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Moves And Rumored Moves On The SEC’s Coaching Carousel

Here are the latest moves and rumored moves on the SEC’s coaching carousel…

* Arkansas has lost another assistant coach.  As expected, Weber State alum John L. Smith is returning to his alma mater to take over as head coach.  Smith — Arkansas’ special teams coach — is departing just a day after offensive coordinator Garrick McGee was named the head coach at UAB.  McGee will not coach the Hogs in the Cotton Bowl.

The man McGee replaced after the 2009 season — Paul Petrino — will be returning to Arkansas.  Bobby’s younger brother was on the Illinois coaching staff of Ron Zook who was blown up last month.  He’s expected to take his old job as offensive coordinator.

* Tennessee will be shifting quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw over to the receivers position to replace the retiring Charlie Baggett.  This after reports that claimed UT had approached former Vol and current Kentucky receivers coach Tee Martin about Baggett’s position.  Reports from Knoxville indicate the school never offered Martin the job.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will take over the quarterback coaching duties which leaves an open slot for a running backs coach.  Former Memphis coach Larry Porter — who has offers across the South because of his recruiting ties — is believed to be a UT target.  Another target might be former UT player and current South Carolina running backs coach Jay Graham. is reporting that UT special teams coach Eric Russell is expected to take the same position on Mike Leach’s staff at Washington State.  Russell coached with Leach at Texas Tech.

And while we’re on the subject of Tennessee, The Lawrence Journal-World reports that ex-Volunteers head coach Phillip Fulmer is interested in the open Kansas job.  Fulmer has been out of coaching the since 2008.  The former national title-winning coach might like having his name tossed around in connection with vacancies, but we doubt he has a serious interest in KU.

* As we told you this morning, the latest name to be tossed into the mix at Texas A&M is that of Dan Mullen of Mississippi State.  It’s also been reported that A&M officials have already interviewed Larry Fedora — a College Station native who is also a leading candidate at North Carolina — and Kevin Sumlin.

Louisville’s Charlie Strong has also been mentioned in connection with the Aggies’ top job… and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney had his name attached to the gig yesterday.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is also expected to interview with A&M officials at some point — if he hasn’t already.

* New Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze is expected to bring Dave Wommack (defensive coordinator), Tom Allen (linebackers coach), Grant Heard (quarterbacks coach), Chris Kiffin (defensive line coach) and Maurice Harris (tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator) with him from Arkansas State. 

We’ll have more on Freeze’s introduction in Oxford shortly.

* The University of Kentucky student newspaper has reported that co-defensive coordinator Steve Brown will not have his contract renewed when it expires in June.  Joker Phillips’ staff will include only two holdovers from Rich Brooks’ last staff — Randy Sanders (offensive coordinator) and Chuck Smith (linebackers coach).

We mentioned this story over the weekend, too, for those who missed it.



Why would Kansas be interested in Fulmer? He's not the coach here for a reason. Also, looks like the rats are jumping off the sinking ship that is Derek Dooley. But I'm glad Graham is coming back. I bet he got assurances that he will be retained after Dooley gets fired next year.


Why do you not feel Fulmer is interested in Kansas? Cause its a tough job, too old, etc....
I thought by now he be ready to jump back into it.


Dooley will not be fired next year or the year after. Sorry to disappoint you.



Moving from Tennessee to Kansas -- traditionally speaking -- would be a pretty big step down the ladder. I just don't think that's the kind of job most 60-year-old men would gravitate toward after a three-year hiatus from coaching.

We'll see.



I don't know if Fulmer is interested in Kansas or not, but I doubt that he has very many options if he wants back into coaching. You usually don't get another high profile job if you get fired.


Cutcliffe went from Ole Miss to Duke. Might be the kind of low expectation job he's looking for at this stage in his life.


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