Tennessee athletic director John Currie on Monday night appeared on The Vol Network’s “Big Orange Hotline” radio show, giving his assessment of the state of the Tennessee football program.
The Vols (3-5, 0-5 SEC) have lost four straight games and five of their last six after falling 29-26 at Kentucky Saturday night, with questions about the job status of embattled fifth-year coach Butch Jones growing with each loss.
“With any particular decision, … you’ve got to make decisions that you truly believe are best for your program,” Currie said, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Tennessee hosts Southern Miss on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time for homecoming at Neyland Stadium.
“I believe that supporting our staff and supporting our players, getting ready for the Southern Miss game, is the best I can do for our football program right now,” Currie said.
As GoVols247 reported Sunday night, Currie confirmed that he met with Jones on Sunday, but said that’s been a regular occurrence this season.
“That’s been one of my practices the whole time,” Currie said. “The nine years I’ve been an athletics director now, I always try to go into the building on Sunday, win or lose.”
Jones addressed the Sunday meeting with Currie during his Monday press conference.
“All we is we talk about day-by-day and week-by-week, and that’s been the constant theme since he came here,” Jones said. “Again, our conversations are anything and everything.”
Wednesday will mark seven months on the job at Tennessee for Currie, a former associate athletic director for the Vols before taking over as athletic director at Kansas State. He was hired away from the Wildcats on April 1 to take over for Dave Hart.
“The bottom line is, one of the reasons I came back here to the University of Tennessee is this is a national program with a national following and incredibly passionate and fevered fans,” Currie said. “That knife cuts both ways, right?
“You’re excited when you win, and you’re disappointed and angry when you lose. It’s the same for the staff and the AD and the players, too.”
Tennessee started the season 3-1, but a 26-20 loss at Florida on Sept. 16 started the current skid.
The Vols beat UMass 17-13 on Sept. 23, but have since lost to No. 2 Georgia (41-0), South Carolina (15-9), at No. 1 Alabama (45-7) and at Kentucky.
Currie acknowledged his frustrations through eight games this season, but said support is his only current action.
“I know folks are frustrated with the won-loss record,” he said. “I am too. Coach Jones is. We all are.
“I believe, right now, the most important thing to do is support our players.”