After the 1998 season, Phillip Fulmer was on top of the college football world.
He won a national title at Tennessee a year after Peyton Manning left, which is a pretty remarkable feat. He was still coaching the Volunteers to 10-win seasons as recently as 2007. Tennessee played in the SEC Championship Game that year.
Fulmer was fired after the 2008 season. He has a 152-52 career coaching record. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Tennessee has a 7-6 campaign and three losing seasons since Fulmer was fired. Yet, he hasn't resurfaced with another job.
News comes that Fulmer has a job offer, but it's not one you'd expect for a hall-of-fame coach.
The Johnson City Press wrote that East Tennessee State, which is trying to resurrect its football program after dropping it in 2003, wants Fulmer to be its football coach. Fulmer met with ETSU officials about the program, but ETSU interim athletic director Richard Sander admitted when it came to Fulmer coaching East Tennessee State, "I'm not sure he’s thinking about that right now."
"We were just talking to Coach Fulmer some about if there was potential for him to help us on down the road as we move forward if and when this football thing happens, would there be any potential for him to help us in some capacity,” Sander said to Johnson City Press. “To gauge his interest. He told me he would give us some basic thoughts about some things.
“When you have a chance to talk to somebody that’s won a national championship, is in the Hall of Fame, probably as revered as any football coach in the South, you’ve got to talk to him and just really value everything he says."
So there you have it. Fulmer has a job offer to coach an East Tennessee State football team that doesn't exist yet. A little more than five years ago he was coaching the SEC title game.
Who knows if Fulmer will ever work for ETSU in any capacity. But Fulmer probably deserves a more high-profile offer to get back into coaching than this. It's odd that hasn't happened.
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