KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced the appointment of Phillip Fulmer as acting director of athletics on Friday.
“Phillip Fulmer will begin serving as athletic director effective immediately,” Davenport said. “I have taken these steps in the best interest of the university.”
“I am confident that Phillip understands the need to support our student-athletes and our commitment to excellence in all athletic programs. I appreciate his willingness to serve during this critical time.”
“No one better understands the storied history of Vol athletics and its deep connection to alumni and fans, and I believe he will be a unifying presence for all of us committed to the university’s success.”
A former Tennessee football student-athlete, assistant coach and national-championship-winning head coach who has dedicated more than 40 years of his life to UT, Fulmer will now lead the continued search for a new head football coach.
Fulmer is the second-winningest coach in Tennessee football history, compiling a 152-52 career record in 17 seasons at the helm of the program.
He led the Vols to the BCS National Championship in 1998 and SEC titles in 1997 and 1998. He was named SEC Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year in 1998.
A 1972 Tennessee graduate, he starred on the offensive line during his playing career, serving as team captain as a senior. The Vols finished 30-5, and won an SEC Championship and a Sugar Bowl during his playing career from 1969-71.
He returned as an assistant coach in 1980 before being named head coach in 1992.
In 2012, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.