The Tennessee Volunteers will reportedly hire a former Buccaneers head coach. It’s not the one so many fans wanted, but they will bring in an ex-Tampa Bay coach to replace the recently fired Butch Jones.
According to USA Today’s Dan Wolken, the Vols are finalizing a deal with former Bucs and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, currently on staff at Ohio State, with the announcement expected later on Sunday.
It’s not Jon Gruden, as so many Vols fans were hoping for, but Schiano gives them at least a somewhat established name and a coach with the co-sign of Urban Meyer. According to Bruce Feldman, the current hang up in negotiations is whether Schiano will remain with the Buckeyes through their bowl game or not.
While Schiano became a punchline for his tenure in the NFL, he is the only coach to have legitimate success at Rutgers recently, which is quite the feat, and he always overperformed as a recruiter while in Piscataway. The question is whether Schiano is the right culture fit for the Vols, but if Tennessee wasn’t able to lure in the top names on the possible coaching market like Dan Mullen (apparently headed to Florida), Chip Kelly (signed on with UCLA), Scott Frost (likely headed to Nebraska or staying at UCF), and with Gruden always being a pipe dream, Schiano isn’t a terrible hire like many will say.
There will be criticism of the hire, especially if the likes of Mike Norvell, currently still at Memphis, were available and Tennessee passed on a younger, up-and-coming coach for Schiano. That said, considering their track record of late going with those kinds of coaches — Derek Dooley, Lane Kiffin, and Jones — it’s hard to fault them for seeking out a known commodity.
That said, there are concerns beyond the field involving Schiano, most notably the testimony from former Penn State assistant Mike McQueary that Schiano, while an assistant at Penn State, was aware of Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting young boys long before law enforcement was made aware of Sandusky’s heinous acts.