John Currie has been placed on leave with pay as Tennessee's Athletics Director following an increasingly turbulent search for the next head coach of Tennessee football.
From start to finish, Currie spent just 244 full days as the Athletics Director at the University of Tennessee.
Just a couple of weeks after stepping to the role as UT's Chancellor, Beverly Davenport named Currie as the university's director of athletics and vice chancellor on the last day of February.
Currie came from Kansas State, replacing David Hart when he retired after spending six years at the helm of Vols athletics. His hiring was highly touted by many analysts and UT admin alike, though others felt candidates such as former Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer and former UTC AD David Blackburn would have been a better fit.
Davenport spoke highly of Currie at the time, saying he exemplified the best qualities they were looking for in an AD.
Despite his short tenure, Currie has made a number of key decisions that shaped Vols athletics.
Currie's first day was on April 1. His first big decision came in May, when he fired UT men's tennis coach Sam Winterbotham after the team went 3-21 in the SEC in his final two seasons.
A month later, Currie named Tony Vitello to lead Vols baseball as their new head coach. Vitello agreed to a five-year contract at an average base salary of $493,000.
In September, Currie made what many consider to be his most supported decision as AD: He brought back the Lady Vols name, logo and brand after the athletics department ditched it when it switched over to a contract with Nike in 2015.
Then came November. He fired Butch Jones and named Brady Hoke as the interim coach for the remainder of the season, saying the decision came because the Vols hadn't "won enough."
The 2017 season ended miserably after the Vols finished dead last in the SEC with zero conference wins and eight losses -- dubbed the worst season in the program's history by many.
What's followed has been a coaching search with more twists, turns and complications than anyone could have imagined.
Fulmer, Peyton Manning and others were reportedly enlisted to help Currie in the search. Early in November, the former AD was reportedly set to finalize a deal to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as the Vols next coach, but a massive outcry from fans and Tennessee leaders over Schiano's record and past coaching history immediately put the brakes on the announcement.
As the fervor within the fans grew after hearing Currie's first choice, so too did the calls to fire Currie -- both on social media, audibly at basketball games and in visible places like The Rock on UT's campus.
Reports showed Currie making moves to potentially sway promising coaches to come to Knoxville who ultimately declined, such as Mike Gundy from Oklahoma State.
Reports show Currie was set on hiring Washington State coach Mike Leach before he was fired Friday. Shortly before the news of Currie's firing broke, reporters for agencies like Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman and former ESPN analyst Brett McMurphy weighed in-- saying they spoke with unnamed sources who believed Fulmer had 'sabotaged' the search process.
Sources: John Currie was prepared to hire Mike Leach but university officials wouldn’t allow him to do so. Phillip Fulmer has been sabotaging search process in hopes to become Tennessee’s AD— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 1, 2017
Another source: Tennessee’s own people have been ambushing (John) Currie’s (coaching search). They shoot themselves in the foot, cock the gun & shoot themselves in the other foot. It’s been going on for a week"— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 1, 2017
Former Vols captain and radio host Jayson Swain called the reports an outright ambush on Fulmer, saying national media outlets were just fanning the flames.
This is why I told our fans dont listen to the national media blame them for our troubles! OUR FANS ARE THE BEST!!!! https://t.co/CJv4l4GxQs— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) December 1, 2017
Looks like Currie is feeding the national media to ambush Phillip Fulmer. The same national people who praised the John Currie hire. Something is off... Ive known Coach for 14 yrs. He loves Tennessee more than he loves himself. I'm still digging though! Truth over everything!— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) December 1, 2017
If fired without cause, the university will owe Currie $5.5 million on top of Butch Jone's $8.2 million buyout.