Sources: Tennessee finalizing deal to name Greg Schiano head football coach

Tennessee’s coaching search is coming to an end as the Vols are finalizing a deal with Greg Schiano. (Getty)
Tennessee’s coaching search is coming to an end as the Vols are finalizing a deal with Greg Schiano. (Getty)

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will be the next head coach at Tennessee, sources told Yahoo Sports. The school is working through the final contract details, as athletic director John Currie traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to close the deal on Sunday afternoon. The deal has been agreed on, and just needs final signatures, sources said. A formal announcement is expected on Sunday night.

Schiano is the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had a successful 11-year stint as the head coach at Rutgers. He replaces Butch Jones after the Volunteers finished 4-8 and winless in the SEC this season.

Schiano brings a pedigree as a program builder, as he resurrected Rutgers from a century of bad football to make them a nationally competitive program. Schiano finished with a 68-67 record at Rutgers, but that run included two seasons with appearances in the top 10 and six bowl games in his final seven years. In 2006, Schiano went 11-2 at Rutgers and won numerous national coach of the year awards.

Schiano spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at Ohio State, uniting with his old friend Urban Meyer. Ohio State ranked No. 3 in scoring defense last season with Schiano as co-coordinator and is No. 8 in total defense this year.

This will mark the first significant hire for Currie, who arrived in February. Schiano brings a strong defensive acumen and his sell will be his experience running a program and developing players, as his Rutgers teams consistently developed NFL draft picks.

Schiano developed a relationship with Currie when he was out of coaching for two seasons following his short tenure in Tampa. At the time, Currie was at Kansas State managing the potential departure of Bill Snyder as head coach, which allowed him to treat nearly every year like he was going through a coaching search. Snyder still hasn’t left, but Currie had the ability to network and get to know potential candidates in a relaxed setting.

Along with working in the NFL for two seasons, Schiano has become a close confidant of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and Schiano spent considerable time with him during his two years out of coaching.

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