Tennessee continues whiffing in its search for a football coach, and an alumnus won’t be joining the mix. Jim Bob Cooter wants to stay with the Detroit Lions.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the third-year offensive coordinator won’t interview at his alma mater because his eventual goal is to become an NFL head coach.
Cooter, who was a backup quarterback for Tennessee in the mid-2000s, started his coaching career in Knoxville, too. He served as a graduate assistant during the 2007 and 2008 seasons before moving on to the Indianapolis Colts.
After stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos, Cooter joined the Lions as the quarterbacks coach. When the team fired Joe Lombardi during the 2015 campaign, it promoted Cooter to offensive coordinator.
Cooter has occasionally been mentioned as a head-coaching candidate, so it’s reasonable that he feels an offer could be coming.
But he’s simply another name Tennessee can’t attract.
The attempted hiring of Greg Schiano backfired, Mike Gundy turned down the Vols, David Cutcliffe and Matt Campbell aren’t coming and Dan Mullen returned to Florida. The Vols have reached extremely uncertain territory, and Cooter won’t be a fallback option.