarantee you he doesn't think he'll be able to beat LSU!

Take_Back_Knoxville writes:

in response to ect1983:

Is there some reason that you and the other morons that continue to bash the best sportswriter in the state also continue to read his columns ? Maybe you are masochistic. Give it a rest and go read Rick Russo and Packer.....and eat your pablum little boy

The hope is to make you little mindless zombies aware that not everything you read is based in fact or put out there in the best interest of the community.

chestnutglade writes:

This guy is my pick. He knows what is going on during a game and don't need to look at the tape , grade it ,to answer a question.He will get on a player is they don't do in a game what they practice all week.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to ect1983:

Is there some reason that you and the other morons that continue to bash the best sportswriter in the state also continue to read his columns ? Maybe you are masochistic. Give it a rest and go read Rick Russo and Packer.....and eat your pablum little boy

If John Adams is the best sportswriter in the state, then the sportswriting in TN is just downright piss-poor. Just look at the article above as an example. It's full of nothing; an 8th grader could have written it!

And, while I think Kelly is a fine coach, I do wonder about his ability to compete as a recruiter in this conference.

If this guy is posting seasons where he's losing 2 - 4 games in the MAC, etc., what do you think the SEC holds in store? Even if it's still 2 - 4 losses a year, there are folks on this board whose heads will explode. Although, I guess that could be considered as another good reason for bringing him to Knoxville.

Take_Back_Knoxville writes:

in response to jabark82:

So let me get this straight... Writers should agree with everything a school/coach/team/administration does in order to be a good writer? He has to somehow write about all the nice cuddly things that go on in sports? I'm sorry but I'm thankful for a writer who writes what he feels instead of just "drinking the koolaid" like so many other kiss ups do. Good job John... keep it up.

Journalism is suppose to be objective. Adams is far from that. You're drinking koolaid from his hand and didn't even know it. How's it taste?

OrangeBlitz writes:

My top five:

1. Davis - can rebuild programs
2. Peterson - offense without Leach's wierd personality
3. Kelly - Proven winner at head coach
4. Leach - great offense but can he recruit outside of Texas
5. Muschamp - intensity

ibvolman writes:

in response to bsc819:

Look guys remember my login on here. I know who the new UT coach is going to be and it will be a shocker. It is going to be Pete Carroll, I know that sounds crazy but he is coming so get ready for it. I will say I told you so when it happens, I will just put it that way.

uh, right. gimme some of what you are smokin'.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to jabark82:

So let me get this straight... Writers should agree with everything a school/coach/team/administration does in order to be a good writer? He has to somehow write about all the nice cuddly things that go on in sports? I'm sorry but I'm thankful for a writer who writes what he feels instead of just "drinking the koolaid" like so many other kiss ups do. Good job John... keep it up.

Trust me - you didn't get it straight.

Journalists are actually supposed to be impartial, objective, insightful, etc.

It is a rare occasion that you see those qualities from Adams, as he's got an axe to grind and doesn't hide it well at all. It's one of the reasons he's been stuck for so long writing for a second-rate paper in an also-ran town that's not his own.

But, don't you worry. I can guarantee you you that he's going to "keep it up," because he's reached the full extent of his capabilities as a journalist.

jmbigorange#280428 writes:

in response to OrangeBlitz:

My top five:

1. Davis - can rebuild programs
2. Peterson - offense without Leach's wierd personality
3. Kelly - Proven winner at head coach
4. Leach - great offense but can he recruit outside of Texas
5. Muschamp - intensity

You are worried if Leach can recruit outside of Texas but you're not worried if Peterson can recruit against Meyer, Richt, Saban, Miles, etc. You better think a little more about that. Kelly is the best choice for UT football period. Davis would be the safest hire but we would have to break the bank to get him. Peterson can stay in the WAC.

eefor10c writes:

Look who john adams has a man crush on!!!! If Kelly were to get the job John would try to imply that he (adams) was the one who convinced the UTAD to make the hire.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i would take terry bowden and keep scott, drayton, and chavis and hire al borges to be OC

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

If John Adams is the best sportswriter in the state, then the sportswriting in TN is just downright piss-poor. Just look at the article above as an example. It's full of nothing; an 8th grader could have written it!

And, while I think Kelly is a fine coach, I do wonder about his ability to compete as a recruiter in this conference.

If this guy is posting seasons where he's losing 2 - 4 games in the MAC, etc., what do you think the SEC holds in store? Even if it's still 2 - 4 losses a year, there are folks on this board whose heads will explode. Although, I guess that could be considered as another good reason for bringing him to Knoxville.

peroxide moron....do your research. You're just another phulmeryte holding on to your lost cause. What is it now, 15 more days. LOL. Get lost!

blitzshoot writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Leave UF out of it.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

Trust me - you didn't get it straight.

Journalists are actually supposed to be impartial, objective, insightful, etc.

It is a rare occasion that you see those qualities from Adams, as he's got an axe to grind and doesn't hide it well at all. It's one of the reasons he's been stuck for so long writing for a second-rate paper in an also-ran town that's not his own.

But, don't you worry. I can guarantee you you that he's going to "keep it up," because he's reached the full extent of his capabilities as a journalist.

Hey blonde joke, when did you earn your first million?

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

peroxide moron....do your research. You're just another phulmeryte holding on to your lost cause. What is it now, 15 more days. LOL. Get lost!

First of all, I'm not getting lost, and there's nothing you can do about it. So, your boorish bum may as well get used to me!

Furthermore, I love how you attack me. Yet, you didn't refute a single statement in my post, because you are incapable of doing so.

Did you have a point other than proving that it is you who is the moron?

The_Mayor writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

KingsportVol, your juvenile short sighted immediate gratification bed wetting sniveling left wing qualities (or lack thereof) are shining through in brilliant ignorance this evening. But then, trailer park stentch will have that effect. It's a bit premature to concede JA came out of anything smelling like a rose. Perhaps we should wait and learn the fate of Puppet Boy Mikey and see who the next UT AD will be before we jump to fecktarded conclusions like yours.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

Hey blonde joke, when did you earn your first million?

About 6 years ago. How about yours?

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

Trust me - you didn't get it straight.

Journalists are actually supposed to be impartial, objective, insightful, etc.

It is a rare occasion that you see those qualities from Adams, as he's got an axe to grind and doesn't hide it well at all. It's one of the reasons he's been stuck for so long writing for a second-rate paper in an also-ran town that's not his own.

But, don't you worry. I can guarantee you you that he's going to "keep it up," because he's reached the full extent of his capabilities as a journalist.

" also-ran town" wow. You're a genius. LOL....then take your joke to the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal. The KNS site is not good enough for you.
You are too worthy to be blessing this site with your intellect. These people that post here are beneath you.
You're a joke and please stop embarrassing yourself.LOL

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

About 6 years ago. How about yours?

ME and half these people on here are way in front.
Get off the street.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

First of all, I'm not getting lost, and there's nothing you can do about it. So, your boorish bum may as well get used to me!

Furthermore, I love how you attack me. Yet, you didn't refute a single statement in my post, because you are incapable of doing so.

Did you have a point other than proving that it is you who is the moron?

You know nothing that you speak of. I do not attack you.
That is your own insecurity because you did not get enough attention from daddy. LOL.
You are pathetic. And funny.

blitzshoot writes:

45 minutes and 15 more days and Vicky and husband are gone....clap,clap,clap,,,,stand,,,,clap, clap, clap....

TheVolMan writes:

Pullingguard, swclaw and other assorted idiot weenies: you are so mad that Adams was right about Fulmer. You guys would still think Phil would "turn it around" after the Wyoming debacle.

Stop trying to act tough by bashing JA. If you don't get it then you have a double-digit IQ.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

" also-ran town" wow. You're a genius. LOL....then take your joke to the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal. The KNS site is not good enough for you.
You are too worthy to be blessing this site with your intellect. These people that post here are beneath you.
You're a joke and please stop embarrassing yourself.LOL

Apparently, you can't read worth a lick. Either that, or you're just incapable of comprehending what you do read. As I said, I'm not going anywhere.

By the way, since I live in Northern Virginia, I actually read the Washington Post rather frequently. But, I only scan the WSJ a couple of times a week at my office, as it's not as exciting as reading the drivel that comes from the fingertips of chimps like you.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to The_Mayor:

KingsportVol, your juvenile short sighted immediate gratification bed wetting sniveling left wing qualities (or lack thereof) are shining through in brilliant ignorance this evening. But then, trailer park stentch will have that effect. It's a bit premature to concede JA came out of anything smelling like a rose. Perhaps we should wait and learn the fate of Puppet Boy Mikey and see who the next UT AD will be before we jump to fecktarded conclusions like yours.

Hamilton earned his keep bringing Pearl into the UT
community.
15 more days....everyone should be celebrating....come on.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

ME and half these people on here are way in front.
Get off the street.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

Apparently, you can't read worth a lick. Either that, or you're just incapable of comprehending what you do read. As I said, I'm not going anywhere.

By the way, since I live in Northern Virginia, I actually read the Washington Post rather frequently. But, I only scan the WSJ a couple of times a week at my office, as it's not as exciting as reading the drivel that comes from the fingertips of chimps like you.

now, now....you're insecurity is getting the best of you.
"read worth a lick" LOL
Wow...impressive....
Wow. You live in Northern Virginia...you must be important...I hope you stay around...you are fun to play with...you should not call people names...not very nice.
Blonde_Stranger...what a nice name.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to Blonde_Stranger:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

blitzshoot writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agree. But on the brighter things in life, 15 more days and the pumpkin is history.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's the best retort you could come up with? Pathetic.

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