The official announcement is set for 5 p.m. Saturday in Durham. Cutcliffe reportedly will be paid roughly $1.5 million per year, four times the $375,000 he was scheduled to make at UT for the 2008 season.
Cutcliffe replaces Ted Roof, who went 6-45 overall and 3-33 in ACC play during his five-year stint. He was fired shortly after his 2007 team concluded a 1-11 season. Cutcliffe compiled a 44-29 record as head man at Ole Miss between 1999 and 2004. He was canned after reportedly refusing to fire his coordinators.
Now that Cutcliffe's departure is a done deal, Vol head man Phillip Fulmer will begin the search for a successor. Some of the obvious candidates include Kippy Brown, Gus Malzahn, Trooper Taylor and Greg Adkins.
Brown served two stints at Tennessee – receivers coach from 1983-89 and assistant head coach in 1993-94. A native of Sweetwater and graduate of Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), he served one year as head coach of the Memphis Maniax of the ill-fated XFL. He is currently wrapping up his 15th year as an assistant coach in the NFL as running backs coach for the Detroit Lions.
Malzahn was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas who installed the "Wildcat" package - since renamed the "Wild Hog." The package, featuring star running back Darren McFadden as a direct-snap tailback, helped the Razorbacks claim the SEC West title in 2006.
Malzahn left Fayetteville after one season for Tulsa, where he fashioned a Golden Hurricane attack that led the NCAA in total offense (542.5 yards per game) in 2007. Tulsa piled up 4,870 passing yards and 2,183 rushing yards last fall en route to an average of 39.5 points per game.
Taylor. 37, and Adkins, 39, are members of the current UT staff.