Update: Strong turned down an offer from Dave Hart. Louisville head coach Charlie Strong has coached before in the SEC. Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE
Update: Gundy says he's staying at Oklahoma State. Mike Gundy is said to be a top candidate for the UT and Arkansas job, and has interviewed with Dave Hart. He is currently at Oklahoma State. Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Larry Fedora just capped a winning first season at North Carolina. He is said to be interviewing with Dave Hart on Tuesday. Photo by Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Volquest.com is reporting that Louisville head coach Charlie Strong has taken himself out of consideration at Tennessee.
That followed a report by Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel that Strong would not accept the Tennessee job.
Strong plans to hold a news conference at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, according to officials at the University of Louisville. Those officials did not state the subject of the briefing.
However, Volquest said that Strong had called Vols Athletic Director Dave Hart to tell him of his decision to stay at Louisville and remove himself from the Tennessee search.
It capped a busy day with a flurry of activity as Hart flew to Louisville to meet with Strong and then returned to Knoxville.
The waiting game continues, and it's tough to sort fact from fiction when it comes to the UT coaching search.
Volquest and other sources are reporting that Louisville's Charlie Strong has been offered the job. It is also clear that his current boss is working hard to come up with a deal to keep Strong in Louisville.
Brent Hubbs at Volquest says that UT Athletics director Dave Hart, his wife and a Tennessee administrator flew to Louisville to visit with Strong and his wife on Wednesday. That plane has returned to Knoxville without Strong, but that doesn't mean that Strong has turned UT down.
There was a team meeting in Louisville on Wednesday, but it was a meeting that was already scheduled to talk about the team's upcoming bowl game.
According to Volquest, UT is waiting for a decision from Louisville's Charlie Strong on whether he wants to be the Vols football coach.
Strong has reportedly spent Wednesday morning visiting by phone with Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart, as Louisville's athletics director Tom Jurich has been working on a contract extension and raise for his third year head coach.
Jurich has said in the past he would beat any offer to keep Strong at Louisville.
As of 12:30 p.m., Volquest reports that Strong was undecided on whether he was staying at Louisville or accepting a job offer from Tennessee that sources have indicated to us would likely top $3.5 million-plus.
The focus shifted to Strong Wednesday after Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy let it be known that he was going to remain at his alma mater in Stillwater. However, multiple sources indicated to VolQuest.com that UT had already shifted its sole focus to Strong long before it was leaked that Gundy would remain at OSU.
Volquest also reported on Tuesday that UT interviewed North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora. UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham released this statement regarding the coaching search, "This time each year there are a number of coaching vacancies in college football and yesterday several rumors included speculation about our own football coach Larry Fedora. Neither Coach Fedora nor I are going to address rumors about individual jobs that are bound to happen each year."
The media and UT fans are on the edge of their seats on Wednesday, hoping that an announcement about Dave Hart's choice for a new football coach could come at any time.
But who that coach could be is still not certain.
ESPN's Chris Low reported that Louisville head coach Charlie Strong was the Vol's first choice on Tuesday night, however reports later surfaced that Strong wasn't going anywhere.
Volquest reported that Strong has been talking to several coaches about possibly joining him on a Tennessee staff, a staff that would likely have a Vol feel to it. Former Vol players and recruits seem excited about that possibility.
Volquest said that Strong spent Tuesday in his Louisville office and sources say spent a good bit of the afternoon continuing to research the Tennessee job making sure he had answers to any final questions he had about the University and the job including questions about academics. Strong also visited with his athletic director Tom Jurich.
Late Tuesday, Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde wrote that according to sources several in the Louisville athletic family believe that Strong is not going anywhere.
Another source Tuesday night indicated to Volquest that a significant Louisville donor believed that Strong was leaving the Cardinals.
Reports Wednesday morning have shifted the focus to Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy. He was interviewed on Sunday at his home. Sources told Volquest on Tuesday that Gundy had not informed Hart of his intentions. They reported that Tennessee was awaiting some kind of word from Gundy whose options are now to stay in Stillwater or try and make a deal with Tennessee after Arkansas filled their vacancy.
On Wednesday, CBS Sports reported that Mike Gundy has been offered the Tennessee head coaching job. No official word has come from UT or Oklahoma State at this point.
We will keep you updated!
Charlie Strong is emerging as the leading candidate in the search to replace Derek Dooley as UT head football coach, according to WBIR contributor Chris Low of ESPN.com.
Nothing has been finalized yet, and Louisville is expected to try and keep strong, Low reported in an article Tuesday.
Volquest.com is reporting that UT athletic director Dave Hart is interviewing North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora Tuesday in New York.
They are both in New York City for the College Football Hall of Fame induction, where former Vols' coach Phillip Fulmer will be inducted.
Volquest reports that all signs point to Fedora, Louisville's Charlie Strong, and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy as the three finalists in a search that Tennessee would like to have done by Thursday.
Photo gallery: Who could be UT's next head coach?
Sources tell Volquest that Gundy interviewed with Tennessee in his home on Sunday and interviewed with Arkansas on Monday. Gundy has indicated to those close to him that he believes he has the opportunity to take either job.
Other sources gave indication to VolQuest that Tennessee is awaiting word from Gundy and that UT's administration would be prepared to present a competitive financial package for Gundy, who is said to have some issues with his current athletics director Mike Holder, that exceeds his current deal at Oklahoma State.
As for Strong, Volquest has been told that he would relish the UT job opportunity.
For more information, head to Volquest.com.