Report: Lions To Promote Kippy Brown

Citing anonymous sources, The Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site Saturday that Detroit Lions wide receivers coach Kippy Brown will become Detroit’s new offensive coordinator with the departure of coordinator Mike Martz.

The News Sentinel reported in Saturday’s editions that Brown was UT’s leading candidate to replace David Cutcliffe, who will take over as Duke’s head coach following the Outback Bowl on Tuesday. A source said talks between UT coach Phillip Fulmer and Brown were centered around who UT hires to reassemble its offensive staff.

Also on Saturday, Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence said he would remain with the Tigers after he interviewed with Fulmer on Dec. 21 in Knoxville.

“At this time, I think it was in my best interest, the university’s best interest and our players’ best interest for me to withdraw my name,” Spence told reporters in Atlanta at a previously scheduled press conference in advance of the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Spence said he wasn’t offered a job at Tennessee.

Fulmer acknowledged that Spence interviewed with the Vols, saying he enjoyed the process — and expects to repeat it with at least two other candidates.

“I had a fantastic day with Rob Spence from 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock nearly that night,” Fulmer said before Tennessee’s practice Saturday morning. “All we did is talk football and schemes and philosophies and people. I don’t get a chance to do that very much. I really enjoyed it. He was very good.

“I’m going to go through that process with two or three other people, as I told everybody on the front end I was going to do, to make sure we get the right person, the right fit.”

Fulmer hopes to have that person in place by the team’s first meeting of the new year on Jan. 8.

“If I don’t, it’s not an end-of-the-world-type thing, but I’d like to have that at least done, if not more,” Fulmer said.

Fulmer said the bulk of the hiring process will take place in Knoxville, but acknowledged that he’s spoken to at least one candidate since the Vols arrived in Tampa on Dec. 25.

Tennessee is also searching for at least one more assistant coach to replace wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor, who will become Oklahoma State’s co-offensive coordinator following Tuesday’s game.

Running backs coach Kurt Roper is expected to become Cutcliffe’s offensive coordinator at Duke, while tight ends coach Matt Luke will be named offensive line coach.

Those announcements aren’t expected until after Tuesday’s game.

Defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell told Fulmer last Sunday he would remain at UT after being courted by Arkansas to become its defensive coordinator.

Fulmer also did not rule out changes on the defensive staff, when asked Saturday if all four coaches would be back.

“We’re looking at everything that’s out there,” Fulmer said . “Any comment on staffing would be strictly just that. We’re going to evaluate everything.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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