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Gundy rejects Tennessee

Mike Gundy will not be Tennessee’s next head coach.

Gundy, the 13-year head coach at Oklahoma State, where he also played quarterback in the late 1980s, tweeted late Tuesday that he will remain with the Cowboys program.

Tennessee had offered Gundy a significant pay raise to make the switch from Stillwater to Knoxville, with UT athletics director John Currie meeting with Gundy Tuesday in Dallas. Gundy was mulling over the decision late Tuesday, and a decision was originally not expected until Wednesday.

Late Tuesday evening, a plane departed Knoxville’s McGhee-Tyson Airport, bound for Stillwater. And Oklahoma State mega-booster and oil baron T. Boone Pickens was reported to have said he had no desire to get into a bidding war with Tennessee, leading many Vols fans to feel optimistic about their program’s chances of landing Gundy.

But it was always a long shot for Tennessee, as Gundy is a native Oklahoman who has spent most of his adult life at Oklahoma State as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

Gundy’s rejection was the latest devastating blow for Tennessee’s coaching search, which was forced to back away from a deal with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on Sunday after fans revolted.

Tennessee has reached out to Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, NC State’s Dave Doeren, and Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, and has also vetted former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and SMU’s Chad Morris.

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