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By Edward Aschoff | ESPN.com
As Arkansas' spring gets closer and closer to shutting down, the rumblings around who will be the Razorbacks' new coach will only grow louder and louder.
Will athletic director Jeff Long look internally? Will he reach out to former assistants? Will he bring in a total outsider or find a young up-and-comer?
No one knows right now, but let the speculation run wild.
Tuesday, an interesting name emerged in the search, as former Tennessee assistant Doug Matthews told a Nashville, Tenn., radio show that former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer had been contacted by Arkansas about the open coaching spot. Matthews told the show that two parties had been in contact following Bobby Petrino's firing, but he wasn't sure how interested either side was.
Here's a little of what Matthews said about Fulmer and Arkansas:
"I know Phillip has had conversations with them. And when I say with them, all that is going to take place behind the scenes.
"But everything I’m hearing from Arkansas is the spring game, I think, is this Saturday. ‘Let’s get through spring. Let’s see where we are.’ But I think they’ll either go with a guy that they’ve got on the staff or they’ll bring in someone to be -- caretaker’s the wrong word -- but bring someone in who has been through it all before.
"If there is a place for Phillip, that will be the place."
Obviously, Fulmer is no stranger to the SEC. He was a star in this league at one point when he was in charge at Tennessee. He went 152-52 during his 17 years as Tennessee's head coach and won the national championship in 1998. He didn't have a very graceful exit, but he was a proven winner for the Vols for most of his career. In his 17 years, nine ended with double digits in the win column.
Fulmer has been linked to jobs in the past, but like most coaches, only the "perfect situation" would bring him back. Would this constitute as the "perfect situation" for Fulmer? Well, Arkansas' offense is loaded in 2012 and the defense has the depth needed to improve on last year. As for the future, Fulmer was once a great recruiter at Tennessee, so bringing in talent wouldn't be an issue.
While his last years in Knoxville weren't exactly great, there's no question that Fulmer knows how to win in the country's toughest conference. Who knows if there is real interest from either side here, but this situation is worth keeping an eye on.
LMAO! Fat Phil will not be the next coach at Arkansas. I mean Long would be run out of town and be more of a laughinstock than Bobby Petrino.
if fulmer comes to arkansas i may try to get a managing job with waffle house in fayetteville the golden corrall and buffets would love him whether anyone else does or not fat phil aint no strangur to eating a lot
Buckeye State of Mind.
As a UT fan (I come in peace), Phil Fulmer would be a great hire. If Arkansas fans were upset with a hire like this maybe they should laugh at themselves, not the AD. I was always a Fulmer supporter and would love to see him in the SEC again. He is a great recruiter and a great coach. He had bad luck with his OC hires after Cutcliff left for Duke and ultimately cost him his job. He knows how to win, especially against better teams (likes to slow the game down against superior teams to have a shot in 4th). You should feel honored to have him mentioned as a possibility.
I think the main reason is most people feel like Fulmer is the past and not the future. I don't think he represents a long term solution to our problem but more of a short term fix. He was a great coach for TN but the last few years hurt him and any chance he has to get a job now. I think I am write about this because we are going on 4 years, unless it was kept 100% quiet, no one has really taken more than a passing glance at him.
BINGO! I know it's hard to swallow, but we have been more relevant than Tennessee the last three years. And with the right hire we will remain that way for at least a few more years. I do see the Vols returning to the top again, but it won't be with Dooley at the helm.
I remember how he used to bad mouth this program and state when he was at Tennessee. He was huge in spreading false Herod trucking mess rumors and used to refer to this program in all kinds of negative light. Need I forget about how many arrests a year Tennessee averaged his last few years. It was teens to low twenties. Travis Henry, Leonard Little, Albert Haynesworth, Dwayne Goodrich, dale Carter, Erik Ainge, Jesse Mahelona, the RB that did time for money laundering. Tons more! We need our collective heads examined for even thing about Fat Phil!
I wouldn't worry to much, I doubt it ever happens.
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