New York City could be nexus of Tennessee's coaching search for next few days

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart speaks to reporters at a news conference on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn., after it was announced that head football coach Derek Dooley would be replaced by offensive coordinator Jim Chaney for the final SEC regular season game against Kentucky. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart speaks to reporters at a news conference on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn., after it was announced that head football coach Derek Dooley would be replaced by offensive coordinator Jim Chaney for the final SEC regular season game against Kentucky. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

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Walk into the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and you'll be greeted by gilded columns and art deco floor mosaics in a stately lobby that opens onto Manhattan's Park Avenue.

This week, you'll also be greeted by lots and lots of college football coaches.

The search for Tennessee's next coach will move to New York, perhaps as early as today, for college football's de facto annual convention.

The National Football Foundation's 55th annual awards dinner Tuesday night will feature the induction of former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer and 16 others into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Vols athletic director Dave Hart identified the event as a crucial time for his search, and most believe he could make a hire by the end of the week.

The ballroom will be filled with coaches and athletic directors from around the nation. But most of their work will come earlier. The event is known for networking, interviews, gossip and — at times — secrecy.

It's a convenient place for an AD to interview several candidates at once without having to worry about planes being tracked or coaches being spotted by fans with camera phones.

Auburn conducted interviews in New York four years ago before hiring Gene Chizik.

In 2009, Notre Dame interviewed then-Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly at the Waldorf and eventually hired him.

In 2006, Alabama athletic director Mal Moore met with then-West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez in New York. Rodriguez reportedly accepted the job before later backing out. Alabama, of course, later hired Nick Saban after his NFL season was completed.

About a year and a half after that, Hart joined Moore at Alabama as a senior athletic director. This is his first coaching search in years, but he's well acquainted with the NFF event. He even mentioned the ceremony last month when he announced that coach Derek Dooley was being fired.

"I think a lot of in the past, a lot of hires of this nature occur sometime in the month of December," Hart said. "Very candidly, a lot of those coaches will be in New York City for the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame."

It's not clear who Hart will target before or during the event. Louisville did not dispute multiple reports that coach Charlie Strong had interviewed with Hart on Friday, saying it wouldn't comment on others' coaching searches.

On Friday night, Volquest.com reported that Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy would interview with Hart today. An OSU spokesperson told the News Sentinel that UT had not contacted athletic director Mike Holder for permission to speak to Gundy as of late Saturday.

Gundy is currently the ninth-highest paid coach in college football ($3.3 million annually) and signed a new contract in January that pays him an average of $3.7 million through 2019.

Gundy's Cowboys (7-5) finished the season on a down note, losing to Oklahoma last week and Baylor on Saturday.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher could be free to pursue jobs after the Seminoles played in the ACC championship game Saturday night.

Miami (Fla.) coach Al Golden has consistently denied any interest in other jobs and has been visiting with recruits all weekend.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 343

TKO writes:

Golden from Miami will get the nod.

mountainbrook writes:

I hope not. I heard an interview about recruits recently and most of them didn't even know who Golden was when his name was mentioned.

txvolsfan writes:

Golden is way down the list!!!
he won't be hire unless a few turndowns!!! and don't see that happening because money will be too good!!!

Vol1983 writes:

in response to TKO:

Golden from Miami will get the nod.

Jimbo. Word will leak out tomorrow and the announcement will be Monday.

GloryDays writes:

in response to TKO:

Golden from Miami will get the nod.

Golden is the best choice. Good coach, good recruiter, class act who could win at Tennesse if given a chance. Hart needs a coach this week or the Vols are in big trouble.

TKO writes:

I would prefer mora or Petrino but fear of Petrino jumping or mora leaving for the west coast again makes Golden the most likely to be the coach most hopeful to stay around or years which seems to carry as much weight as experience.

mdvol writes:

Please pay the money to get a GREAT coach. Did ya see the SECCG????

TKO writes:

I believe an announcement will be December 5 th

TKO writes:

Great SECCG but Bama is not close to their defense from last year. The NCG will be a toss up.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Maybe Gruden will be in New York.

skyhawk836 writes:

Lot of good coaches out there, folks. We seem positioned pretty week to get one.

frblalack writes:

Dan Mullen or Tommy Tubberville!!!

All Vols

Vol1983 writes:

in response to TKO:

Great SECCG but Bama is not close to their defense from last year. The NCG will be a toss up.

Georgia would not have been able to stop Riddick.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Jimbo. Word will leak out tomorrow and the announcement will be Monday.

I'm thinking you're probably right. Hart is personal friends with Fisher and Jimbo wants desperately to coach in the SEC. Sounds like the perfect opportunity.

underthehill writes:

2013 schedule...Oregon..Fla..S Car.. bama..Ga..
..5 games ..no likely wins
Austin Peay..South Ala..W Ky...3 likely wins..
4 other games..Vandy..Mizzu..Auburn..Ky
Any new coach will have his work cut out for him to win 6..my point is ..it's gonna be a while don't matter who is hired...

mdvol writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Jimbo. Word will leak out tomorrow and the announcement will be Monday.

Might be Jimbo buy seriously doubt it will be Monday during the coaching convention. Really a shame all this coaching search drama will overshadow a great honor for Phillip Fulmer this week.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

Maybe Gruden will be in New York.

Yeah, so he can turn Hart down in person. I'm so Grudened out right now..

atnvol#283282 writes:

Notre Dame owns Bama....record is ND 5 the bubbas 1....SEC streak ends. I despise both of them....probably not even watch the game. Aaron Murray let another one slip away....boy just can't win the big game.....thought the GA run defense looked like the Vols.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to atnvol#283282:

Notre Dame owns Bama....record is ND 5 the bubbas 1....SEC streak ends. I despise both of them....probably not even watch the game. Aaron Murray let another one slip away....boy just can't win the big game.....thought the GA run defense looked like the Vols.

I will..Go Irish!!

ivyvol writes:

in response to mdvol:

Please pay the money to get a GREAT coach. Did ya see the SECCG????

Also the real national championship game.

Rock85 writes:

Sarah Palin will be in New York also... yesssss Word will leak out at midnight, Press con at 12AM BANK IT

holen1 writes:

in response to GloryDays:

Golden is the best choice. Good coach, good recruiter, class act who could win at Tennesse if given a chance. Hart needs a coach this week or the Vols are in big trouble.

Will be very disappointed if it it Golden. After what we've been through you just CAN NOT hire a coach who has a losing record ! I don't care where he has coached in the past. NO GOLDEN !

GatorHater1998 writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Jimbo. Word will leak out tomorrow and the announcement will be Monday.

Is this just your guess, or did you hear it from somebody?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At least UT didn't have our coach lie about his medical condition..Lil Urbie ran away because you jort wearing, meth-smoking gator trash put too much pressure on him. Have you laid with your Tebow poster lately??

tnvol34 writes:

BAMA CRUSHES NOTRE DAME NATL CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES! GO SEC! SEVEN IN A ROW! GO VOLS! GET CHARLIE STRONG OR BOBBY PETRINO!

Vol1983 writes:

in response to GatorHater1998:

Is this just your guess, or did you hear it from somebody?

Doesn't really matter; we will all just have to wait and see.

bamavol42 writes:

Charlie Strong is the best choice. He won 10 games and the Big East Championship and won the last game against a 9 win team on the road Thursday night with a quarterback who had a broken wrist and bad ankle. Urban Meyer had a great defense at UF as long as Strong was his DC.
We should have hired the young Brian Kelley instead of Kiffen. He was a proven winner and so is Charlie Strong.

Vol43 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I'm thinking you're probably right. Hart is personal friends with Fisher and Jimbo wants desperately to coach in the SEC. Sounds like the perfect opportunity.

BB if it's Jimbo, then it's Jimbo. To be honest, I'm not overly impressed, but what else are we gonna do? I hope I'm wrong and he will take us to the promised land. Heck, he may not even be our coach so what am I talking about? These are desperate times for Volball. Jimbo has a hard time beating tough teams and now he's gonna take on the elite of the SEC? Now that's a hard nut to crack for anybody including ole what's his name Gruden?

6972 writes:

Que sera, sera. I just hope it is someone with the cahoonas that it will take to put this forest fire out. This job will not be for the weak in heart. I hope there is someone out there who is genuinely interested.

6972 writes:

in response to underthehill:

2013 schedule...Oregon..Fla..S Car.. bama..Ga..
..5 games ..no likely wins
Austin Peay..South Ala..W Ky...3 likely wins..
4 other games..Vandy..Mizzu..Auburn..Ky
Any new coach will have his work cut out for him to win 6..my point is ..it's gonna be a while don't matter who is hired...

I think you may have wisdom beyond your years. I think you are close, if not right on.

GloryDays writes:

in response to holen1:

Will be very disappointed if it it Golden. After what we've been through you just CAN NOT hire a coach who has a losing record ! I don't care where he has coached in the past. NO GOLDEN !

Golden started at a really bad Temple team that went 1-11, his last year was 8-4. I like the fact he improved. Perhaps Hart has Jimbo lined up and it doesn't matter. But Golden is a good caoch and he would be good at Tennessee.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

BB if it's Jimbo, then it's Jimbo. To be honest, I'm not overly impressed, but what else are we gonna do? I hope I'm wrong and he will take us to the promised land. Heck, he may not even be our coach so what am I talking about? These are desperate times for Volball. Jimbo has a hard time beating tough teams and now he's gonna take on the elite of the SEC? Now that's a hard nut to crack for anybody including ole what's his name Gruden?

He was a good coordinator at LSU and if you ask me he's every bit the coach Les Miles is..But, in hindsight that's not saying much. Hart may surprise us and come home with a great hire no one was expecting. At this point I might just be happy with Butch Jones..This is sad.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

BB if it's Jimbo, then it's Jimbo. To be honest, I'm not overly impressed, but what else are we gonna do? I hope I'm wrong and he will take us to the promised land. Heck, he may not even be our coach so what am I talking about? These are desperate times for Volball. Jimbo has a hard time beating tough teams and now he's gonna take on the elite of the SEC? Now that's a hard nut to crack for anybody including ole what's his name Gruden?

He was a good coordinator at LSU and if you ask me he's every bit the coach Les Miles is..But, in hindsight that's not saying much. Hart may surprise us and come home with a great hire no one was expecting. At this point I might just be happy with Butch Jones..This is sad.

wharfrat writes:

Gundy is out after today's loss. Only two people Hart would know is Jimbo and Kirby Smart. What is so impressive about Jimbo, ACC is a weak conference. And, since Hart likely recommended Sunseri to Dooley, why would we be excited about a Bama defensive coordinator with Georgia roots? Watch, Sunseri takes his severance and goes back to Bama, Dooley takes his severance and will be an assistant at Georgia, and Hart will be the next UT athletics department staffer getting a severance check.

Charlie Strong is the only hire that is at all exciting. If he finds the Auburn job more attractive than UT it is a sad day for UT.

lafollette37766 writes:

This just in: Gruden turns down Tennessee offer in order to sign a 7 year 40 million dollar contract with Tennessee. This is for all you Grudenites who still think he is comming here. UT had beter be looking for someone fast or they will be trying to hire out of the unemployment office.

bigdisbig writes:

in response to tnvol34:

BAMA CRUSHES NOTRE DAME NATL CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES! GO SEC! SEVEN IN A ROW! GO VOLS! GET CHARLIE STRONG OR BOBBY PETRINO!

No true Vol fan can root for Bama. If the Taliban brought a team over to play Bama I would be wearing a turban sitting with the muslims.
GO IRISH, DESTROY BAMA!!

Go Vols......

movol53 writes:

in response to GloryDays:

Golden started at a really bad Temple team that went 1-11, his last year was 8-4. I like the fact he improved. Perhaps Hart has Jimbo lined up and it doesn't matter. But Golden is a good caoch and he would be good at Tennessee.

GloryDays, You are missing the point!!!! Vols Fans do not want "good" they want GREAT!!!! "Good" will,at best, get us to the middle of the pack. Did you notice that we play teams that are currently ranked 2, 3, 4 ? With other SEC teams not far behind in the rankings. And this is NORMAL in the SEC.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That was my point..He took another job after claiming coaching induced a medical condition. Of course FU was dumb enough to believe that liar. I hope I didn't harm your man-crush on Urbie.

Voltransplant writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Jimbo. Word will leak out tomorrow and the announcement will be Monday.

I have a feeling that it will be Jimbo as well.

blewissmith writes:

The sky is falling...the sky is falling!

golfman1975 writes:

Maryville High School head coach George Quarles...anouncement coming after the Blue Cross Bowl....unless he loses. Great recruiter...gone through puberty succesfully and can coach um up. Just remember that most college coaches started.

My point is simple...nobody knows jack so save your fingers and stop typing.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to TKO:

Golden from Miami will get the nod.

Just say no! Drugs kill.

alavol writes:

in response to TKO:

I would prefer mora or Petrino but fear of Petrino jumping or mora leaving for the west coast again makes Golden the most likely to be the coach most hopeful to stay around or years which seems to carry as much weight as experience.

you can write a quit clause into the contract just like you do a contract clause. unfortunately Bozo Hamilton only had 800,000 in Kiffin's contract. it should be the same as the annual contract to leave!

SummittsCourt writes:

Tennessee was a good defense from being at least 9-3 this season. The offense was fine - just needed a better running game at times, but they did improve this season. Overall the offense improved by 17 points a game this year.

Whoever Hart hires better be able to hire a Defensive coordinator that can improve the defense fast.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Jimbo. Word will leak out tomorrow and the announcement will be Monday.

I agree but I don't believe it will be Monday, I think between wed and friday. I still think Hart should talk to several coaches while in NY.

alavol writes:

in response to underthehill:

2013 schedule...Oregon..Fla..S Car.. bama..Ga..
..5 games ..no likely wins
Austin Peay..South Ala..W Ky...3 likely wins..
4 other games..Vandy..Mizzu..Auburn..Ky
Any new coach will have his work cut out for him to win 6..my point is ..it's gonna be a while don't matter who is hired...

petrino will make it happen! And the three musketeers would stay- they need the practice- i would volunteer to tutor CP so he can stay in school!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Time to end your gru-mance with gruden. HE WAS NEVER INTERESTED!!!!!

movol53 writes:

UT could do a lot worse than George Quarles. He is a COACH!!!!

wycoller writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

No true Vol fan can root for Bama. If the Taliban brought a team over to play Bama I would be wearing a turban sitting with the muslims.
GO IRISH, DESTROY BAMA!!

Go Vols......

Awright, baby.

Snapshot writes:

in response to lafollette37766:

This just in: Gruden turns down Tennessee offer in order to sign a 7 year 40 million dollar contract with Tennessee. This is for all you Grudenites who still think he is comming here. UT had beter be looking for someone fast or they will be trying to hire out of the unemployment office.

Gruden is still in play. I heard from a super, secret source he is flying to NY tomorrow for a meeting with UT officials. Yeah, it is going to happen. Will probably announce a deal Sunday afternoon.

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