Leach had long been one of the names speculated for the Tennessee opening, but he said after the Apple Cup he expected to be back at Washington State.
UPDATE (Friday a.m.): Tennessee has now reportedly fired athletic director John Currie, who was “prepared to hire” Leach but that his coaching search was sabotaged from within the athletic department, as some administrators were angling to get him fired. More »
Read the final story from Thursday night below.
Tennessee might have finally found a football coach, and it could be Washington State’s Mike Leach.
Multiple reports surfaced Thursday night that Washington State’s Mike Leach interviewed for the Tennessee job over lunch with Vols’ athletic director John Currie in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Tennessee pulled out of a preliminary deal with Greg Schiano, then had Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm and N.C. State’s Dave Doeren decline the job, but they’ve now settled on Leach.
Leach was reportedly in Southern California on a recruiting trip Thursday. He met with Currie at an L.A. area restaurant, and Bruce Feldman, who is close to Leach and co-wrote the coach’s biography “Swing Your Sword,” tweeted that Currie’s meeting with Leach “went very well.”
Leach’s meeting with Currie was first reported by A to Z Sports Nashville, citing an anonymous source. Then, also citing anonymous sources, Dallas Forth-Worth reporter Newy Scruggs tweeted that Leach was “working on a deal to become the next head coach at Tennessee” adding that a deal could be announced as early as Friday.
But a source told ESPN late Thursday night that a deal is not imminent, and the sides have not negotiated.
Dan Harralson, who covers the Vols for SEC blog Saturday Down South, tweeted that Leach told him Thursday night, “I’m on my way.” He did not, however, specify exactly where he’s going. Leach was scheduled to fly back to Pullman Thursday night.
Leach’s named surfaced as a candidate for the Tennessee job two days after Currie fired Butch Jones,…