Instead of initially being fired, the school announced yesterday (Friday, December 1, 2017) that Director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee John Currie has been placed on leave with pay. The exhausting coaching search has caused tension and uncertainty between fans and staff. After nearly a week of misfires, Chancellor Beverly Davenport said in a news conference yesterday that she asked Currie to return to Knoxville Thursday afternoon before continuing his search for the new head coach.
“Challenges require tough decisions, and today required one of those decisions,” Davenport said of her decision to put Currie on indefinite paid leave.
“We’re here today to begin a new era and move our university athletic department forward,” Davenport said. “I’ve asked Phillip Fulmer to take the reins of this [head coach] search.”
Davenport said she has changed the athletic department leadership for the best interest of the university. Fulmer said that he’s “honored to have this opportunity” from Davenport.
“I’ve been charged to find the right coach for this circumstance,” Fulmer said. “We need to be on the same page going forward, not looking back on the last nine years.”