Tennessee Has Not Contacted Duke To Talk To Cutcliffe

Neither Tennessee nor a search firm had contacted Duke to talk with head coach David Cutcliffe as of Wednesday evening, Art Chase, Duke's sports information director, told The Chronicle.

Multiple media outlets and reporters have speculated that Cutcliffe, Tennessee's former offensive coordinator, could be a potential candidate to replace Lane Kiffin, who bolted to become the head coach at Southern California Tuesday night. Cutcliffe served as offensive coordinator at Tennessee from 1993 until 1998, and he had been a member of the Volunteers' coaching staff since 1982, grooming Peyton Manning and winning a national championship in 1998.

Before Tennessee hired Kiffin last year, Cutcliffe immediately removed himself from the candidate pool. This search, however, could be different, mostly because Cutcliffe would not be replacing Philip Fulmer, one of his best friends.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Chris Low reported that Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was Tennessee's top target. If he declined the offer, Mike Hamilton, Tennessee's athletic director, might turn to Cutcliffe, and "at this point, it looks like Hamilton is interested in talking with Cutcliffe."

Cutcliffe is currently in Durham, Chase said, as January 11-17 is a dead period for recruiting.


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