Tennessee offensive coordinator: New candidates emerging for Vols

The pursuit of Hugh Freeze has been “quashed” by Tennessee powers, according to John Brice. That confirms what we kind of figured to be true this morning and last night, with Hugh Freeze seeming to begin to pursue other opportunities.

Brice dropped plenty more information in this tweet, however. He included three more names to watch, saying that Tennessee has interest Mike Yurcich, Neal Brown and Kendal Briles.

Brown and Briles are the interesting mentions here. Brown is considered by most to be a top head coaching candidate after building Troy into a consistent ten game winner. Now in year four and poised for an attempt at his third straight ten win season, would Brown really leave a head coaching job for a coordinator position?

That would be hard to fathom, considering what he’s got going down in Troy. The only way he leaves is if Tennessee pays him healthily, which they likely could do. Brown is making $810,000 per year right now. Would he leave for the pay raise? Again, that’s hard to see happening.

Kendal Briles just signed a contract extension at Houston. Outside of that, he’s heavily connected to the Baylor scandal. If the higher-ups at Tennessee shot down Hugh Freeze, why would they go for Briles?

The most realistic name is easily Mike Yurcich, the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys just put together another season inside of the top ten in total offense, putting up 500 yards of offense per game. Yurcich received a raise back in June, bringing his salary to $800,000 annually. Once again, considering Tennessee paid Tyson Helton 1.2 million last year, they should be able to increase that number.

For what it’s worth, Jimmy Hyams backed up Brice’s reporting on Yurcich, calling him a name to watch.

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