Former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer has emerged as a possible candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Minnesota, according to several media reports.
“Minnesota has great potential, and with its new facilities it’s a place you could recruit to,’’ Fulmer told the News Sentinel on Tuesday night. “I believe it’s a place where you can compete.’’
Fulmer, who was forced to resign near the end of the Vols’ 5-7 season in 2008, was non-committal when asked if he was interested in the Gophers’ position or if he has had contact with the school.
Former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster was fired more than two weeks ago.
Since then, NBCsports.com has reported that Randy Shannon, Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, Scott Linehan, Jeff Jagodzinski and Marc Trestman have “popped up” as potential candidates.
On Tuesday, The Sporting News reported Fulmer is the latest name on that list.
Fulmer compiled a 152-52 record at UT during his 17-year tenure as the Vols head coach and led Tennessee to the 1998 national championship.
Fulmer also took the Vols to the SEC championship game five of his last 11 years, the most recent in 2007.
The 60-year-old Fulmer has spent the past two years working for CBS Sports on their SEC coverage.
Fulmer’s analysis included criticism of how former UT coach Lane Kiffin represented Tennessee. He also said he likes what current Vols coach Derek Dooley stands for and supported the hire.
Fulmer played offensive guard at UT from 1968-71, and served as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator under former Vols coach Johnny Majors from 1980-1992.
Tennessee had 91 players drafted into the NFL during Fulmer’s head coaching tenure, including 17 first-round selections.
The Vols finished ranked in the top 25 in 13 of Fulmer’s 17 seasons, and finished ranked in the top 10 on six occasions.