Amid disastrous coaching search, Tennessee reportedly fires athletic director John Currie


Vols Athletic Director John Currie is on leave with pay and former UT head football coach Philip Fulmer has been appointed to perform the role of athletic director, UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced Friday. Former Vols head coach Phil Fulmer is said to be one of those battling with Currie and that could muck up the process to reel in Leach.

The coaching search has taken a number of twists and turns, with passionate fans weighing in at every step of the way as new stories and rumors broke, and others were flat-out denied.

On Thursday evening, Leach reportedly told Dan Harralson, a Tennessee beat writer for Saturday Down South, that "I'm on my way (to Knoxville)".

Tennessee fired football Butch Jones last month and was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on Sunday.

WBIR 10News reporter Michael Crowe met Currie as he left the meeting, asking what they had discussed.

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At Kansas State, Currie benefited from the stability of having longtime football coach Bill Snyder around since his first year on the job. But he was forced out after a 5-7 season in 2008, when Currie was a high-ranking Tennessee athletic department employee.

Fulmer was announced by Davenport as "acting athletic director". The 2017 Cougars finished with a 9-3 record - the first time WSU won nine games in a regular season since 2003 - and notched wins over USC and Stanford, the two teams playing for a Pac-12 title Friday night in Santa Clara.

Leach coached a decade at Texas Tech before taking the WSU job, going 10-for-10 in bowl bids.

Reports linked Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Purdue's Jeff Brohm to Tennessee's vacancy, but both stayed put. Earlier Thursday, North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren agreed to a contract extension after he had discussions with Tennessee.