Hoke wants focus on Vols' seniors rather than himself

Sports Nov 13, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee interim coach Brady Hoke isn't worrying about his own future. His focus is on the Volunteers' seniors.

Hoke, who has rejoined the head coaching ranks for at least a couple of weeks, said Monday that his his major concern is making sure those upperclassmen get the best possible finish to a disappointing season.

"These last two games are about one thing, and that's the seniors on this football team," Hoke said Monday. "They have been part of 29 wins, and they've laid the foundation for this program that was badly needed. They're the ones we play for."

Tennessee athletic director John Currie named Hoke the Volunteers' interim coach Sunday after firing Butch Jones , who had a 34-27 record in five seasons. Hoke joined Jones' staff this year as a defensive line coach and went 78-70 in 12 seasons as a head coach at Ball State (2003-08), San Diego State (2009-10) and Michigan (2011-14).

Currie had other options within Jones' staff. Offensive co-ordinator Larry Scott went 4-2 as Miami's interim head coach in 2015 . Quarterbacks coach Mike Canales was a two-time interim head coach at North Texas. Defensive co-ordinator Bob Shoop was a head coach at Columbia from 2003-05.

But it was Hoke who had the most head coaching experience.

"Brady Hoke is a three-time conference coach of the year in three different conferences, has won at the highest level and was a very appropriate choice," Currie said.

Hoke's mission is to help Tennessee (4-6, 0-6 SEC) earn the Southeastern Conference victory that has eluded the Vols all season. The Vols have never had a winless season in SEC play since the league formed in 1933.

Tennessee hosts No. 21 LSU (7-3, 4-2) on Saturday and Vanderbilt (4-6, 0-6) on Nov. 25.

"We lost a good man," said Hoke, who considers Jones a longtime friend . "That was the first thing that you deal with from an emotional level, a respect level, a friendship level. Then you've got to move forward because if we don't move forward with our competitiveness and our energy as coaches, then you won't get that from the players.

Hoke wants focus on Vols' seniors rather than himself

Sports Nov 13, 2017

Hoke wants focus on Vols' seniors rather than himself

Sports Nov 13, 2017