Rumors swirl as Vols coaching search kicks off

BY foxsports • January 14, 2010

Duke coach and former Tennessee assistant David Cutcliffe may be a target in the Volunteers' search for a new head coach.

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton has not commented publicly on who his candidates are to replace Lane Kiffin, who abruptly resigned Tuesday night to coach Southern California.

But Duke spokesman Art Chase called reports of a deal between Cutcliffe and Tennessee inaccurate.

Cutcliffe twice served on Tennessee's staff and spent eight years as the Vols' offensive coordinator under former coach Phillip Fulmer. In between his stints in Knoxville, Cutcliffe coached at Mississippi for six seasons and has developed quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning during his career.

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun released a statement Thursday saying he was looking forward to coaching the Falcons again in 2010, ending speculation that he was a candidate.

"We are diligently recruiting and working with our team to prepare for the upcoming season," Calhoun said in the statement. "We look forward to coaching and being a part of the Air Force Academy team both on and off the field in 2010."

Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and TCU coach Gary Patterson have both said they have not been contacted by Tennessee. Another possible candidate, East Carolina coach Skip Holtz, accepted the head coaching job at South Florida on Thursday.

Interim Tennessee coach Kippy Brown said he was a candidate for the job, and Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley and Connecticut coach Randy Edsall could be in the mix.

Hamilton said Wednesday he wanted a new coach in place before coaches could begin live recruiting again on Sunday. He also said he didn't mind taking an extra day if it meant bringing in the right coach.

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