The Tennessee Volunteers reportedly are turning their focus to Purdue's Jeff Brohm to fill their head coaching vacancy after Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy took himself out of the running.
Brohm, the former Louisville quarterback who finished his first season at Purdue, has had discussions with Tennessee officials, sources told ESPN's Chris Low on Wednesday. The Boilermakers (6-6) are bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.
Brohm, 46, also coached at Western Kentucky for three seasons, compiling a 30-10 record. If he were to leave Purdue before Dec. 5, Brohm would owe $5 million to the university, according to ESPN. The buyout would drop to $4 million if he leaves after Dec. 5.
Gundy, who met with Tennessee athletic director John Currie on Tuesday to discuss the Vols' vacancy, announced Tuesday night that he was staying at Oklahoma State, where he has been head coach for the past 13 seasons. The Vols reportedly were prepared to make Gundy one of the highest-paid coaches in the SEC.
A source told Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman that Tennessee reached out to Brohm and North Carolina State's Dave Doeren. According to the report, SMU coach Chad Morris also could be a more viable option than Gundy, as could USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, who quarterbacked the Volts to two SEC championships and the 1998 national championship.
Tennessee officials also reached out to Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and had phone conversations with Morris on Tuesday night, sources confirmed to ESPN.
The talk swirling around Gundy came two days after the Volunteers backed out of the hiring agreement with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano before that deal fell through following a public backlash and campus protests on Sunday.
Tennessee reportedly had a deal in place with Schiano on Sunday morning, but it fell through by the end of the day after the university heard from the fan base, state representatives and local business owners.
The outcry stemmed from Schiano's time on the staff at Penn State in the early 1990s, with fans expressing outrage with his alleged connection to convicted child sexual abuser Jerry Sandusky. Schiano spent five seasons at Penn State, four as the defensive backs coach on the staff with Sandusky, who was the defensive coordinator.
Tennessee AD Currie on Monday defended the coaching search and vetting Schiano.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe was contacted by Tennessee but he said he plans to stay with the Blue Devils.
The Volunteers fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12, the day after they lost 50-17 at Missouri to fall to 0-6 in the SEC. The Volunteers then lost their final two games to finish 4-8 overall and 0-8 in the conference. Jones had a 34-27 record in five seasons at Tennessee.