By Josh Ward
Les Miles is not a candidate for the Tennessee job, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.
Miles has been a popular name connected to Tennessee’s search since Tennessee hired and then didn’t hire Greg Schiano on Nov. 26.
Miles has made it be known that he would be interested in the job, according to multiple reports. He didn’t seem like a realistic candidate while former athletic director John Currie was leading Tennessee’s search, but Miles’s name began to receive more attention after Phillip Fulmer replaced Currie on Friday.
Thamel did not offer a reason why Miles isn’t a candidate to replace Butch Jones; Thamel simply said it won’t happen.
So where does that leave Tennessee’s search?
Popular names include SMU coach Chad Morris, who is also reportedly a candidate at Arkansas, as well as several defensive coordinators, including Alabama’s Jeremy Pruitt, Auburn’s Kevin Steele, Georgia’s Mel Tucker and Brent Venables at Clemson.
There’s still time for other names to emerge. Could Fulmer take a look at Memphis coach Mike Norvell after Currie decided not to go that route? That’s a possibility. Thamel’s report included a mention of Toledo coach Jason Candle.
There’s also Southern California offensive coordinator Tee Martin, who helped lead Tennessee to a national championship as a player in 1998 and is a popular name among former Tennessee players and fans.
Whichever route Fulmer goes, he would like to have a new coach in place as quickly as possible. Tennessee’s search is 24 days old and counting, and recruits are likely growing tired of waiting to find out the next direction of Tennessee’s football program.
Current players and their families are anxious to have an answer as well. They should have one in the next few days.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reports Tucker will have another meeting with Fulmer on Tuesday regarding Tennessee’s head coaching vacancy.
Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is interviewing for a second time with Tennessee officials in New York on Tuesday, sources told ESPN
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 5, 2017