Among the Emails Sent to Tennessee AD Dave Hart During the Coaching Search, Danny Sheridan Had Some Thoughts on Butch Davis and Bobby Petrino

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart went through a grueling search in December to find a football coach, and we thought it would be a swell idea to make a Freedom of Information Act request to try and get an idea of what Hart went through.

In public, the Vols swung and missed with former NFL coach Jon Gruden, Louisville’s Charlie Strong, and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy after firing coach Derek Dooley. They finally settled on Butch Jones, who was previously at the University of Cincinnati. What was going on privately?

University of Tennessee Public Records Designee Charles Primm wrote in an email to our reporter Richard Jones that the school “does not keep a record of local telephone calls unless asked to do so in advance by law enforcement agencies,” so for now, unfortunately, there are no juicy phone records (cough, Petrino, cough) to comb through. Primm also wrote that a check of long-distance calls from university telephones showed “no-long distance calls made from Mr. Hart’s telephone.”

The school passed along a few emails from fans – and noted sports handicapper Danny Sheridan – which we’ve added below for your perusal. To see all of them in one PDF, click HERE.

We followed up with Sheridan about his thoughts on Davis and Petrino (emails #3 and #5), and he told us by phone today, “I met Dave through my good friend, Bobby Bowden, about 15 years ago, when I was in town to speak to the Tallahassee QB club. Since then I’ve never spoken to Dave. He’s an Alabama grad like me. When I saw Dave was conducting a search, I recommended two people.”

Reporting by Richard Jones.

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