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UPDATE: Phil Fulmer named Tennessee's athletics director

John Currie was suspended by the University of Tennessee Friday morning for his handling of the search for a new football coach.

Posted: Dec 1, 2017 9:51 AM
Updated: Dec 1, 2017 3:28 PM

The University of Tennessee named former football coach Phil Fulmer as athletic director Friday, hours after suspending John Currie for his handling of the search for a new coach.

UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport made it official in a news conference Friday afternoon.

"He understands well the expectations for this athletic department and the football program," Davenport said.

Currie flew back to Knoxville Friday to meet with school officials, including UT chancellor Beverly Davenport, ESPN reported. Currie had been out of town interviewing Washington State coach Mike Leach about Tennessee's open football job.

Currie, who had been athletic director for nine months, was under fire in the last week for his handling of the search for a coach replacement after Butch Jones was fired with two games left to go in this past season.

Currie courted Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano for the head coach position and offered him the job, but outcry from fans reversed that decision. Since then several other coaches, including Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Purdue's Jeff Brohm, also have turned down the job. 

The Volunteers finished the season under defensive line coach Brady Hoke and finished the season with a 4-8 record. The Vols didn't win any SEC games.

Fulmer served as head coach of the Volunteers from 1992 until 2008 and led the team to a national championship in 1998.

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