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All-Time Worst Coaching Search

If you believe the rumors, Jimbo Fisher is on his way to Texas A&M. And if you believe the rumors, Tennessee…is…well, I don’t know what the hell Tennessee is doing. I hesitate to start a take on Tennessee because at the rate they’re imploding, some new disaster could take place before I finish it. But let’s start with a quick recap, anyway?

Previously on the Tennessee Head Coaching Search: they fired Butch Jones with two games left in the regular season. The thinking at the time was that maybe this would let them get out in front of it and start working on a replacement sooner rather than later. And the truth is, if they fired him with two games left, they really started thinking about firing him with five or more games left.

So they fire Butch Jones and they don’t exactly take advantage of that early lead that they had in the coaching search. In fact, quite the opposite. Instead of landing a big fish like Chip Kelly or Dan Mullen, they make a big run at Greg Schiano. That blew up in the worst way possible. No worries. They’ll bounce back. They’re Tennessee and they make a run at Jeff Brohm, which would’ve been a great hire. But that doesn’t work. No problem. Let’s check with Dave Doeren at NC State. Nope. Okay. This is getting ugly, but what about making a run at Mike Leach?

That’s a hell of an idea. Now we’re talking. These guys couldn’t get their acts together and then they pull this out of backside? Incredible. The Pirate coaching in the SEC again? Who wouldn’t want to see him tormenting Nick Saban with his offense? I don’t want that to happen, I need it to happen. Love that idea. The pirate could live on a pirate ship on the Tennessee River and take a dinghy to work.

Tennessee athletic director John Currie made a run at him and by all accounts, it went pretty well. Bruce Feldman, who wrote a book with Mike Leach and is pretty well sourced when it comes to all things Leach, tweeted the following last night “#Tennessee coaching search update: Source tells me the meeting with Mike Leach went very well. And… Stay tuned.”

Leach was even spotted outside the Pullman airport this morning

The dream is alive. And what a beautiful dream it is. Mike Leach. The SEC. So glorious. So majestic. And here comes the ultimate record scratch.

Because earlier this morning, Feldman tweeted: SOURCES: #Tennessee’s meeting in LA with Mike Leach went very well but just when you think things can’t possibly get much crazier with #Vols coaching search they have.

No! NO! NOOOOOOOO!

Feldman goes on to report, and I want to read this word for word, because I want you to experience the same feeling of dread that I felt when I read it: “Word is the meeting with Leach and Tennessee AD John Currie lasted a few hours and went “very well,” SI has learned. And I’m told there would be genuine interest in the Vols job from the Washington State head man. However this whole deal is complicated by the dynamic swirling around within UT’s leadership. We’ve heard from multiple sources there is a lot of in-fighting, finger-pointing and back-stabbing taking place amongst Tennessee brass. As SI reported earlier this week, there is a growing faction at Tennessee pushing to get Currie removed. Former Vols head coach Phil Fulmer is said to be one of those battling with Currie and that could muck up the process to reel in Leach.”

You bastards! You blew it! You blew it! You had a chance to create something beautiful in this ugly world. You had the chance to have Mike Leach leading your team out of the tunnel at Neyland Stadium and you ruined it. I’m sick. Absolutely sick to my stomach.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, there were multiple reports this morning that Currie has now been fired as athletic director. You know you’ve run a great job search as an athletic director when you’re the one who’s searching for a job after it’s over.

Listen, I’m not going to say that Currie was a great athletic director. He wasn’t. In fact, he was pretty terrible at his job. But if he could’ve landed Mike Leach at Tennessee, then he would’ve been the greatest athletic director in history. Instead, he’s history as an athletic director.

I would ask what the hell is going on in Knoxville, but I don’t think anyone in Knoxville knows what the hell is going on. They’ve run one of the all-time worst coaching searches and now they get to run an athletic director search as well. That’ll be awesome. Just awesome. Call this a dumpster fire or a train wreck or whatever other beaten down expression you want. I can’t even be bothered to label it because I’m so disgusted with everyone involved. We came this close to something magical and then for one reason or another Tennessee blew it. They had the ball on their opponent’s goal line and threw a pick-six. Great job, losers.

Except sometimes a pick-six is funny. There’s nothing funny about this. And the only guy laughing right now is Butch Jones, champion of life.