Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was set to become the next head coach at Tennessee, but when news of his impending hire went public, Vols fans went ballistic. Hundreds protested outside of Neyland Stadium, while anger on social media came fast and furious.
Tennessee athletic director John Currie probably didn’t see this coming.
“John Currie is the most tone-deaf athletic director on the planet, and he should not be employed there,” CBS Sports college football writer Barrett Sallee said on Gio and Jones. “Let’s put aside the Jerry Sandusky stuff and the connection to Greg Schiano. Why on earth is Greg Schiano a good coach for Tennessee from a football perspective? He’s not. It doesn’t make any sense. He is very, very similar to Butch Jones from a personality standpoint, which is one of the primary reasons Butch Jones got fired.”
Jones went 34-27 in five seasons and was 0-6 in SEC play this season.
Schiano, 51, coached at Penn State from 1990-95, spent time with the Chicago Bears from 1996-98, was the defensive coordinator at The U from 1999-2000, and served as head coach at Rutgers from 2001-11. After an unsuccessful stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-13, Schiano stepped away from coaching before landing on Urban Meyer’s staff in 2016.
“His success at Rutgers was a little bit over-inflated due to the situation he was in as a conference at that time,” Sallee said. “It doesn’t make any sense to hire him from a pure football perspective. And then you throw in the potential connection to Jerry Sandusky, why on earth would you think that that’s a good idea if you’re athletics director John Currie?”
Schiano also brought other baggage.
“I don’t think people know he’s got a beef with Peyton Manning,” Sallee said. “They do not get along at all. (Currie) did not consult with Phillip Fulmer. He didn’t consult with anybody. To let this happen and to go down this way and to have a reportedly signed memorandum of understanding for him to be the coach without having tested the waters, so to speak, it’s mind-boggling. It speaks to the lack of proper leadership throughout the entire Tennessee athletics department, and that goes all the way to the top boosters – the Haslams, who just so happen to be involved with the Cleveland Browns, which should tell you something about their acumen.
“The mob rule was justified because they’re sick of inept leadership,” Sallee continued. “That’s the problem. The mob is not the problem. The problem is that John Currie has continued a long trend of just complete ineptitude from that athletic department.”
Brian Jones wondered if USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin would be a good choice for Tennessee. Martin, 39, was a member of Tennessee’s most recent national-title team in 1998.
“I think Tee Martin would be a fantastic coach,” Sallee said. “From an offensive perspective, he’s great, and then from a recruiting perspective, he’s an ace recruiter. He’s from the Mobile area, which is a talent-rich area, which Tennessee doesn’t necessarily get into a lot, but with him, maybe you can. Tee Martin should get a job this offseason somewhere as a head coach. Whether that be at South Alabama or one of these other Sun Belt schools, he should be a head coach next year no doubt.”
Tennessee finished 4-8 this season. The eight losses were the most in program history.