Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer: 'I will not serve as interim coach'

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Conjecture was running wild on social media Friday after the announcement as multiple national media outlets pointed fingers at former University of Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer, describing Fulmer's actions as sabotage.

"He has been a student-athlete, a head coach, and a father of UT student-athletes", she said In the release.

The public nature of Tennessee's inability to find a coach frustrated a fan base already angry about the Vols' poor 2017 season.

Tennessee fired former coach Butch Jones on November 12 and the Volunteers reportedly offered the job to Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, but then backed out of the deal due to backlash from Tennessee boosters and fans. That list includes Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, Duke coach David Cutcliffe, North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren, Purdue coach Jeff Brohm and recently-fired Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin.

Tennessee fired coach Butch Jones on Sunday with two games left in a regular season in which the Volunteers started ra... The Boilermakers (6-6) are bowl eligible for the first time since 2012. Currie agreed to a five-year contract worth at least $900,000 annually. She says Fulmer will immediately take over the coaching search.

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At his introductory news conference, Currie boldly said that Tennessee "can and should be the very best athletics program in the country".

There is a growing faction at Tennessee pushing to get Currie removed. Tennessee has scheduled a Friday afternoon December 1, 2017, news conference and is expected to provide an update on what has been a tumultuous coaching search.

Fulmer had publicly expressed his interest in the athletic director position, but Currie was chosen as Hart's replacement instead.

Fulmer previously served as a special advisor to the Tennessee president before being hired as AD. Fulmer returned as an assistant coach in 1980 before being named head coach in 1992.