JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - ETSU officials continue to glue the pieces of their future football program together, and we're learning it won't be long before critical building blocks are announced.
The campus comeback doesn't come until the fall of 2015, but ETSU's football return is keeping university officials in a constant state of searching; searching for a coach, a facility, and funding.
First on the list is choosing the leader of the Buccaneers.
ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland told us their consultant, and former Tennessee head coach, Phillip Fulmer is making progress.
"Coach Fulmer's has over the course of the past couple months been vetting candidates, [and] speaking with people across the country," said Noland.
While the names, or even the number of potential candidates have yet to be announced, we discovered the mystery won't last long.
"I anticipate no later, no later, than June 15, we will announce the coach for the Bucs," Noland said.
Even still, the clock is ticking, so officials can't ignore where the Bucs will take the turf in two years.
Noland said it could be Johnson City, maybe Kingsport, or even another local city.
"We've had informal conversations with leaders across the region about the possibility in the first season when we're in exhibition phase of playing some games at high school 'X' [or] high school 'Y,'" said explained Noland..
Right now we learned three spots on campus are being targeted for a permanent facility; near the soccer fields, behind the CPA building, or on the front side of campus.
But Noland said it will take an architect and a head coach to make that decision.
"Once the coach is in place, we're going to put our foot down and get to work," said Noland.
We found out progress is a lot slower when it comes to outside funding.
Football has been all the hype on campus for the past couple of months, but even so, we learned getting donations for the program is not the university's top priority for the time being.
"We've put the campaign for football on pause, because arts is our first priority," Noland said.
Noland told us, talks of affiliations are also still in the works.
Noland added, he wants to take time to put the program together the right way.
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