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The coaching carousel has stopped for Tennessee; that’s good for the Vols

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Tennessee hired a basketball coach on Sunday. Another school will be doing the same quite soon.

John Calipari’s sudden decision to jump the Commonwealth and become the head coach of Arkansas seems like an unlikely scenario that the Vols should not have to face anytime soon, losing a meaningful coach that bolts because he got his feelings hurt.

Let’s start with Josh Heupel. Sure, he has ties to Oklahoma, but they’ve spurned him and the whole relationship isn’t copasetic so it’s pretty unlikely the Vols’ head football coach would ever depart Tennessee without some major developments unfolding. Heupel would have to struggle on the field or have so much success that he’s a top coaching candidate before the Vols need to worry about Heupel going anywhere.

Then, there’s Rick Barnes. He flirted with UCLA in 2019 and almost took the job. However, considering Barnes stayed then, there’s no reason to think he might be offered another such job with his 70th birthday coming up this summer. If the Vols can best UCLA for a basketball coach, they they can hang on with anyone.

Of course, there could always be a huge offer from North Carolina where Barnes is from or perhaps the Dallas Cowboys fancy Heupel one day. Either way, neither seems likely to happen anytime soon. Not many other schools can say that, especially when it comes to their football coaches.

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It was just a matter of time until former Alabama coach Nick Saban decided to retire just like it was only a matter of time until Calipari showed the Wildcats his true colors. 

Burnout is also a real factor that may have contributed to Calipari’s decision. He may still love to coach, but does he still have the same fondness for meeting with the same administrators, boosters and fans?  Apparently not, else Calipari would have felt more wanted in Lexington and not headed west.

Coaches have certainly been miffed before. After losing to Tennessee at home in 2001, Steve Spurrier didn’t feel appreciated and “retired” from the Gators during the following offseason. Tennessee has been there before, as the recipient of a surprise coaching shake up. I’m sure you remember Lane Kiffin.

Tennessee’s newest head coach is Kim Caldwell. She was hired to replace Kellie Harper, who was fired last week. There seems to be no danger than Caldwell will leave anytime soon. Baseball coach Tony Vitello? He seems happy. All is seemingly going swimmingly in the personnel department. 

Perhaps White can forget about hiring coaches for awhile. Surely, there’s some funds to be raised or a building to be built somewhere on campus.

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