Tennessee still has options – good ones – despite many rejections

Kevin Sumlin

The beat, make that the search, goes on.

University of Tennessee athletics director John Currie, the subject of “Fire Currie!” chants at Wednesday’s home basketball game, was rejected again on Thursday for the Vols’ football vacancy.

North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren rebuffed the UT offer, allegedly taking less money to remain atop the Wolfpack program.

“He doesn’t want in that,” a sports agent with clients across multiple sports said of Doeren’s decision to stay in Raleigh.

Added an SEC staffer, “He’s out.”

The Vols, meanwhile, surprisingly, are not out of coaching options to replace the fired Butch Jones.

Per a source still involved in the college game who played for both Tennessee and in the NFL, UT has or intends to reach out to recently fired Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Additionally, former Volunteers’ quarterback Tee Martin and Lane Kiffin are confirmed to have interest in the job. On Wednesday, two sources indicated Kiffin and Martin would be willing to work together; it was tweeted by former Vols and NFL wideout Dontè Stallworth later Wednesday night.

RELATED: Who’s holding back Tee Martin’s candidacy for Vols’ coaching vacancy?

SMU coach Chad Morris has not formally spoken with UT about the job, but has been vetted by the Currie-led UT search group.

A source on Thursday also said Mike Norvell, believed a leading candidate at Arkansas, also would “definitely be open” to speaking with Tennessee.

RELATED: Arkansas coaching search should have one name on it: Mike Norvell.

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt could be a candidate, and per sources, Pruitt has the support of Vols mega-booster Charlie Anderson, who’s quietly worked very effectively to try and help rescue Currie, Chancellor Beverly Davenport, and the University of Tennessee from this disastrous process.

RELATED: Size, influence of massive Vols media contingent shaping coaching search.

(You can follow John Brice on Twitter @JohnDBrice1)

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