5 assistant hires that got a Vols head coach fired

#1

dduncan4163

Have at it Hoss
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
17,857
Likes
26,806
#1
Tennessee football: 5 assistant hires that got a Vols head coach fired


1. Dave Clawson – 2008
Head Coach: Phillip Fulmer

Position: Offensive Coordinator




"We began this list with the hire of Phillip Fulmer undoing the career of Johnny Majors. Well, 16 years after Fulmer became Tennessee football’s head coach, his own offensive coordinator hire undid him.

Fulmer’s career in Knoxville was marked by stability. At his best in the 1990s, he had David Cutcliffe and John Chavis as offensive and defensive coordinators, two guys he promoted from within. When Cutcliffe left for the Ole Miss Rebels, Fulmer promoted Randy Sanders, who was there through 2005.

A bad 2005 season resulted in Sanders resigning, but Fulmer then was able to bring back Cutcliffe. So when Cutcliffe left after 2007 to take the Duke Blue Devils head coaching job, Fulmer decided to go national for the first time in his career. And it was a mistake.

Trooper Taylor, a highly successful assistant, had been studying under Cutcliffe. Fulmer should have stuck to his philosophy one year after a 10-win SEC East title season and promoted Taylor. Instead, he went for the splash.

That splash was an FCS coach in Dave Clawson. Now, Clawson, like we said with Larry Marmie, actually has a brilliant offensive mind. The problem is his emphasis on versatility and cerebral decision-making to get the ball in playmakers’ hands clashed with what Cutcliffe was doing the year before. Everywhere Clawson goes, the offense requires three years to get going.

So with Jonathan Crompton stepping in for Erik Ainge in 2008, disaster struck in this new offense. Tennessee football lost its opener to the UCLA Bruins. Then they lost 30-6 to the Florida Gators and 14-12 to the Auburn Tigers.

By midseason, they were 3-6, failing to break 10 points in three of their losses and failing to break 15 points five of them. Oh, and one of their wins was a 13-9 win over Northern Illinois. They couldn’t get things going at quarterback, alternating between Crompton and Nick Stephens.

The resulting disaster prompted Mike Hamilton to fire Fulmer. How did Tennessee football respond? They suffered their most embarrassing loss of the decade, falling 13-6 at home to the Wyoming Cowboys. The Vols won their final two games to finish 5-7 and send Fulmer off right, but this was a disastrous offense.

Clawson would actually go on to have success with the Bowling Green Falcons and is now thriving with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. So he can actually coach. But he wasn’t the right fit for Tennessee football at that time. His scheme clashed with the personnel far too much, and it resulted in the Vols firing Fulmer and entering a decade of futility. So it tops this list."


For those of you that don't like slideshows here's the list

5. Phil Fulmer
4. Larry Scott
3. Larry Marmie
2. Sal Sunseri
1. Dave Clawson

Dooley and Butch's fortunes could and probably would have been very different if they had hired Steele and Helfrich. Dooley probably wins 9 or 10 games in 2012. Does Butch survive 2017 with Helfrich? The summer is long and I enjoy what if scenarios.
 
Last edited:
#2

BigOrangeMojo

The Member to Remember
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
3,152
Likes
8,927
#2
Tennessee football: 5 assistant hires that got a Vols head coach fired


1. Dave Clawson – 2008
Head Coach: Phillip Fulmer

Position: Offensive Coordinator




"We began this list with the hire of Phillip Fulmer undoing the career of Johnny Majors. Well, 16 years after Fulmer became Tennessee football’s head coach, his own offensive coordinator hire undid him.

Fulmer’s career in Knoxville was marked by stability. At his best in the 1990s, he had David Cutcliffe and John Chavis as offensive and defensive coordinators, two guys he promoted from within. When Cutcliffe left for the Ole Miss Rebels, Fulmer promoted Randy Sanders, who was there through 2005.

A bad 2005 season resulted in Sanders resigning, but Fulmer then was able to bring back Cutcliffe. So when Cutcliffe left after 2007 to take the Duke Blue Devils head coaching job, Fulmer decided to go national for the first time in his career. And it was a mistake.

Trooper Taylor, a highly successful assistant, had been studying under Cutcliffe. Fulmer should have stuck to his philosophy one year after a 10-win SEC East title season and promoted Taylor. Instead, he went for the splash.

That splash was an FCS coach in Dave Clawson. Now, Clawson, like we said with Larry Marmie, actually has a brilliant offensive mind. The problem is his emphasis on versatility and cerebral decision-making to get the ball in playmakers’ hands clashed with what Cutcliffe was doing the year before. Everywhere Clawson goes, the offense requires three years to get going.

So with Jonathan Crompton stepping in for Erik Ainge in 2008, disaster struck in this new offense. Tennessee football lost its opener to the UCLA Bruins. Then they lost 30-6 to the Florida Gators and 14-12 to the Auburn Tigers.

By midseason, they were 3-6, failing to break 10 points in three of their losses and failing to break 15 points five of them. Oh, and one of their wins was a 13-9 win over Northern Illinois. They couldn’t get things going at quarterback, alternating between Crompton and Nick Stephens.

The resulting disaster prompted Mike Hamilton to fire Fulmer. How did Tennessee football respond? They suffered their most embarrassing loss of the decade, falling 13-6 at home to the Wyoming Cowboys. The Vols won their final two games to finish 5-7 and send Fulmer off right, but this was a disastrous offense.

Clawson would actually go on to have success with the Bowling Green Falcons and is now thriving with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. So he can actually coach. But he wasn’t the right fit for Tennessee football at that time. His scheme clashed with the personnel far too much, and it resulted in the Vols firing Fulmer and entering a decade of futility. So it tops this list."


For those of you that don't like slideshows here's the list

5. Phil Fulmer
4. Larry Scott
3. Larry Marmie
2. Sal Sunseri
1. Dave Clawson

Dooley and Butch's fortunes could and probably would have been very different if they had hired Steele and Helfrich. Dooley probably wins 9 or 10 games in 2012. Does Butch survive 2017 with Helfrich? The summer is long and I enjoy what if scenarios.
I disagree. Dooley and Butch were in over their heads no matter who the assistants were. Josh Dobbs just obscured that for part of 2015...
 
#3

Tennesseefan2019

Tennessee Fan ever since i can remember
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
5,395
Likes
9,292
#3
Tennessee football: 5 assistant hires that got a Vols head coach fired


1. Dave Clawson – 2008
Head Coach: Phillip Fulmer

Position: Offensive Coordinator




"We began this list with the hire of Phillip Fulmer undoing the career of Johnny Majors. Well, 16 years after Fulmer became Tennessee football’s head coach, his own offensive coordinator hire undid him.

Fulmer’s career in Knoxville was marked by stability. At his best in the 1990s, he had David Cutcliffe and John Chavis as offensive and defensive coordinators, two guys he promoted from within. When Cutcliffe left for the Ole Miss Rebels, Fulmer promoted Randy Sanders, who was there through 2005.

A bad 2005 season resulted in Sanders resigning, but Fulmer then was able to bring back Cutcliffe. So when Cutcliffe left after 2007 to take the Duke Blue Devils head coaching job, Fulmer decided to go national for the first time in his career. And it was a mistake.

Trooper Taylor, a highly successful assistant, had been studying under Cutcliffe. Fulmer should have stuck to his philosophy one year after a 10-win SEC East title season and promoted Taylor. Instead, he went for the splash.

That splash was an FCS coach in Dave Clawson. Now, Clawson, like we said with Larry Marmie, actually has a brilliant offensive mind. The problem is his emphasis on versatility and cerebral decision-making to get the ball in playmakers’ hands clashed with what Cutcliffe was doing the year before. Everywhere Clawson goes, the offense requires three years to get going.

So with Jonathan Crompton stepping in for Erik Ainge in 2008, disaster struck in this new offense. Tennessee football lost its opener to the UCLA Bruins. Then they lost 30-6 to the Florida Gators and 14-12 to the Auburn Tigers.

By midseason, they were 3-6, failing to break 10 points in three of their losses and failing to break 15 points five of them. Oh, and one of their wins was a 13-9 win over Northern Illinois. They couldn’t get things going at quarterback, alternating between Crompton and Nick Stephens.

The resulting disaster prompted Mike Hamilton to fire Fulmer. How did Tennessee football respond? They suffered their most embarrassing loss of the decade, falling 13-6 at home to the Wyoming Cowboys. The Vols won their final two games to finish 5-7 and send Fulmer off right, but this was a disastrous offense.

Clawson would actually go on to have success with the Bowling Green Falcons and is now thriving with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. So he can actually coach. But he wasn’t the right fit for Tennessee football at that time. His scheme clashed with the personnel far too much, and it resulted in the Vols firing Fulmer and entering a decade of futility. So it tops this list."


For those of you that don't like slideshows here's the list

5. Phil Fulmer
4. Larry Scott
3. Larry Marmie
2. Sal Sunseri
1. Dave Clawson

Dooley and Butch's fortunes could and probably would have been very different if they had hired Steele and Helfrich. Dooley probably wins 9 or 10 games in 2012. Does Butch survive 2017 with Helfrich? The summer is long and I enjoy what if scenarios.
Phil never let Dave Clawson call any plays in 2008 and it cost Phil Fulmer and Tennessee big time
 
#4

dduncan4163

Have at it Hoss
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
17,857
Likes
26,806
#4
I disagree. Dooley and Butch were in over their heads no matter who the assistants were. Josh Dobbs just obscured that for part of 2015...
I agree they were in over their heads and they would have been fired at some point but I really do think Dooley wins at least 9 games in 2012 with Steele. That 2012 offense was historically good.
 
#6

Tennesseefan2019

Tennessee Fan ever since i can remember
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
5,395
Likes
9,292
#6
I agree they were in over their heads and they would have been fired at some point but I really do think Dooley wins at least 9 games in 2012 with Steele. That 2012 offense was historically good.
How many games do you think Tennessee would have won if Lame Kiffin had been head football coach 2010-2012 instead of Dooley?
 
#7

butchna

Sit down and tell me all about it...way over there
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
62,393
Likes
62,523
#7
Phil never let Dave Clawson call any plays in 2008 and it cost Phil Fulmer and Tennessee big time
He allowed it EARLY on but panicked and basically took over by the 5th game. The QB musical chairs act that too closely resembled the Ainge/Clausen imbroglio in 2005, had more to do with it imo.
 
#10

BigOrangeMojo

The Member to Remember
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
3,152
Likes
8,927
#10
I agree they were in over their heads and they would have been fired at some point but I really do think Dooley wins at least 9 games in 2012 with Steele. That 2012 offense was historically good.

The issue is we hired such crappy/cheap HCs with Butch and Dooley, no decent coordinators were willing to join UT by the end for Dooley/Butch. The only way to get coordinators is to overpay position coaches that were overmatched...
 
#11

BigOrangeMojo

The Member to Remember
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
3,152
Likes
8,927
#11
How many games do you think Tennessee would have won if Lame Kiffin had been head football coach 2010-2012 instead of Dooley?
If we kept his Jurassic age dad as DC, not as many as you'd think. Ol Monte couldnt figure out a Houston Nutt offense in 2009. At both USC and FAU, the longer Lane stayed there, the worse the teams get...
 
#14
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
3,196
Likes
2,390
#14
The issue is we hired such crappy/cheap HCs with Butch and Dooley, no decent coordinators were willing to join UT by the end for Dooley/Butch. The only way to get coordinators is to overpay position coaches that were overmatched...
The biggest question mark was Dooley imo.

Literally, he had a losing LA Tech the season prior. Only reason he got the job was his coaching bloodline and I'm sure some politics. Butch was more justified because he seemed to be a good program builder/promoter. The two stops before UT he showed that each team improved more each year and we kind of saw that here. Unfortunately, we didnt analyze that most of that success should be contributed to Brian Kelly and he was a better salesman than coach.
 
#16

DiderotsGhost

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
2,182
Likes
8,340
#16
Dooley and Butch's fortunes could and probably would have been very different if they had hired Steele and Helfrich. Dooley probably wins 9 or 10 games in 2012. Does Butch survive 2017 with Helfrich?
While Larry Scott was a poor hire for OC, I'm not particularly convinced that things would have been any different with Helfrich. Maybe we win that Florida game and go 5-7, but the overall result is still the same. Butch was the problem; not the OC!

Butch's terrible S&C program even made Bob Shoop look bad. And Shoop looked good at Vandy, Penn State, and now Miss State. UT was the outlier!
 
Last edited:
#18

Bigun

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
1,310
Likes
775
#18
Only thing Dooley was good at was hiring asst coaches, except for the Sunseri hire, which never would have happened had Clemson/Steele not been boatraced like a video game by WVU in their bowl game.

Both our coordinators now were hired by Dooley. Justin Wilcox is a head coach, Peter Sirmon is a DC.
 
#19

Bigun

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
1,310
Likes
775
#19
While Larry Scott was a poor hire for OC, I'm not particularly convinced that things would have been any different with Helfrich. Butch was the problem; not the OC!

Butch's terrible S&C program even made Bob Shoop look bad. And Shoop looked good at Vandy, Penn State, and now Miss State. UT was the outlier for Shoop; he's been very good everywhere else.
Amazing how much I dislike Butch Jones. He won exactly 1 SEC game during his time here without Josh Dobbs. He had Sam Pittman wanting to stay yet let him go for Don Mahoney. After the 2015 season where we almost won in Tuscaloosa, Bama says we were the toughest most physical team they faced. He then proceeds to run off Dave Lawson and hire Mike Szerchen who is now a trainer at a high school in Minnesota.
 
#20

njvols

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
3,441
Likes
3,858
#20
The issue is we hired such crappy/cheap HCs with Butch and Dooley, no decent coordinators were willing to join UT by the end for Dooley/Butch. The only way to get coordinators is to overpay position coaches that were overmatched...
Yeah folks don't like to work for idiots...unless they don't have any other options...then, as we saw, if they're any good, it becomes a placeholder job until something better comes along...Wilcox, for example.
 
#21

Tennesseefan2019

Tennessee Fan ever since i can remember
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
5,395
Likes
9,292
#21
Amazing how much I dislike Butch Jones. He won exactly 1 SEC game during his time here without Josh Dobbs. He had Sam Pittman wanting to stay yet let him go for Don Mahoney. After the 2015 season where we almost won in Tuscaloosa, Bama says we were the toughest most physical team they faced. He then proceeds to run off Dave Lawson and hire Mike Szerchen who is now a trainer at a high school in Minnesota.
At least Tennessee isn't szerchen for a strength and conditioning coach anymore:D
 
#22

njvols

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
3,441
Likes
3,858
#22
Except our defense was good under Monte...
Additionally, there were still recent memories of competing for SEC championship. There's something to having a real expectation of performance. Vol winning culture wasn't so far in the rear view mirror, that when Monte told them "this is what you do to win", it was believed and absorbed. Contrary to Butch, Dooley, and really still now, Pruitt, where he's fighting a talent gap, but also the need for complete "buy in", which will bring desired winning. Instead, we have to paint the picture...our coaches have collectively won 100 national championships, but before Fulmer and now Martin, none associated with Knoxville zip code. That's why Fulmer, and Tee hires were important...as long as they prove competent in their AD and coaching skills.
 
#23

TNnative

Phil is back!
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
9,526
Likes
6,715
#23
The biggest question mark was Dooley imo.

Literally, he had a losing LA Tech the season prior. Only reason he got the job was his coaching bloodline and I'm sure some politics. Butch was more justified because he seemed to be a good program builder/promoter. The two stops before UT he showed that each team improved more each year and we kind of saw that here. Unfortunately, we didnt analyze that most of that success should be contributed to Brian Kelly and he was a better salesman than coach.
Only reason he got the job was the timing of Kiffin's departure. Hamilton had to chose a replacement with no time to vet or interview enough coaches due to a fast approaching NSD. Yes, his bloodline made it a good PR move, but the political side was just saying, "You better fix this fast" to Hamilton. Plenty of supporters and donors didn't like the Kiffin hire when it was made, and liked it even less when he quit. He would have been better off swallowing his pride and trying to re-hire Fulmer, but I doubt he would have accepted it under Hamilton. Who knows?
 
#24

TNnative

Phil is back!
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
9,526
Likes
6,715
#24
The biggest question mark was Dooley imo.

Literally, he had a losing LA Tech the season prior. Only reason he got the job was his coaching bloodline and I'm sure some politics. Butch was more justified because he seemed to be a good program builder/promoter. The two stops before UT he showed that each team improved more each year and we kind of saw that here. Unfortunately, we didnt analyze that most of that success should be contributed to Brian Kelly and he was a better salesman than coach.
Only reason he got the job was the timing of Kiffin's departure. Hamilton had to chose a replacement with no time to vet or interview enough coaches due to a fast approaching NSD. Yes, his bloodline made it a good PR move, but the political side was just saying, "You better fix this fast" to Hamilton. Plenty of supporters and donors didn't like the Kiffin hire when it was made, and liked it even less when he quit. He would have been better off swallowing his pride and trying to re-hire Fulmer, but I doubt he would have accepted it under Hamilton. Who knows?

If you want to figure out why Tennessee football has been in decline, it comes down to the loss of John Stucky as S&C coach. Hasn't been the same since then.
 

VN Store



Sponsors
 

Top