Thursday, April 19, 2012

Heartbreak: Phillip Fulmer denies contact from Arkansas

Phillip Fulmer denies contact from Arkansas
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Former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer denied Wednesday he has been contacted by Arkansas about the school’s coaching vacancy.

“I have not been contacted by Arkansas,’’ Fulmer said. “But I think Arkansas is a great place.’’
Former UT assistant football coach Doug Mathews told 104.5 FM in Nashville on Tuesday that the Razorbacks have reached out to Fulmer, who has not coached since his 17-year-tenure with the Vols ended at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

“I know Phillip has had conversations with them,” said Mathews, who was an assistant at UT from 1980-89. “And when I say them, all that is going to take place behind the scenes.”

Fulmer, 61, indicated the opening at Arkansas does intrigue him. “When I left Tennessee, I was asked if I would coach again, and I said I would consider it if it was at a place where I could compete for a championship,’’ Fulmer said. “Arkansas does qualify as that kind of place, as there is a very solid foundation there.’’
 Original story here.

Mathews and Fulmer served as assistant coaches under Johnny Majors at Tennessee during the 1980's and remain close. If Mathews says contact has been initiated, it probably has.

But Razorback athletic director Jeff Long seemed to dismiss the notion with this tweet yesterday:

Hog Fans, please remain calm and please do not believe rumors. But do come out to the the spring game and support our young men!!
Meanwhile, FOX Sports and Sporting News are reporting that Arkansas is set to name a coach next week, possibly as early as Monday, and Pete Roussel of says Long has a good relationship with former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden.