In 2008, the folks at the University of Tennessee reached out to Bears coach Lovie Smith to gauge his interest in becoming the head coach at the program where Smith worked in 1993 and 1994.
Now, the UT job is open again — and Smith will be occupying one of the hottest of the hot seats in Chicago when the 2010 season starts.
Frankly, it might be in everyone’s best interests for Smith to pursue the opportunity, unless he has no interest in leading a college program. The Bears undoubtedly would have cleaned house at Halas Hall but for the buyout obligations to Smith and G.M. Jerry Angelo. With Smith’s ability to stick around for 2011 riding on the performance of quarterback Jay Cutler and mounting uncertainty regarding a work stoppage after next season, heading to Knoxville makes plenty of sense, especially if his compensation from the Volunteers would be enhanced by a partial buyout from the Bears.