Tennessee is working to finalize a deal with Greg Schiano making him the next Volunteers head coach, USA Today’s Dan Wolken reports. This is not the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tennessee fans have been working themselves into a lather over for several months. This is the knockoff version, a lesser brand and smaller name.
The Jon Gruden rumors were so persistent because the fan base wanted Jon Gruden, no matter how far-fetched the idea was in reality. There were no Greg Schiano rumors because no one dreams of the infinite possibility of Schiano. He’s the substitute teacher of the coaching fraternity, more about anonymity than flash, with some considerable baggage
The 51-year-old is currently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State. He previously turned around a disastrous Rutgers program, posting a 68-67 record. His NFL record is a woeful 11-21. He lacks Gruden’s wattage and, perhaps more importantly, has a clearly defined ceiling — in stark contrast to the perceived limitless potential of the Monday Night Football analyst.
If this deal is finalized, it will be fitting. The Tennessee program has long had a problem with reality. They courted Gruden thinking they were still the type of program that could woo him. It’s looking as if they’ll now take a lesser prize, one that won’t win any beauty contests — and perhaps any conference titles.
There will be no Schiano honeymoon. Only the dreams of the one that got away.