Vols
Revolution on Rocky Top: A Sample Timeline of Tennessee Fans’ Reaction To The Greg Schiano Hire

It was reported yesterday, at approximately 2 p.m. EST, that Tennessee and Greg Schiano were finalizing talks to make Schiano the next head football coach at the University of Tennessee.

I – along with most Tennessee fans – was shocked and disappointed.

Greg Schiano’s coaching resume is not the worst of all of Tennessee’s candidates. Although his record in his 11-year span as the head coach at Rutgers is nothing to write home about (68-67), he did take the Scarlet Knights to an 11-2 record and a 12th place finish in the AP in 2006 in what turned out to be the best season in the program’s history. He then spent less than two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before getting fired, and has acted as the defensive coordinator for Ohio State in the last two seasons under Urban Meyer.

While this was part of the issue, this was not where most of the outrage by Vol fans stemmed. According to the Washington Post, in a testimony by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary in 2012, “Schiano knew that Jerry Sandusky, their colleague on Joe Paterno’s football staff, was acting improperly with young boys years before law-enforcement authorities were first notified.”

This, combined with Schiano’s suspect coaching record, infuriated the Tennessee fan base. Vol fans gathered outside of Neyland Stadium, and then outside of the Brenda Lawson Athletic Complex to protest.

 

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Tennessee state representatives and gubernatorial candidates publicly spoke out against the hire.

Even local businesses in Knoxville took part, claiming they would not allow Schiano on their property if the hire was made.

Some boosters and people inside the program were reportedly not happy with the hire as well, and reports started to leak out that the deal may be off.

 

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At the end of the day, Tennessee fans got their wish. Talks between Tennessee and Greg Schiano fell through and he will not be the next head football coach at the University of Tennessee.

In my 22 years on this planet, I have never seen something remotely like this at any level of football, and I am not alone.

The Tennessee fanbase has not been more united and energized since the Vols were celebrating a national championship victory in 1998. Even media members that have been divided on all things Tennessee football this season came together for the cause.

Although the Vols are coming off their worst season since they started playing football in 1891, there is no question that the Tennessee fanbase cemented itself as one of the most passionate in sports. Something like this is unprecedented. Tennessee fans came together to protest a hire that would have been disastrous on and off the field, and took back a program that has failed them for a decade.

John Currie released a statement earlier today, defending having Schiano as a candidate, but stating he will continue his search.

There is now reportedly a significant push to relieve Currie of his duties as Tennessee’s director of athletics, and Tennessee’s search for a head coach continues. Whoever it is, you can bet the Tennessee administration will likely make sure the next guy they bring in will win over the fans.