Tennessee's search: Is it down to Mike Gundy and Charlie Strong?

Louisville coach Charlie Strong, left, and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.

(Associated Press Photos)

Louisville coach Charlie Strong, left, and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. (Associated Press Photos)

NEW YORK -- There's still much we don't know now, and might not ever know, about Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart's search for a new football coach.

So let's focus on what we can reasonably assume.

As of Monday, Hart appears to have at least two very solid candidates waiting for an offer. One, I think, would say yes. The other I'm not so sure about.

The first candidate is Louisville's Charlie Strong. The second is Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy.

Continue reading at Evan Woodbery's (free) govolsxtra blog: Evan's Eleven.

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Comments » 66

BigOrangeInEngland writes:

We need someone who can recruit and brings in a top level DC.
I’m no expert so I’ll leave it to those who hopefully know what they’re doing !!

GloryDays writes:

Dave Hart has had over a year and this is what it comes down too? I still have doubts that Gundy will leave Oklahoma State. T Boone Pickens will get out his check book if he wants to keep him.
Charlie Strong can he beat Spurrier, Richt, Saban? He has had a good 3 year run in a bad conference. Anything is an upgrade over Dooley but I don't have a lot of confidence in either one of these guys. Get on board and give them 3 years.

willblitz4bacon writes:

Are you kidding me? After months of speculation these are the two coaches to decide on? We'll I'll be a son of a motherless goat!

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to BigOrangeInEngland:

We need someone who can recruit and brings in a top level DC.
I’m no expert so I’ll leave it to those who hopefully know what they’re doing !!

Maybe you should apply for the job of Vol President or AD, least you admit up front you don't know what you are doing.

drwut70 writes:

What difference does it make who is chosen? According to Climer and Adams, those paragons of sports reporting and analysis, Tennessee is 2nd tier and second rate as a football program and will remain so.

Flight_of_the_vol writes:

haters gonna hate. These two coaches have won their respective conferences within the last two years. And Strong did it back to back. These guys go head to head in their talent pool and take the cake. That's the best you're gonna get.

Vol86 writes:

I an not excited about these two choices, but it is still an upgrade from Dooley.

Rosie writes:

Lets hope gvx is clueless. So much for the home run hire. So much for Hart 'having his man' weeks ago. 8-4/9-3 here we come!

BigOrangeInEngland writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

Maybe you should apply for the job of Vol President or AD, least you admit up front you don't know what you are doing.

I would love to move to Knoxville from England and take the job of AD. All I need to do is update my CV.
VFL. Go Vols!!

screenthis writes:

I believe Strong would be a good hire. He's got the SEC experience, Head Coaching experience, and he's a strong recruiter. I suspect our recruiting classes would improve greatly. So, for those disappointed in these choices, who would you prefer?

Scoon writes:

Ok, now I may be out there on this ... but, I just don't see what's so hot about Charlie Strong. JMO and apparently, several others opinion here, as well.

Another thang... Now, I AM a Cat, yet I do recognize and can acknowledge the past prominence of UT football within the SEC programs. Now, I always want to beat UT..<ahem>, BUT...aside from that issue...you guys NEED to regain your rightful stance within SEC college football realm. I mean really. So, now, are you guys really gonna tell me that you're gonna go from Derrick Dooley to Charlie Strong? Huh? I mean, excuse me for saying so, but that seems to be almost a joke....if true. I mean ... what's so hot about him? KY, when we were looking, didn't even give Charlie Strong the first glance for consideration, so now what does that tell ya? And, he's right in our backyard, too!

Oh, well...it does seem to be appearing possible that very soon, that you vols may be a straddling post-Dooley epilog Blues, again, and that Vol43 is agonna be ahanging his face out his rolled down car window again, on blustery cold autumn nights, whilst the cold rain abeats him in the face and awhilst he eats his BigMac with ketchup and fries, again. Poor Vol43...tisk tisk, so sad... :(

no1djkb#278630 writes:

You guys kill me. Who and the heck is a homerun out there now? I don't know of any coaches that is tearing it up. So you want Jimbo? I guy that lost to N.C. State and barely beat Georgia Tech? Give me a break. I still maintain why not get a guy that coached in the SEC.

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

I still say these coaches are better if available.
1.Gary Patterson
2.Bobby Patrino
3.Tom tuberville
4.Jim Mora

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

You guys kill me. Who and the heck is a homerun out there now? I don't know of any coaches that is tearing it up. So you want Jimbo? I guy that lost to N.C. State and barely beat Georgia Tech? Give me a break. I still maintain why not get a guy that coached in the SEC.

Agreed---maybe Tom Tuberville

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

in response to FulmerDestoyedUT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed---coaching in Big East does not impress.

smugolf08 writes:

Where is Hayden Fox when you need him?

westknoxrepub writes:

I hear Charlie Strong's a good coach. . .two 7-6 Seasons in the Big East and no outright titles. . .I hear Charlie Strong's a good recruiter. . .currently he has the 6th ranked class in the Big East. . .please tell me why we should hire Charlie Strong?

linebam writes:

Wish we could get Bob Stoops!

VOLNCAL writes:

We need a coach that is hungry to achieve in this league, not one who gets a huge buy-out built into their contract in case things don't work out. That is the problem here. There are no coaches that want to come to Tennessee because it is Tennessee. That is what we had with Coach Fulmer all those years. His heart was in it. You find me a coach that wants to pour their heart and soul into Tennessee football and that is the man for the job....Anyone coming to mind yet?

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to VOLNCAL:

We need a coach that is hungry to achieve in this league, not one who gets a huge buy-out built into their contract in case things don't work out. That is the problem here. There are no coaches that want to come to Tennessee because it is Tennessee. That is what we had with Coach Fulmer all those years. His heart was in it. You find me a coach that wants to pour their heart and soul into Tennessee football and that is the man for the job....Anyone coming to mind yet?

great post

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to LCPanthers:

I still say these coaches are better if available.
1.Gary Patterson
2.Bobby Patrino
3.Tom tuberville
4.Jim Mora

And Jim Tressel

Tressel is the top guy available based on actual record.

Walt

UT '81

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

And Jim Tressel

Tressel is the top guy available based on actual record.

Walt

UT '81

Yeah but tressel has Show Cause issues.

VolnDallas writes:

As I posted yesterday, why would a coach with a good potential to have consistent winning seasons, conference titles and occasional BCS appearances leave to come to UT to play against five of the top 10 teams in the country--every season? Where, if he coached to virtual perfection, and landed top 10 recruiting classes every year, he could still easily go 7-5 in any given year.

Strong may be an exception due to the lack of fan support at UL, but I don't see Fisher leaving FSU, where he can rule the ACC roost and go to a BCS bowl practically every year, to come to the Vols.

Tressel may be a good gamble, but Hart's comments about the importance of integrity seem to rule him out.

Hounddawg writes:

in response to Scoon:

Ok, now I may be out there on this ... but, I just don't see what's so hot about Charlie Strong. JMO and apparently, several others opinion here, as well.

Another thang... Now, I AM a Cat, yet I do recognize and can acknowledge the past prominence of UT football within the SEC programs. Now, I always want to beat UT..<ahem>, BUT...aside from that issue...you guys NEED to regain your rightful stance within SEC college football realm. I mean really. So, now, are you guys really gonna tell me that you're gonna go from Derrick Dooley to Charlie Strong? Huh? I mean, excuse me for saying so, but that seems to be almost a joke....if true. I mean ... what's so hot about him? KY, when we were looking, didn't even give Charlie Strong the first glance for consideration, so now what does that tell ya? And, he's right in our backyard, too!

Oh, well...it does seem to be appearing possible that very soon, that you vols may be a straddling post-Dooley epilog Blues, again, and that Vol43 is agonna be ahanging his face out his rolled down car window again, on blustery cold autumn nights, whilst the cold rain abeats him in the face and awhilst he eats his BigMac with ketchup and fries, again. Poor Vol43...tisk tisk, so sad... :(

KY didnt look at Strong because he would take that job...either way I still am holding out for David Howell. Rumor is he is in NY with Hart now.

Rockytopfan96 writes:

DOOLEY!!!

RoyaltyVol writes:

I don't believe these are the 2 finalists, but if it was I'd take Strong over Gundy hands down.

Orangeblood64 writes:

in response to LCPanthers:

I still say these coaches are better if available.
1.Gary Patterson
2.Bobby Patrino
3.Tom tuberville
4.Jim Mora

I'm with you on this one except drop #3, Tuberville. Look at his last year with Auburn. My wish is Mora.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

Tuberville is the best option, if available. Auburn should have never let him go.

SouthTexasVol writes:

No to charlie strong. Yes to Bobby Petrino he is the coach we need to move forward. But hart will hire another dooley, like strong.

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

I would welcome Charlie Strong.He can coach defense in the SEC,knows the SEC east well and can recruit it.He he could retain the proven offensive staff bringing some stability to the program and saving UT some money while rewarding some loyalty.Sounds like a good plan to me.

Orangeblood64 writes:

in response to LCPanthers:

I still say these coaches are better if available.
1.Gary Patterson
2.Bobby Patrino
3.Tom tuberville
4.Jim Mora

Mora turned down interview with Auburn and UT. Down to three. I say Patrino or Patterson

BigToe18 writes:

WHATS WRONG WITH BUTCH JONES OR THE BOSIE ST. COACH? remember did,nt myer come from Utah and look what he did with florida. jones has done really well in cinny the last few yrs. and is an in your face kinda coach like cutcliff from duke or kelly from N DAME.

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

in response to BigToe18:

WHATS WRONG WITH BUTCH JONES OR THE BOSIE ST. COACH? remember did,nt myer come from Utah and look what he did with florida. jones has done really well in cinny the last few yrs. and is an in your face kinda coach like cutcliff from duke or kelly from N DAME.

Butch is 60,doubt he would last long.After we ran off Justin Wilcox I don't think the Boise coach would be interested.

BigDaddyOrange writes:

Every Tennesse fan should read this article and make as much noise as possible about it. This hire makes more sense than Strong or Gundy. Shaw has proven his abilities and is a low risk hire - which is what we need right now! You can bet the farm he will not stay at Stanford. Someone is going to scoop this jewel of a coach up, and every SEC school who didn't scoop him up will be kicking themselves in the a**!http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14...

RoyaltyVol writes:

I must first say "I was wrong"! I truly believed Jimbo Fisher was our next coach. Here is my new top 3 in order:

1) Gary Patterson- TCU
2) Brett Bielema- Wisconsin
3) Charlie Strong- Louisville

Git r done Hart

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

in response to BigDaddyOrange:

Every Tennesse fan should read this article and make as much noise as possible about it. This hire makes more sense than Strong or Gundy. Shaw has proven his abilities and is a low risk hire - which is what we need right now! You can bet the farm he will not stay at Stanford. Someone is going to scoop this jewel of a coach up, and every SEC school who didn't scoop him up will be kicking themselves in the a**!http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14...

Thanks for the link,good article.I've liked this guy for a while but have not heard of any UT interest in him.I could be happy with that hire.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to OrangeBloodFlood:

Thanks for the link,good article.I've liked this guy for a while but have not heard of any UT interest in him.I could be happy with that hire.

Shaw is a good coach but my concern is that he just inherited Harbaugh's team and work. 3 years from now will tell us more about Shaw.

tedstryker1980 writes:

Strong or Gundy? Is this a joke? Fire Hart if this is true.

BigDaddyOrange writes:

in response to OrangeBloodFlood:

Thanks for the link,good article.I've liked this guy for a while but have not heard of any UT interest in him.I could be happy with that hire.

I have not heard any UT interest in him either. I am trying to make enough noise to try and get Tennessee to notice him. I just can't believe that his name isn't in the mix. I moved from Tennessee (lifelong resident) to Florida 5 years ago, and it has been a LOOOONG five years among the Gator fans. I cannot even begin to talk junk.....

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I hear Charlie Strong's a good coach. . .two 7-6 Seasons in the Big East and no outright titles. . .I hear Charlie Strong's a good recruiter. . .currently he has the 6th ranked class in the Big East. . .please tell me why we should hire Charlie Strong?

Strong or Gundy would be so weak at UT. I would just as soon have Jim Chaney elevated to Head Coach for a one year trial than hire someone longterm who doesn't have any appeal.

Maybe next year will yield a better year of candidates. After Gruden, I don't see the fanbase excited or confident about anyone.

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to tedstryker1980:

Strong or Gundy? Is this a joke? Fire Hart if this is true.

I concur. If it's come to this, then we need another AD as bad as a new coach.

Why did Hart terminate Dooley without a sure replacement already in line? This is ridiculous.

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

in response to OrangeBloodFlood:

Butch is 60,doubt he would last long.After we ran off Justin Wilcox I don't think the Boise coach would be interested.

Butch Davis is 60, sorry wrong Butch

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Scoon:

Ok, now I may be out there on this ... but, I just don't see what's so hot about Charlie Strong. JMO and apparently, several others opinion here, as well.

Another thang... Now, I AM a Cat, yet I do recognize and can acknowledge the past prominence of UT football within the SEC programs. Now, I always want to beat UT..<ahem>, BUT...aside from that issue...you guys NEED to regain your rightful stance within SEC college football realm. I mean really. So, now, are you guys really gonna tell me that you're gonna go from Derrick Dooley to Charlie Strong? Huh? I mean, excuse me for saying so, but that seems to be almost a joke....if true. I mean ... what's so hot about him? KY, when we were looking, didn't even give Charlie Strong the first glance for consideration, so now what does that tell ya? And, he's right in our backyard, too!

Oh, well...it does seem to be appearing possible that very soon, that you vols may be a straddling post-Dooley epilog Blues, again, and that Vol43 is agonna be ahanging his face out his rolled down car window again, on blustery cold autumn nights, whilst the cold rain abeats him in the face and awhilst he eats his BigMac with ketchup and fries, again. Poor Vol43...tisk tisk, so sad... :(

Hello Scoon
Sorry to see Ky slide, but it is early and they'll do fine.
I have to agree on the Strong deal. I think UT should be looking very close at the Pac12 team coaches. UCLA and Stanford both have the real thing. I think that both could be had by UT. I'm a die hard SEC fan but other conf. also play pretty good football and have good coaches. May be that the really good coaches come from other areas than the SEC. Yes I love Steve, Phil and the Bear but Sab, Les and Urbin aren't bad either. I also loved both Woody and Bo. We should hear something today or tomorrow.

oldster writes:

There is only one thing for certain. Some people will hate whomever is named as head coach. More will join the haters as soon as he loses a game, fails to beat the spread, or loses two games in a season after having won a National Championship the year before. I just wish no one expected a coach to perform at his job better than they do at theirs. If that were to be the case, the loudest and most consistent of complainers would never say "Boo."

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

sbnation.com is reporting that Hart is interviewing Larry Fedora today and that the list has narrowed to him,Charlie Strong and Mike Gundy.I think Charlie is our best bet...we had(and have) an offense...we need Defense! CS is proven in the SEC and know what it takes here to win a title.Whoever gets the job I hope Vol nation will unite once again,for divided we have fallen.

gwh_1947 writes:

I agree with the comments about what took so long. Hart had to know that he was going to get rid of Dooley and should have had his ducks in a row. Would not surprise me if we wind up with another Dooley like coach. Heck, I would be happy to lead the Vols to an 0-fer record in the SEC East for a bargain $500,000.

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

GUNDY and STRONG this is what Tennessee footballs choices are? Wake me when its over, Strong is defensive guy but would probably make us irrelevant offensively, GUNDY offensive guy but would make us irrelevant defensively, so pick your poison, pay them both 3 million a year and looks like we could compete.

Don't hire JIM TRESSEL; or even see if hes' interested WHATEVER!

Ill take GUNDY over STRONG.

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

By the way if Charlie Strong was so good then why hasnt he landed a headcoaching job at a top school anywhere wether it be B1G , PAC, Big12, seemed like if he was that good somebody would have picked him up by now besides Conference USA/Bigeast/ACC Louisville.

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

I hoping HART is using these 2 coaches as a smokescreen for the JIM TRESSEL announcement but probably not.

djohnnyg writes:

Brett Bielma leaving Wisconsin to take Arkansas job.

My apologies if you already knew this.

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