Report: Vols may be interested in Steele for defensive post
CLEMSON -- The splash from Lane Kiffin's departure from Tennessee has rippled to Clemson, but for now Dabo Swinney's football staff remains intact.
ESPN reported Thursday that Tennessee might be interested in talking to Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
Steele said Thursday afternoon he had not been contacted.
"Nobody has contacted me or tried to talk to me at all," Steele said.
Tennessee planned to name Duke coach David Cutcliffe as its new head coach, according to reports. Steele added if he were a candidate he likely would have been contacted by Thursday.
The Steele rumor wasn't the first Kiffin-related threat to the Tigers this week.
After Kiffin announced he was leaving Tennessee for Southern Cal on Tuesday night, Swinney said Kiffin contacted Clemson receives coach Jeff Scott about joining him at Southern Cal.
Scott no doubt drew interest as he is putting together a top-20 ranked class in his first year as recruiting coordinator at Clemson.
Swinney said Scott rejected the offer.
While Scott has apparently rejected Southern Cal, the SEC remains the biggest threat to breaking up Clemson's staff continuity. Swinney said the SEC's new television contract allows the conference a "competitive advantage."
Georgia is reportedly offering $700,000 to fill its defensive coordinator position, nearly double Steele's $375,000 salary.
Swinney said Clemson assistant coaching contracts will be reviewed after signing day and he believes members of his staff should be rewarded for helping capture Clemson's first Atlantic Division title.
--Clemson will play its spring game at 4 p.m. on April 10 at Death Valley. Spring practice is set to begin March 8.
Duke coach and former Tennessee assistant David Cutcliffe may be a target in the Vols' search for a new head coach.
Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton has not commented publicly on who his candidates are to replace Lane Kiffin.
But Duke spokesman Art Chase called reports of a deal between Cutcliffe and Tennessee inaccurate.
Cutcliffe twice served on Tennessee's staff and spent eight years as the Vols' offensive coordinator under former coach Phillip Fulmer. In between his stints in Knoxville, Cutcliffe coached at Mississippi for six seasons and has developed quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning during his career.
Skip Holtz is leaving East Carolina to take over as coach at South Florida. Holtz informed the team of his decision in a meeting.
Holtz replaces Jim Leavitt, who was fired earlier this month. Holtz compiled a 38-27 record in five seasons with the Pirates.
Running back Noel Devine and wide receiver Jock Sanders will return for their senior seasons instead of entering the NFL draft. Devine, the team's leading rusher, and Sanders, the team's leading receiver, were the Mountaineers' co-offensive players of the year.