Regarded as an outstanding recruiter, Kelly's name surfaced when tight ends coach Rodney Garner left UT for Georgia following the 1997 season. Things didn't quite work out, however, and UT eventually moved offensive line coach Mark Bradley to tight ends, then brought in Mike Barry to coach the offensive line.
Ultimately, Bradley was dismissed following the 2000 season and Barry bolted for North Carolina State following the 2002 season.
Brown remains a possibility, though something of a long shot, for the Vols' receiver coach vacancy. Currently on the staff of the NFL's Houston Texans, he has 13 years' experience in the pro ranks and will qualify for a significantly higher pension if he extends his tenure to 15 years. The Texans are 1-11 this season, however, and reportedly on the verge of firing their entire coaching staff.
Brown served as Vol receivers coach under Johnny Majors (1983-89) and as assistant head coach/receivers coach under current head man Phillip Fulmer (1993-94). He is generally credited with fine-tuning the players who earned Tennessee the designation "Wide Receiver U" in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Brown's protégés included such standout pass-catchers as Tim McGee, Thomas "TD" Woods, Anthony Miller, Alvin Harper and Carl Pickens.
McGee, Miller, Harper and Pickens went on to enjoy distinguished NFL careers. Woods graduated as UT's career leader in single-season receptions (58 in '88) and career receptions (124), then served as wide receivers coach at Ole Miss.
Woods' name has come up in connection with the UT coaching vacancy but he does not appear to be a leading candidate at this time.