As of 5pm this evening, it’s official. David Cutcliffe has accepted the head coaching position at Duke University. I, for one, congratulate him and wish the best.
So what’s next for the UT offense? Our sources in Knoxville delivered the short list. Here’s a breakdown of the 4 most likely successors.
Current Position: Wide Recievers Coach – University of Tennessee
Experience: 7 years D-I RB coach, 1 year WR coach
Positives: Recruiting, Experience with current system and resources, Player Development
Negatives: Lack of experience running an offensive unit
Risk: Is a Texas native. Recently interviewed for the OC position at Baylor, meaning that if UT does not offer him the same position, he probably bails.
The other probables after the jump.
Current Position: Wide Recievers Coach – Detriot Lions
Experience: 13 years D-I WR coach (9 at UT), 11 years RB/WR coach NFL, 1 year Head Coach XFL Memphis Maniax
Positives: Pro Knowledge, Experience
Negatives: He’s much older than current successful OCs in the SEC, and has never been an OC before… not sure what that says really, but it lights the warning bulb for me.
Current Position: OL Coach at Tennessee
Experience: 16 years coaching Linemen at Marshall, Georgia, and Tennessee
Positives: Word of mouth on Greg is that he is ready to take over an offense somewhere. Players love and trust him… see current OG Anthony Parker’s comments:
“Is he hungry for it? Most definitely. That’s what you coach for, to move up the ladder. If he gets that opportunity, I’d like to see what he could do.”
Negatives: Has no OC experience…
Risk: Handing the keys to the offense to a Line Coach with no playcalling experience
Current Position: Offensive Coordinator, New Orleans Saints
Experience: 7 years D-I Tight Ends/Linemen coaching (spent 2001 at Tennessee as TE/Tackles coach), 2 years Offensive Coordinator NFL
Positives: Proven playcalling abilities and offensive leadership (see: Saints 2006 resurrected offense). Tennessee ties.
Negatives: Has never been anywhere longer than 4.5 years. Potential salary problems. Sporadic recruiting history. Looks too much like Randy Sanders.
So based on all this, it’s pretty clear to me that Marrone would be the #1 choice. Is he interested in the UT job? Nobody seems to know just yet. If I had it to script, I’d go after Marrone, Joker Phillips, or Gus Malzahn… and not consider Kippy, Trooper or Greg (I’d have a problem handing over a potentially great 08 offense to a rook). But hey, its Tennessee. Good ol’ boys get their fair shake here.
Here’s hoping for more #4 at QB, regardless of who gets the job.