Cuonzo Is Gonzo: So Who’s Next for the Vols?

1. Gregg Marshall, Wichita State

Don’t laugh. 

He’s from the region and has long coveted the Tennessee job, which he’s interviewed for twice. The Vols passed on Marshall when they hired Buzz Peterson and Bruce Pearl. Could the third time be the interview charm? Expect him to be the first call. 

We’ll see if Marshall’s still interested in the Vol job. 

2. Shaka Smart, VCU

You might as well ask, right?

Knoxville’s not very far from Richmond, where Smart’s havoc style of offense has fired up the fan base and led to great tournament success. Could the Vols, who actually have the talent and bodies to play Shaka’s style with next year’s team, convince Smart to leave? Probably not. But you might as well ask. 

3. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh

Dixon’s been at Pitt for 11 years, making 10 NCAA tournaments. 

Could he be interested in making a move after over a decade in the same place?

Maybe. 

It’s certainly worth asking. 

4. Chris Mack, Xavier 

All of the Big East basketball coaches are beginning to realize that this version of the Big East is nothing like the old Big East. Mack flirted heavily with Cal before staying at Xavier. Could Mack be interested in making the move to Knoxville?

I’d bet the answer’s yes. 

5. Colorado’s Tad Boyle

Boyle’s a former Tennessee assistant who has taken over the Colorado job and had great success there. Word is Boyle loved it in Knoxville. With three straight NCAA tourney bids at Colorado, could the Vols pry Boyle away from the Pac 12. 

I think there would be a good chance of that. 

6. Bruce Pearl, Auburn

Ah, the Vols own orange coaching whale. 

Can you imagine the balls if Dave Hart got a rich booster to pay Pearl’s $5 million buyout to Auburn and led him back into Knoxville before he’d even coached a game on the Plains?

7 Archie Miller, Dayton

He just took the Flyers to the Elite 8. 

Dayton is unlikely to match that achievement any time soon. Meaning that Miller might never be hotter as a coaching candidate. 

8. Rick Byrd, Belmont

Yes, he’s old, but the guy’s a UT alum and he’s an unquestioned master of coaching strategy. The big question would be this — could he recruit well enough to win in the SEC? I think he could.

I’d make him the floor here, you know he’d take the job and I think he’d do well with it too.  

9. Donnie Tyndall, Southern Miss

If the Vols elect to go the mid-major route, Tyndall has been at Southern Miss for two years after taking Morehead State to the NCAA tournament. 

He’s still relatively young and could have decent upside. 

10. Ben Howland

He desperately wants back into coaching, but he’s got a stormy reputation right now. 

It wasn’t that long ago, however, when Howland went to three straight Final Fours.

Would the Vols take a risk on him, probably not, but he’d take the job in a second. 

11. Jon Gruden, ESPN

Notwithstanding the fact that he’s never coached basketball, we might as well mention him as a candidate for every major college job in the country.

He has to be interested in leaving Monday Night Football soon, right? 

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.