Belmont head coach Rick Byrd is not commenting on speculation that he may be a candidate for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Tennessee. ESPN’s Chris Low reported that former Vols coach Bruce Pearl was fired this morning.
“Coach Byrd has a standing policy not to comment on any coaching job openings,” Belmont media relations director Greg Sage wrote in an e-mail.
Byrd grew up in Knoxville and earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Tennessee. He served as a student assistant coach under former UT head coach Ray Mears for two years.
His Knoxville connections and Belmont’s recent success has some media personalities and fans bringing up Byrd’s name as a possible candidate.
“I also think you want to establish a solid floor, a good coach you can’t do worse than. For UT, that should be an alum, Belmont’s Rick Byrd,” local Nashville sports radio host Clay Travis tweeted on March 16.
Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News wrote that “Vols need not look far for next coach.”
Byrd led Belmont to a 30-5 record this season, including a 72-58 loss to Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA tournament.