Tennessee Suspends Athletic Director John Currie, Hires Phillip Fulmer

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2017

Tennessee athletic director, John Currie, is seen before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

The University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced athletic director John Currie has been suspended after just eight months on the job, per Jill Martin of CNN.

Chynna Greene of WVLT in Knoxville, Tennessee, initially reported Currie was fired from the position.

Sources told Chris Low of ESPN.com that Phillip Fulmer will replace Currie, per Brett McMurphy.

According to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, an industry source said Fulmer "has tried to undermine" Currie throughout the coaching search in hopes of becoming Tennessee's athletic director.

Fulmer was Tennessee's head football coach from 1992 through 2008, and he is currently a special adviser to Tennessee President Dr. Joe DiPietro.

Michael Crowe of WBIR offered the following report of Currie having a meeting with University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport on Friday:

Michael Crowe @MichaelReports

Just saw @john_currie walk into UT Chancellor Davenport’s office at 9:08a. Was in there about 12min, walked out. I chatted with him for a sec—he said “I can’t say anything to you just now” and got in the elevator @wbir

Currie was hired by Tennessee in February after an eight-year stint as athletic director at Kansas State University.

Currie had been leading Tennessee's search for a new head football coach following the firing of Butch Jones.

He appeared to have made a choice in the form of Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, but after public backlash regarding the reported hiring, Currie went back on the decision despite signing a memorandum of understanding, per ESPN's Chris Low.

Following the Schiano fiasco, Tennessee reportedly set its sights on several other candidates, including Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Purdue's Jeff Brohm and NC State's Dave Doeren, according to ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg.

Per Low, Currie met with Washington State head coach Mike Leach regarding the opening Thursday, although no deal was reached.

The Volunteers posted a disappointing 4-8 record this season after winning nine games in each of the previous two seasons.

Tennessee hasn't won double-digit games since 2007, and it has qualified for a bowl just three times in the past seven years.


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