Bill Battle reflects on time as Vols HC and Fulmer and Pruitt

#3

VFL1953

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#3
BB was HC when I arrived on campus. Later, I was there for Johnny Majors’ homecoming.
Yup, I was there with Battle my freshman year. I also remember the sign at The Last Lap Tavern on Cumberland: "Can't win the war 'til we lose the Battle". Now I want a sammitch at Sam & Andy's......
 
#6

Dumbledorange

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#6
Battle had a good pedigree, played for the Bear, coached under Wilkenson at OU, but for whatever reason, couldn't recruit.
We (fraternity) had BB over to the house, he was making rounds to all student orgs as PR. Someone asked him straight up about recruiting.

"It's the least fun of my job. I make it easier by seeking out those young men who are Christ's servants."

Several of us got up from the couch and remarked as we left. " We're screwed." lol True story
 
#7

Volle

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#7
"It's the least fun of my job. I make it easier by seeking out those young men who are Christ's servants."
Several of us got up from the couch and remarked as we left. " We're screwed." lol True story
Wow, yeah, I can see him saying that-- he was a straight arrow, lots of integrity, and competitive, but didn't have an ounce of salesmanship. Too bad Woodruff didn't choose Majors instead, he was ready for the big time as he proved at Pitt. That was the worst decision of the 20th century for UT athletics.
 
#9

feathersax

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#9
How is Bill Battle health-wise? Not long ago he was in pretty bad shape; that's why he left the job as Bama AD. Leaving coaching & building a successful business in sports apparel & such was perfect for him.
 
#12

jackaro

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#12
I know CBB wasn't' great but it seems like I remember a bumper sticker that read "Sorry Bill, we made a Majors mistake."
Lots of people were ready to send Coach Majors packing too.
I seem to remember hearing that people were yelling "Go Johnny Go, and take Devoe too". The legions of the miserable have always been vocal.
 
#13

njvols

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#13
Wow, yeah, I can see him saying that-- he was a straight arrow, lots of integrity, and competitive, but didn't have an ounce of salesmanship. Too bad Woodruff didn't choose Majors instead, he was ready for the big time as he proved at Pitt. That was the worst decision of the 20th century for UT athletics.
21st century says "hold my beer"
 
#14

Bubba Vol

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#14
I remember a common line uttered back then whenever Battle got the Vols a win: "He got that win playing Dickey's boys." People didn't think much of him even when was starting out. I think they were too butt-hurt over losing Dickey to Florida.
 
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#15

SDV

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#15
I was born in 1976, his last season, so don’t really know much about his era. However, on paper they had good records and were ranked the first 4 out of 6 seasons that he coached. It appears that they lost 5 games each year of his final two seasons. How was he considered such a failure, other than just slipping those last two years?
 
#16

Remy

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#16
Battle had a good pedigree, played for the Bear, coached under Wilkenson at OU, but for whatever reason, couldn't recruit. Maybe it was because Chuck Rohe left who was the track coach and head recruiter under Dickey. Rohe recruited the hell out of GA and FL, bringing in guys like Steve Kiner and Dewey Warren.
and Condredge
 
#18

savannahfan

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#18
I remember a common line uttered back then whenever Battle got the Vols a win: "He got that win playing Dickey's boys." People didn't think much of him even when was starting out. I think they were too butt-hurt over losing Dickey to Florida.
Sorta like what you say BUT no, not but-hurt over Dickey, just had a pretty good opinion of Battle..... This sort of thing happens now and then. One summer day in a shop in or near the stadium (not sure exactly where) they were selling vol stuff getting ready for the Nike changeover. Got to talking to the young guy about Lady Vol stuff. The conversation got around to the LV basketball team. I told him that I did not think the new coach could get it done. He said oh yeah she can do it. I persisted and he ask why, I told him I couldn't put my finger on it, but there just seemed to be something missing in the way they had played over the last season. Sometimes we just "feel" things are not right, in this case, to my sorrow, I was right.
 
#19

savannahfan

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#19
I was born in 1976, his last season, so don’t really know much about his era. However, on paper they had good records and were ranked the first 4 out of 6 seasons that he coached. It appears that they lost 5 games each year of his final two seasons. How was he considered such a failure, other than just slipping those last two years?
In a post above yours, the answer was pointed out. He was winning early with Dickey's boys.
 
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#21

livefaith

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#21
I think ive said it before. But my mother used to be a big fan when I was little in the 60s70s. After the moving van and surrounding viscioisness, she walked away and never really cared anymore. I think the ugliness toward a "good person" but weak coach killed it for her. Still remember her getting upset at it all when I was 10 or 12yo.
 
#22

Illinoisvolfan2

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#22
He did have some good wins though. One of my favorite games was 1971 vs Penn State. I was there with my dad. The place was going absolutely berserk. I’ll never forget the energy in Neyland that day
 
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#23

Volosaurus rex

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#23
I was born in 1976, his last season, so don’t really know much about his era. However, on paper they had good records and were ranked the first 4 out of 6 seasons that he coached. It appears that they lost 5 games each year of his final two seasons. How was he considered such a failure, other than just slipping those last two years?

His first team, the 1970 squad, had a great season, finishing 11-1, with victories over Alabama (24-0), Florida (38-7) and Air Force, whom they defeated in the Sugar Bowl (34-13), after establishing a commanding 24-0 lead in the first quarter. The program went gradually but steadily downhill from there. By the time Coach Majors assumed the reins in 1977, he proclaimed the “cupboard bare” of talent.
 
#24

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#24
As for the coaching change when Dickey left, the fans were about 50/50 on Majors Vs, Battle. We didn't have VolNation then, but the papers were full of Majors talk. He was my choice as well.
 
#25

Chemvol

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#25
I seem to remember hearing that people were yelling "Go Johnny Go, and take Devoe too". The legions of the miserable have always been vocal.
" Go, Johnny, go! And take DeVoe!" That was 88 if I remember correctly.

As for the coaching change when Dickey left, the fans were about 50/50 on Majors Vs, Battle. We didn't have VolNation then, but the papers were full of Majors talk. He was my choice as well.
It would been interesting to see what Majors could have done inheriting Dickey's recruits instead of having to start over.
 
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