Randy Smith: John Currie Finally Pulls The Trigger

Monday, November 13, 2017 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Well, it finally happened. After weeks of speculation regarding the future of head football coach Butch Jones, Tennessee athletic director John Currie did what many members of the Vol Nation had been wanting. He fired Coach Butch Jones. After all, a 50-17 loss at Missouri doesn't get you a contract extension. Neither does an 0-6 start in SEC play which the Vols now have. And following just two head coaches in a 32-year period, (Majors and Fulmer) Tennessee will soon be hiring a head coach for the fourth time in nine years

Butch Jones was given an opportunity to coach the Vols in their final two games of the season but he declined.
That chore on an interim basis now belongs to former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke who has spent this season coaching the team's defensive line. Both remaining games are at home beginning with LSU and ending with Vanderbilt the following  weekend. Tennessee must win both games to finish 6-6 and qualify for a bowl game, though that is not a likely scenario.  

So now the search is officially underway to hire the next guy who will be the "caretaker of Tennessee football." That's a direct quote from Butch Jones by the way. Just like "Champions of Life" and "Brick by brick." Who that person will be is anybody's guess right now. John Currie has very likely had a few people in mind for several weeks now but he's not telling anyone and he doesn't plan to make any comments publicly about the hire until the press conference announcing who it will be.

I have written and spoken about who I think should become the next head Vol. Tennessee should look no further than Starkville, Mississippi to find their new guy. Dan Mullen has drawn the interest of several schools including Florida and he is headed somewhere next season......it's just a matter of where. It may as well be Knoxville. Mullen isn't the only good choice that Currie could make. He could also hire UCF's Scott Frost or even Iowa State's Matt Campbell. Either one of those guys would make a great choice. 

Tennessee is a great job to have in college football. It is potentially a top-ten position, though like Vol teams over the last decade, it hasn't really met that potential. UT has first class facilities, a huge and passionate fan base and a recruiting budget that surpasses every other school in the SEC, including Alabama. It would be a dream job for any coach not named Saban or Meyer. John Currie simply has to find the right guy.

The right guy is out there. A good young coach with a great mind and attitude toward recruiting who doesn't mind working 350 out of 365 days a year. A coach who can be as passionate about the game of football as his fan base would be, and a coach who can take the pressure of coaching in the SEC week after week. Finding that right guy will be quite a challenge. Good luck John Currie. You'll need it.  
* * *

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer.  His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga television for more than a quarter-century. In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith. They have five grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, Mattingly, DellaMae, and CoraLee.

 






Cleveland State Baseball Completes Sweep Against Vincennes

The Cleveland State Baseball team had their home opener  on Sunday , a doubleheader against Vincennes University. It was a sweep for the Cougars, winning game one, 10-1, and game two, 3-2. Trey Martin got things started for the Cougars in the 3rd inning, blasting a solo home run to right field. Vincennes quickly answered in the top of the 4th inning, tying the game up ... (click for more)

Dalton State Defeats Mobile On Senior Day

Dalton State made Senior Day sweet, collecting a 79-61 victory over Mobile (Ala.) at Mashburn Arena on Saturday night. Mobile would come out with intent of spoiling senior night by jumping out to a quick ten point lead. Dalton State would claw their way back with smothering defense. The Roadrunners would receive some help from the Rams as they would give Dalton State a free ... (click for more)

Cachet Peterson, 21, Killed, Tiana Linares, 24, Injured, In Drive-by Shooting Early Sunday Morning On Chestnut Street

Cachet Peterson, 21, was killed and Tiana Linares, 24, was injured in a drive-by shooting on Chestnut Street early Sunday morning. The Chattanooga Police Department responded to a shooting call at 1:27 a.m. in the 1800 block of Chestnut Street .  Upon arrival, officers located the two female victims in a vehicle suffering from gunshot wounds. HCEMS responded to the ... (click for more)

Woman Killed At Foot Of Lookout Mountain After Truck Loses Brakes

A woman was killed at the foot of Lookout Mountain on Saturday morning after her car was struck by a truck that had lost its brakes coming down the mountain. The victim was identified as Mallory Baldschun. A child in her Toyota Tacoma had minor injuries, police said. The driver of the International Prostar truck, James Wilson, also had minor injuries. Two other vehicles ... (click for more)

Six Things We Can Do About Mass Shootings - And Response

All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.   And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s Time To ‘Prepare’

On Friday morning, this after a crazed human being killed 17 innocent children and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, I sat in a room with Sheriff Jim Hammond and members of his command staff and asked what everyone us want to know: “What do we do?” Gino Bennett, the sage guiding force, sat beside me and he told the room, “The time to ‘prevent’ is over ... (click for more)