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Major Big Ten Coach 'Vetted' For Tennessee Job

A closeup of a Tennessee Volunteers football helmet.

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: A detailed view of a helmet worn by the Tennessee Volunteers before their game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Tennessee football is keeping its coaching search close to its vest, but several big-name potential candidates are starting to emerge.

Per a report from FootballScoop, the Volunteers' search group has vetted Minnesota's P.J. Fleck for UT's head coaching position.

Fleck led a miraculous turnaround with the Golden Gophers during the 2019 season, going 11-2 with a win over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Minnesota finished the season 10th overall in the final AP Poll.

Tennessee now appears to have interest in Fleck for its head coaching position. The Volunteers' search group, Parker Executive Search, has reportedly vetted the Minnesota head coach for the vacant position at UT.

"Now Fleck is among the names that sources tell FootballScoop has been identified and vetted by Parker Executive Search for the opening at the University of Tennessee," wrote John Brice of

P.J. Fleck would be an excellent coach for Tennessee football, a program in need of a culture change.

Fleck is all about implementing a strong culture. It's part of the reason he's had so much success at both Western Michigan and Minnesota. The 40-year-old is capable of turning a program around in a short span.

Perhaps what makes Fleck such an enticing candidate is he has yet to take on the challenge of coaching a major program with true national power aspirations (like Tennessee football). And there's no doubt plenty of talented assistants would want to join Fleck in Knoxville, were he to land the gig. Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is one of the other big names that has popped up for the Vols job.

Right now, it's just in the vetting process though. It remains unclear if Fleck has any interest in the position. Still, this is something to keep an eye on.