Multiple reports surfaced Thursday night that WSU football coach Mike Leach had interviewed with Tennessee, but it’s by no means a done deal, and if WSU plays its cards right, Leach could still end up in Pullman next season.
Update: As of 6:58 a.m. Friday morning, Chynna Green, a Knoxville-based TV reporter, is reporting that Tennessee AD John Currie has been fired. ESPN’s national college football reporter, Chris Low, confirmed Green’s report a few minutes later.
Brett McMurphy, formerly of ESPN, also reported Friday morning that Currie was “prepared to hire” Leach after their meeting but that other officials at Tennessee were sabotaging the coaching search to get Currie fired.
I was not surprised to hear Thursday night that Washington State coach Mike Leach had interviewed for a job over a lunch meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon.
Football coaches shop all the time. It’s part of the business, plus, Leach’s long-term future in Pullman has been a question mark ever since the man who hired him, Bill Moos, left WSU to become Nebraska’s athletic director on Oct. 15.
But I was stunned by the news of who Leach had reportedly interviewed with: Tennessee.
Whichever way you cut this one, the slipper doesn’t seem to fit.
Tennessee, mind you, has, in the last week, become the laughing stock of the college football world as its quest to replace the fired Butch Jones quickly turned into a soap opera.
Tennessee athletic director John Currie’s first choice for his coaching vacancy was Greg Schiano. But fierce backlash from Vols fans – who protested the hire citing Schiano’s alleged knowledge of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children while he was an assistant at Penn State in the early 90s – alarmed Currie, and he dissolved the memorandum of understanding between Tennessee and Schiano on Sunday.
Since then, the Tennessee search has become the stuff of internet memes. The list of coaches to decline the Vols’ overtures reportedly includes Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Duke’s David Cutcliffe and N.C. State’s Dave Doeren.
Leach’s name has floated around for two weeks as a candidate Currie has been interested in, but things came to a head Thursday evening, when Tennessee football blog A to Z Sports Nashville reported that Leach met with Currie about the job while in Los Angeles on a recruiting trip.
SI.com reporter Bruce Feldman, a…