KNOXVILLE (WATE) - When he fired Derek Dooley on Nov. 18, Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart said he would conduct the search for a new football coach on his own-- without the assistance of an outside firm.
Since then, Hart has been silent about where he's looking and who he's considering, leaving Tennessee fans and the media plenty of room to speculate, discuss, accept and reject possible candidates.
There are some indications Tennessee may be considering Cincinnati's Butch Jones in their search for a new football coach.
Kentucky was targeting Jones but reportedly has told the Wildcats he is not interested.
WATE 6 Sports has learned the UC coach is held in high regard at Tennessee.
Jones has been at Cincinnati for three years and is in position to lead the Bearcats to back-to-back 10-win seasons.
Cincinnati plays at Connecticut this weekend.
Jones' overall record is 49-27, including three seasons at Central Michigan.
Instantly identifiable coaches and personalities like ESPN's Jon Gruden, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher have also been mentioned.
Stoops apparently took his name out of consideration on Monday when asked directly about reports linking him to the Tennessee opening.
''I love the job I have and the people I work for, so I'll try and keep it another year," Stoops said during his weekly news conference.
Fisher did the same when asked about coaching vacancies on Monday.
"I plan on being here a long time,'' Fisher said. "I'm very content here.''
Hart has said he would like to have a new coach in place sometime in December.
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The fax machine in the University of Tennessee Athletics Department was humming Wednesday morning as high school and junior college football players sent their national letters of intentMore >>
The fax machine in the University of Tennessee Athletics Department was humming Wednesday morning as high school and junior college football players sent their national letters of intent to play for the Vols.More >>