KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White lead his introductory press conference by joking about not knowing what time or day it was.
It was Friday at noon eastern time and at that exact moment, his search for a new head football coach officially began.
White has an impressive track record of hiring head coaches who find success in year one and beyond, something he attributes to having the search, “begin and end with the student athlete,” as he put it Friday.
White said his first order of business was to meet with a few players in leadership positions on the football team to gauge their needs and wants in their next head coach. White also planned to meet with acting head coach Kevin Steele.
After gathering intel, he can then begin the candidate search. As of his noon press conference, he had narrowed his candidate list down to everyone.
“Everybody’s a candidate. Everyone in this room is a candidate at this point. We have not narrowed it,” said White who noticed a few chuckles from around the room. “Yeah, email me your stuff. We have not narrowed this thing down at all.”
Although the candidate list isn’t a short one, he says he wants the search to happen quickly.
“We are going to move quickly. I think there’s a way just as I’ve witnessed with our leadership moved, in moving us a lot quicker than we ever would in terms of making decisions. I think there’s definitely a way and I’ve done it before to move very quickly and make sure that we’re not taking short cuts and we’re getting the right person.”
There is of course, the massive elephant in the room when conducting interviews and finding interested candidates – the ongoing NCAA investigation. UT Chancellor Donde Plowman said she still did not know a time frame on when a ruling would be made, but White added he will be transparent and honest with the head coaching candidate about what they’re potentially facing.
Here are more notes from new Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White’s introductory press conference: