The Tennessee Vols will have a new head coach and a new athletic director in 2021.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired on Monday and athletic director Phillip Fulmer is set to retire.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, one of the reasons that Fulmer will retire is so his successor can choose Tennessee’s next football coach.

This is huge for the Vols.

If Fulmer was leading the search for the next head coach, the list would likely be pretty short.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, who was on Fulmer’s staff in the early 2000s, would probably be one of the top choices.

Names like Hugh Freeze and Lane Kiffin almost certainly wouldn’t be options for the Vols.

With Fulmer out, it doesn’t mean that Freeze and Kiffin will be in play, but there’s definitely a better chance they will be with a different athletic director.

Fulmer is a Tennessee legend and his contributions to the program can never be discounted. But the Vols will be in a better position moving forward — especially when it comes to a new football coach — without him in the mix.

The door to a more broad coaching search has been opened with Fulmer out of the way.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
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