Johnny Majors Tribute Thread

#52

Tnphil

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#52
Most of my years I was a season ticket holder was the Majors era.....70's until 1995. Those years I seemed to enjoy it more for the winning seasons we had...going to bowl games. It seemed to me when the BCS era started and now the playoff era it became more of being a part of those or its just a ho hum season.

I like being in the championship mix as much as anyone.....I guess during most of the years Majors was coaching it was just a simpler time for me.

RIP Coach Majors.
 
#54

jim pique

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#54
Today I cry.For all of vol nation an Tennessee fans everywhere,I cry.To lose a homeboy treasure as Johnny,it is sometimes too much.From player to coach to legend,he was all UT orange.Even his liking of old # 7,Johnny Majors was the state of Tennessee.From his dad,Shirley,to brothers ,the late Bill,and Bobby(Bubba),and his wife,Mary Lynn,we cry with you and we thank you for being able to pass these many years with y'all's family.May God bless.
 
#55

pismonque

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#55
I've told this old story here before. It's long but at least it's anticlimactic.

Near the end of Johnny's tenure as coach, he and his wife came in to a movie theater I was working at on a slow weekday afternoon. During their show we had a long power outage and a handful of customers decided to wait it out, including Johnny and his wife.

I took advantage of the opportunity to chat with Coach and his wife a bit and they were both very approachable and friendly. He spoke to you in a very familiar manner as if you were someone he already knew well. Really likable folks.

Apparently sitting around doing nothing was just not his thing though and Coach started walking brisk laps around the lobby — down one side, across the back hall, up the other side, in front of the concession stand and around again. As he passed by on one lap he looked over at me and said, half smiling, "Might as well get some exercise in." After several minutes of walking he rejoined his wife on a bench to nibble popcorn and keep waiting out the outage.

But the absolute best part was a few minutes later when I happened to look up and noticed that Johnny was behind the concession stand refilling his popcorn bag at the popper. No employees were back there at the moment (nothing really for them to do with no electricity) so he was the only one behind the stand. He just filled up his bag and then went back to rejoin his wife. He didn't look like he was being sneaky or doing anything wrong, he was as casual as if he were in his own kitchen. It was hilarious. I guess that's what it's like when you're just used to being King.

Soon after, the power came back on and everybody returned to their films. I exchanged passing see-ya's with Coach Majors and his wife as they left afterward and that was it. But the whole experience left me liking him even more.
 
#58

HarderKnox59

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#58
Johnny coached some great teams, that, for one reason or another, didn't quite get the respect they deserved, or just fell a bit short, due to running into some damn good teams. But, I think that 85 team could've beaten any team in the nation.
IMO I feel that the 1990 Vols was Majors best team. He had stars on both sides of the ball just didn't get the breaks that were needed to win it all while at Tennessee.
But as I heard Majors say in a interview once.
If it's and buts were candy and nuts we would all have a Merry Christmas. Only Majors could come up with that one.
RIP Player and Coach Johnny Majors.
 
#61

WBO

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#61
When I returned to Knoxville after the Navy and then grad school I became friends with a young man who may have been the greatest Vol fan I've ever known. Ed was a huge UT football historian had even memorized the score of every Tennessee game since 1928. He worshiped Coach Majors and one time offered to fight another friend of mine with all of his 150 lbs. (and my friend was a pretty solid 200 lbs) when Steve made some pretty harsh comments about Coach Majors in Ed's presence. Ed frequently sat with me and other friends in my seats and we even went to the 1990 Sugar Bowl win against Virginia.

When it was announced that Majors would no longer be the head coach Ed was so upset that he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, so he goes over to Coach Majors' office and explains to his secretary that he would just like to sit out in the waiting area to try to calm his nerves. The secretary calls into Johnny's office just to let him know about this strange guy that was sitting out there. Coach Majors comes out and invites Ed to go back into his office where Johnny spends the next hour just telling Ed stories and talking to him about life.

When Majors goes up to Pitt for his last coaching job he even invited Ed up for a game and gave him a sideline pass for the game as well as let him be in the locker room before the game and to run out with the team. I've lost contact with Ed but I know today is a very dark day for him.

But I'll never forget this small story of grace and concern on the part of Coach Majors at what had to be one of the darkest moments of his life.
 
#63

ptcarter

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#63
I've told this old story here before. It's long but at least it's anticlimactic.

Near the end of Johnny's tenure as coach, he and his wife came in to a movie theater I was working at on a slow weekday afternoon. During their show we had a long power outage and a handful of customers decided to wait it out, including Johnny and his wife.

I took advantage of the opportunity to chat with Coach and his wife a bit and they were both very approachable and friendly. He spoke to you in a very familiar manner as if you were someone he already knew well. Really likable folks.

Apparently sitting around doing nothing was just not his thing though and Coach started walking brisk laps around the lobby — down one side, across the back hall, up the other side, in front of the concession stand and around again. As he passed by on one lap he looked over at me and said, half smiling, "Might as well get some exercise in." After several minutes of walking he rejoined his wife on a bench to nibble popcorn and keep waiting out the outage.

But the absolute best part was a few minutes later when I happened to look up and noticed that Johnny was behind the concession stand refilling his popcorn bag at the popper. No employees were back there at the moment (nothing really for them to do with no electricity) so he was the only one behind the stand. He just filled up his bag and then went back to rejoin his wife. He didn't look like he was being sneaky or doing anything wrong, he was as casual as if he were in his own kitchen. It was hilarious. I guess that's what it's like when you're just used to being King.

Soon after, the power came back on and everybody returned to their films. I exchanged passing see-ya's with Coach Majors and his wife as they left afterward and that was it. But the whole experience left me liking him even more.
Great story. From my days of working in the Gibbs cafeteria, I can picture exactly what this scene was like. On game day in Knoxville, the team stayed in a hotel out by west town mall. The cooks at Gibbs prepared breakfast and we hauled it out to the motel to feed the team. Big green thermal coolers full of scrambled eggs and bacon. As they were eating assistant coaches would have playbooks out and discussing game plans. After that, and just before they were loaded into the bus to head to campus, Majors should do the “walk”. I guess it was a form of meditation to get the game face on. He would start walking the perimeter of the parking lot with the team behind him in a roughly formed line. He lead with a 5-10 yard gap between him and the team. Not a word was spoken during the walk.
One time he approached me and said he had lost a button on his tweed sport coat and wanted me to go around the parking lot and find it. I told him I’d look for it, but didn’t put much effort in doing so as we were loading up the gear to haul back to Gibbs.

I would Love to hear from a player who experienced that walk, and compare notes. It’s been a long time ago. (‘77-‘79)

Also remember one of the cooks - last name Porter- We drove together and on the way back to Gibbs, he stopped at a fish store and made all the waiters go look at a fish. “They got a piranha in there big enough to take off a mans arm”. He was right, that was a big fish. Good memories.
 
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#64

Jravol78

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#64
E2885DD5-B23E-4F96-A9D2-E30A5D98F424.jpeg This is my avatar pic. This is me when I was 8 years old at the 1986 O&W game that at the time broke a Guinness attendance record for “spring game”. The hat I’m wearing had a little button under the bill that played Rocky Top.

Unfortunately at some point in my 20’s somebody spilled some whiskey on the picture and the colors bled. Thankfully my father in law is into photo restoration and he was able to bring it back much closer to its original glory.

My brother who is 9 years older also had his “official portrait with Coach Majors “so this was a BIG DEAL to me! For a native born Tennesseean/VFL to me this was like meeting Santa, only by this age I’m pretty sure I no longer believed in Santa but I knew that Coach Majors was the real deal.

My grandfather, who is now 90 and still knows every coaching change , recruit commit , score , etc... associated with The Big Orange was very well connected in the UTAD back in the day. I remember Gus Manning calling him several times each season looking for extra tickets because at one time my grandfather had the most obscene number of tickets that you could imagine. He gave a lot of them away to friends , business associates, strangers, etc...If it was a big game he would “make a couple of bucks”.When a no name opponent was in town we would head over to the bookstore before watching the band where my grandfather would unload countless extra tickets to “the guy in the green jacket”

We would see Coach Majors at the Hyatt on Friday nights before games where he filmed a tv show with Pat Ryan IIRC. I remember bumping into Coach Majors @the Dallas Hyatt before 1990 Cotton Bowl where he was heading to a 50’s style sock hop with his mother.I still remember that coach had on an old fashioned TN letter sweater and orange and white saddle oxfords !Whether he really knew us or not he always went out of his way to come over and speak and to me this was bigger than being in the presence of The President , Santa , Michael Jordan ... you name it .

RIP and thanks for all the memories Coach Majors.
 
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#65

lifeisdeep

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#65
I've never seen a sporting event that became more special to me than the '86 Sugar Bowl. I was a sophomore in college; I was playing pool in a sports bar, and I barely got any pool played because I was glued to one of the TVs to watch that game. To say we rolled the mighty Hurricanes would be a decided understatement - we flat-out humiliated them. I think it's safe to say that on that day there was not a college team in America that could hang with Johnny's boys. We ran all those future NFL players out of the stadium. It truly looked like men versus boys.
 
#66

ArdentVol

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#66
I've told this old story here before. It's long but at least it's anticlimactic.

Near the end of Johnny's tenure as coach, he and his wife came in to a movie theater I was working at on a slow weekday afternoon. During their show we had a long power outage and a handful of customers decided to wait it out, including Johnny and his wife.

I took advantage of the opportunity to chat with Coach and his wife a bit and they were both very approachable and friendly. He spoke to you in a very familiar manner as if you were someone he already knew well. Really likable folks.

Apparently sitting around doing nothing was just not his thing though and Coach started walking brisk laps around the lobby — down one side, across the back hall, up the other side, in front of the concession stand and around again. As he passed by on one lap he looked over at me and said, half smiling, "Might as well get some exercise in." After several minutes of walking he rejoined his wife on a bench to nibble popcorn and keep waiting out the outage.

But the absolute best part was a few minutes later when I happened to look up and noticed that Johnny was behind the concession stand refilling his popcorn bag at the popper. No employees were back there at the moment (nothing really for them to do with no electricity) so he was the only one behind the stand. He just filled up his bag and then went back to rejoin his wife. He didn't look like he was being sneaky or doing anything wrong, he was as casual as if he were in his own kitchen. It was hilarious. I guess that's what it's like when you're just used to being King.

Soon after, the power came back on and everybody returned to their films. I exchanged passing see-ya's with Coach Majors and his wife as they left afterward and that was it. But the whole experience left me liking him even more.
what was showing at theatre?
 
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#67

ksgovols

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#67
Johnny coached some great teams, that, for one reason or another, didn't quite get the respect they deserved, or just fell a bit short, due to running into some damn good teams. But, I think that 85 team could've beaten any team in the nation.
Those 1990-91 teams were his best by far talent wise.
 
#69

ArdentVol

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#69
View attachment 284690 This is my avatar pic. LThis is me when I was 8 years old at the 1986 O&W game that at the time broke a Guinness attendance record for “spring game”. The hat I’m wearing had a little button under the bill that played Rocky Top.

Unfortunately at some point in my 20’s somebody spilled some whiskey on the picture and the colors bled. Thankfully my father in law is into photo restoration and he was able to bring it back much closer to its original glory.

My brother who is 9 years older also had his “official portrait with Coach Majors “so this was a BIG DEAL to me! For a native born Tennesseean/VFL to me this was like meeting Santa, only by this age I’m pretty sure I no longer believed in Santa but I knew that Coach Majors was the real deal.

My grandfather, who is now 90 and still knows every coaching change , recruit commit , score , etc... associated with The Big Orange was very well connected in the UTAD back in the day. I remember Gus Manning calling him several times each season looking for extra tickets because at one time my grandfather had the most obscene number of tickets that you could imagine. He gave a lot of them away to friends , business associates, strangers, etc...If it was a big game he would “make a couple of bucks”.When a no name opponent was in town we would head over to the bookstore before watching the band where my grandfather would unload countless extra tickets to “the guy in the green jacket”

We would see Coach Majors at the Hyatt on Friday nights before games where he filmed a tv show with Pat Ryan IIRC. I remember bumping into Coach Majors @the Dallas Hyatt before 1990 Cotton Bowl where he was heading to a 50’s style sock hop with his mother.I still remember that coach had on an old fashioned TN letter sweater and orange and white saddle oxfords !Whether he really knew us or not he always went out of his way to come over and speak and to me this was bigger than being in the presence of The President , Santa , Michael Jordan ... you name it .

RIP and thanks for all the memories Coach Majors.
I would enjoy talking to your granddad. He and my Dad might've known each other
 
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#70

ksgovols

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#70
You could add 1989 to those teams;)
I think the addition of Dale Carter and some defensive help made the 90-91 his best. Carl Pickens and Chuck Webb were redshirted during the 88 season and after the 17-14 win against Colorado State in the opener, I remember the drive back to Nashville with my Vols buddy about the prospects of our Vols was pretty grim. They put Pickens in on defense to shore up the secondary pretty soon and he also returned kickoffs which won the LSU game for us. When I got home my wife was still up watching tv as Princess Diana had died in a car crash that night. I didn't know. We listened to Vols post game as long as we could and then dissected everything about the football team the rest of the way. Funny what you remember......
 
#71

Jravol78

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#71
edit .... quote to “Ardent” forgot to attach your quote .

lol ..... he never met a stranger and is still as sharp as a tack . You could call him and say” your grandson and I were discussing you on the internet” and he would sit there and talk to you for an hour !
 
#72

Orange12

I remember the single wing days
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#72
I met Coach soon after he became head coach. He told me a story that I had heard from my dad. My Dad played for Shirley (John's dad) at Lynchburg. They lived 2 doors down from the Majors family and became close to the "Majors boys". My grandfather had season tickets and asked my dad and Johnny to go to a game. It was the first Tennessee game that Johnny attended. Every time I saw him over the following years, he would always repeat that story. He seemed to always have a special place in his heart for the small towns and all it's people and never forgot how they touched his life. Special man
 
#73

onevol74

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#73
I think the addition of Dale Carter and some defensive help made the 90-91 his best. Carl Pickens and Chuck Webb were redshirted during the 88 season and after the 17-14 win against Colorado State in the opener, I remember the drive back to Nashville with my Vols buddy about the prospects of our Vols was pretty grim. They put Pickens in on defense to shore up the secondary pretty soon and he also returned kickoffs which won the LSU game for us. When I got home my wife was still up watching tv as Princess Diana had died in a car crash that night. I didn't know. We listened to Vols post game as long as we could and then dissected everything about the football team the rest of the way. Funny what you remember......
Princess Diana did not die until our opening game in 1997.
 

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