REACTION: Why John Currie shocked Vol Nation and hired Greg Schiano
Photo Credit To USA Today

REACTION: Why John Currie shocked Vol Nation and hired Greg Schiano

Greg Schiano is the next head coach for the University of Tennessee.

Predictably, fans are absolutely furious with the hire.

Schiano’s hire comes with controversy because of his past at Penn State, as well as his personality, which is considered similar to that of Butch Jones.

So, why did Currie make this move?

Here are three reasons why:

Ties with Jimmy Haslam

As our very own Austin Stanley wrote earlier today, Schiano interviewed for the Cleveland Browns job last year. Although Hue Jackson was eventually hired, it was apparent that Haslam was a fan of Schiano’s. Given how much influence Haslam has over the University of Tennessee, this pairing isn’t shocking.

Essentially, money makes the world go round, and it’s no different at the University of Tennessee. Haslam’s money and his personal feelings likely had a large say in this hire.

Other coaches said no

John Currie has done an excellent job of keeping quiet during his search. So much so that nobody saw Schiano as a realistic option until the past couple of days.

Before then, we heard names such as Jon Gruden, Gary Patterson, Dan Mullen, Matt Campbell, and even Chris Petersen.

Did Currie ever reach out to any of those candidates? He reportedly did, but for one reason or another, each candidate obviously decided to stay put or head in another direction.

I don’t believe the former Ohio State defensive coordinator was Currie’s first option, but once the field narrowed, Currie’s back was against the wall.

Head Coaching experience at both levels

Tennessee fans wanted the program’s next hire to feature a coach with head coaching experience. With Schiano, they have just that.

During his 11-year stint at Rutgers — which is NOT an easy place to win at — Schiano elevated the Scarlet Knights from a 12-34 record during his first four seasons to a 56-33 record over the final seven.

Again, this was at Rutgers, not Tennessee. If we’re going to praise Dan Mullen for overachieving at Mississippi State, then Schiano deserves the same credit. In the six seasons following Schiano’s departure, Rutgers is 33-41.

He also coached in the NFL, but wasn’t nearly as successful, going 13-23 during his two seasons in Tampa Bay. However, any head coaching experience at the professional level is certainly an added bonus in the collegiate game.

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