Tennessee Turns Sights on CutCliffe After Muschamp Refuses Offer

Michael ShibleySenior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2010

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 13:  Head coach David Cutcliffe of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Navy Midshipmen during the game at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 13, 2008 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It looks like it is official.

Texas' defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, has turned down a rumored $3 million a year contract to become the new head coach at Tennessee. He will remain at Texas and is still the head coach-in-waiting whenever Mack Brown decides to retire.

With recruiting going live again on Sunday, Tennessee is working feverishly to get a new head coach in place by then. The Vols had Muschamp as number one on their list of candidates, but have now turned their focus to current Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.

Cutcliffe is the former Tennessee offensive coordinator who tutored Peyton Manning, as well as Eli Manning when he was the head coach at Ole Miss. Cutcliffe returned to Tennessee as offensive coordinator in 2006 and helped Erik Ainge rebound after a disastrous 2005.

Cutcliffe would be a great fit at Tennessee.

He knows the area backwards and forwards, knows how to coach quarterbacks, and he won't bolt after one season. It would be a safe hire after the wake of destruction Lane Kiffin left in only 14 months. He has also been a proven head coach. He had turned around Ole Miss, but was then unceremoniously fired the one losing season after Eli Manning left. So far in two years at Duke he has won nine games, and at Duke that is phenomenal!

On top of all that, Peyton Manning recommends Daivd Cutcliffe to become the new head coach at Tennessee.

How can you disagree with that?