Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letter Regarding Fulmer's status

October 28, 2008

Dear Mr. Hamilton,

It is certainly become clear to me in spite of the efforts of certain individuals, that Coach Fulmer for whatever reason has loss his team. Whether it is because he has trouble relating to players or whether it may be that he is more interested in being their friend than their coach, I would not know for sure. But one thing is clear: he is so stuck on his ways that he can’t change and thus, other teams that have changed over the past few years be it head coaches, schemes, better recruiting, etc… and includes among others Alabama, Southern Cal and Missouri have moved ahead and are enjoying Top 25 rankings, but most importantly, they are winning on the field where it counts.

Hopefully, at the least, some thought will be given now to potential coaches to interview should Fulmer and UT decide to part ways at the end of the season. This way, there will be a plan in place to hire a new head coach and things won’t blow up in our faces due to lack of anticipation and planning. I don’t believe that any current coaches on the staff will suffice although conceivably several assistants might stay should the new head coach decide on that.

Cincinnati's Brian Kelly, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, University of South Florida's Jim Leavitt, Boise State's Chris Petersen and Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen are some potential coaches who you may be interested in interviewing.

A distant possibility would be Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, who was a graduate assistant in Knoxville in 1986-87 and whose wife is a former Tennessee cheerleader. But a distant possibility nonetheless.

In any event, it will take millions to buy-out Fulmer's contract and millions more to bring in a halfway respectable head coach. All the great ones will not be coming here since their current school would simply give them a bigger raise if they aren't under a long-term contact already. So forget Bob Stoops, Pete Carroll, etc... Yes, UT did well with Bruce Pearl. But in all honesty, if he had failed, no one would have paid any attention giving the basketball program had been floundering for 15-20 years prior to his hire. Just as Kentucky and Duke are primarily basketball schools, UT is primarily a football school and coaches wouldn’t last long if the football program had a similar track record to the basketball program from the time Don DeVoe left to when Pearl was hired. So it is important to get things right and preferably the first time.

I would like to have a coach who respects UT's history and traditions, but will bring new ideas and not be afraid to buck the system when such a situation warrants it.

Of course, you are always free to contact me. I'm interested in a career change and understand the nuances of football as well as anyone around. I just didn't get to play much in high school due to my small size at the time and usually coaches get their start because they played in high school and/or college. Only time will tell, but whatever happens happens.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I can only pray that for all parties involved, that things work out for the best.


Chris Fortner

No comments: