Wiedmer: Be careful folks, hot-shot coaches can cool quickly

photo Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl pleads his case with an official at McKenzie Arena in 2007. Staff Photo by Tim Barber

We'll begin today's column on March 20, 1994. That's the Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla., that Kevin O'Neill coached Marquette to a 75-63 victory over Rick Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats and into the Sweet 16.

That's also the day that former UT athletic director Doug Dickey apparently decided that any coach who could knock Pitino out of the NCAA tourney was good enough to coach the Vols.

Three years later, having won 36 and lost 47, O'Neill left Knoxville before dawn one morning to take the Northwestern job without telling a single person beyond a UT fan who recognized the coach at a gas station on his way to the airport.