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Tennessee names Fulmer AD, places Currie on paid leave

FILE - in this Oct. 21, 2017, file photo, Washington State coach Mike Leach watches from the sideline during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Colorado in Pullman, Wash. A person with direct knowledge of the meeting says Leach met with Tennessee athletic director John Currie to discuss the Volunteers’ coaching vacancy. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side intended to make the meeting public. The meeting was in Los Angeles earlier Thursday, Nov. 30, and Leach was scheduled to fly back to Pullman. (AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has named Phillip Fulmer athletic director and placed former AD John Currie on paid leave amid what has been a tumultuous and embarrassing football coaching search.

Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced the move Friday. She says Fulmer will immediately take over the coaching search.

Tennessee fired football Butch Jones last month and was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on Sunday. That deal fell through amid a public backlash. Currie met Thursday with Washington State coach Mike Leach.

Reports linked Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and Purdue’s Jeff Brohm to Tennessee’s vacancy, but both stayed put. North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren agreed to a new contract Thursday after speaking with Tennessee.

Fulmer, a former Volunteers and Hall of Fame coach, led Tennessee to the 1998 national title.

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AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo and AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.

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