Tennessee football coaches

#52

Vol423

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#52
You mean when the guy that replaced Spurrier won at an even higher level than he did, with 2 national titles in half the time?
Clearly Ron Zook needed a better agent and publicist. He never should have been fired so quickly with such an outstanding record.
 
#53

tennrich1

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#53
While Neyland was a great coach, it’s vastly unfair to compare the other coaches we have had to him. Completely different era, rules and circumstances. Sometimes the lack of respect for what Fulmer did at UT is baffling.
Yes I agree. Some time ago I realized how unfair and inaccurate it is to compare players, coaches, managers, etc to each other especially from different era’s. The debate a lot of folks have is the greatest golfer of all time. That one is absolutely impossible to define. The game is TOTALLY different today than years ago. Vols sports are the same. Circumstances are so different over the years it’s just not apples to apples and the fruitless (no pun intended) discussion goes on and on.
 
#54

PhoenixAZVol

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#54
While I like Fulmer, he won almost half (67) of his 152 games before his NC (7 years), and all but 11 of his 52 losses came after his NC (10 years). By the end of his tenure he had a .500 or below winning percentage against all but 3-4 SEC coaches. Over his 17 year career Fulmer showed he could not consistently beat Florida regardless of who was coaching, nor Spurrier regardless of where he was coaching
Yup. I love Fulmer as a VFL and for what he’s accomplished but I don’t think he was quite an elite coach. Even during his glory years he had some game management issues resulting in losses that I feel a top tier coach would find a way to close out. Bama tie in 93, MS State, Bama, UCLA in 94 were winnable. Memphis in 96. Arkansas in 99. Georgia in 01 with the pooch kick. Not even mentioning all of the complete meltdowns against Florida. 93, 99 and 00 should have been very winnable. Fulmer was never a great game day coach and got ultra conservative at times. Still agree he’s a legend and was a great coach. Just not quite at Neylands level.
 
#55

PhoenixAZVol

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#55
Very true. I get tired of reading the negative crap about Fulmer on here. I'm 45 years old. I went to my first Tennessee game with my dad vs Iowa State during the 1982 World's Fair... My first memory of watching a Tennessee football game was the Garden State Bowl win over Wisconsin in December of 1981... In my lifetime, our golden years were definitely from 1995-2001. We recruited as well as anyone and we were an elite program. I have a feeling that when I'm 75 (God willing), I will still look back at those years as the golden age of Tennessee football in my lifetime. Fulmer doesn't get the respect on VN that he deserves. Read that nonsense I quoted in an above post... Posters actually go out of their way on here to disparage Fulmer. It's ridiculous.
If Fulmer back half of his career mirrored the front half he would clearly be at the same level as Neyland. Neyland did only win the one consensus Natty but had a few more Blended’ nattys. Quite honestly I think there was voting bias back in those days because there were I few undefeated seasons, including one where opponents didn’t even score, where I’m shaking my head trying to understand why we WERE NOT consensus champs.
 
#56

Orangeredblooded

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#56
Soooo, your point is, obviously, that they weren’t? Who exactly is the coach that you’re targeting with this thread? Fulmer? Pretty sure you’re not really asking a question but rather, you’re making a statement.
He is just asking questions to spur debate, not to make statements.
 
#57

VaBornVol

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#57
Yup. I love Fulmer as a VFL and for what he’s accomplished but I don’t think he was quite an elite coach. Even during his glory years he had some game management issues resulting in losses that I feel a top tier coach would find a way to close out. Bama tie in 93, MS State, Bama, UCLA in 94 were winnable. Memphis in 96. Arkansas in 99. Georgia in 01 with the pooch kick. Not even mentioning all of the complete meltdowns against Florida. 93, 99 and 00 should have been very winnable. Fulmer was never a great game day coach and got ultra conservative at times. Still agree he’s a legend and was a great coach. Just not quite at Neylands level.
I couldn’t agree more. I’m very glad Fulmer is in a position of power because I feel he is one of the few administrators that care as much as the normal fan. As far as coaching, he relied heavily on personnel, not scheme. The coaching blunders for me were 99 Florida game when we had 4 NFL linemen, a running QB, the UT career rushing leader, the UT single season rushing leader, a 2000 yard NFL back, and still couldn’t get 2 yards. But the biggest coaching blunder I have ever seen was the 01 September LSU game when our Center snapped the ball with two hands on the ground on every running play, and one hand down on pass plays until the 3rd quarter. I noticed this from the stands after a long day of tailgating. I have no idea how our staff didn’t see it from field level
 
#58

jarnol32

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#58
Are you saying that since we haven’t had the football equivalent of arguably the greatest women’s b-ball coach in history, that we haven’t had any top notch football coaches in 65-70 years? I don’t get the scale of this question at all, but I’ll answer it......Barnhill, Wyatt,Dickey, Majors and Fulmer were all top-notch coaches imo. Those guys were a combined 395-183-18 with multiple SEC COY awards, SEC titles and a couple national titles. I’m not sure of your definition of “top-notch”, but I’m thinking each of those guys were, even if they didn’t win 80+% of their games and 7-8 national titles each.
Summit coached women’s basketball for crying out loud. It’s much easier to dominate a sport that doesn’t generate enough revenue to pay for itself. That being said Phillip Fulmer was an elite coach during his tenure. 152-52 record 1st ballot hall of famer 2 sec championships and a national championship.
 
#59

Backwards K

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#59
A couple of you mentioned how Fulmer let it all go after the 1998 season and one stated the last 10 years (y'all's chosen time frame, not mine) were not good and it was time for him to go. That's an opinion that I don't share.

The facts indicate that from the 1999 season through the 2008 season, the Vols:
--Went 85-41 which is a winning pct of .675 -- For comparison, Vols all time record 838-390-53 for a winning pct of .675
--That pct was the 19th best in the nation during that time frame and 5th best in the SEC
--The Vols finished the season ranked in 7 of those 10 years with 2 top 10 finishes
--During the time frame the Vols finished 1s tin the SEC East 3 times, tied for 1st one other time and 2nd 4 times. (8 of the 10 yrs, Vols 1st or 2nd in SEC East)
--The Vols played in 3 SEC title games in the last 7 years of this time frame including.......
--2007 when the Vols staff thoroughly out coached a more talented LSU team that went on to win the national title With the exception of a bad decision by a QB, Vols win that game
--Vols played in the Fiesta, 2 Cotton, 2 Outback, 2 Peach, and a Florida Citrus Bowl in that same time frame.
--When the coaching staff was fired in 2008, they had the #4 recruiting class in nation including a QB who later led the resurgence of the Clemson program.

Your only true argument is, the Vols under Fulmer's last 10 years were not nearly as good as the first 6 years were. However, his last 10 years were better than the Tennessee football program average for any similar time frame going back to the Neyland era. History shows the Vols were going to the SECCG at least one every 3 years under Fulmer and you can't win it if you don't get there. How many times have they been back since he left? If these were dark days for Tennessee Football, please let them return.

I apologize in advance for letting facts get in the way of your biased opinions and rants against one of only 2 HOF coaches in Tennessee history.
 
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#60

VOLINVONORE

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#60
Ray Mears gave Tennessee a competitive men's basketball program. During his tenure, Tennessee roundballers were 15-15 against might Kentucky (over the same stretch, KY won 75% of their games). Mears' Vol teams won three SEC championships and were invited to the NCAA Tournament three times. He recruited Ernie Grundfeld and Bernard King. He brought the POTS pep band into the basketball arena and coined the term, "This is Big Orange Country!" The expansion of the Armory-Fieldhouse into the Stokely Athletic Center was directly in response to Mears' success. God bless you, Ray. Thank you for all that you've done for Tennessee athletics.
Ray was an excellent coach and he brought fun to the college game. His pregame routines were fantastic and get the crowds into the game before tip off. Stu Aberdeen was the perfect assistant head coach. He was the recruiter and brought in all the stars. What a shame that Ray had those mental demons and Stu passed away at such an early age. If they had benn able to continue coaching, Tennessee would have been one of the blue bloods of clollege basketball today.
 
#62

KBVol

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#62
A couple of you mentioned how Fulmer let it all go after the 1998 season and one stated the last 10 years (y'all's chose time frame, not mine) were not good and it was time for him to go. That's an opinion that I don't share.

The facts indicate that from the 1999 season through the 2008 season, the Vols:
--Went 85-41 which is a winning pct of .675 -- For comparison, Vols all time record 838-390-53 for a winning pct of .675
--That pct was the 19th best in the nation during that time frame and 5th best in the SEC
--The Vols finished the season ranked in 7 of those 10 years with 2 top 10 finishes
--During the time frame the Vols finished 1s tin the SEC East 3 times, tied for 1st one other time and 2nd 4 times. (8 of the 10 yrs, Vols 1st or 2nd in SEC East)
--The Vols played in 3 SEC title games in the last 7 years of this time frame including.......
--2007 when the Vols staff thoroughly out coached a more talented LSU team that went on to win the national title With the exception of a bad decision by a QB, Vols win that game
--Vols played in the Fiesta, 2 Cotton, 2 Outback, 2 Peach, and a Florida Citrus Bowl in that same time frame.
--When the coaching staff was fired in 2008, they had the #4 recruiting class in nation including a QB who later led the resurgence of the Clemson program.

Your only true argument is, the Vols under Fulmer's last 10 years were not nearly as good as the first 6 years were. However, his last 10 years were better than the Tennessee football program average for any similar time frame going back to the Neyland era. History shows the Vols were going to the SECCG at least one every 3 years under Fulmer and you can't win it if you don't get there. How many times have they been back since he left? If these were dark days for Tennessee Football, please let them return.

I apologize in advance for letting facts get in the way of your biased opinions and rants against one of only 2 HOF coaches in Tennessee history.
Thank you, very well said.
 
#63

photovol

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#63
Here is an off season topic to explore: has Tennessee had a top notch football coach since General Neyland was on the field? Anybody on the level that Coach Summitt was for women’s basketball?




Both Johnny Majors and Philip Fulmer were good football coaches and both were Tennesseeans, by God, with Orange running through their souls, I'll take that anyday of the week!
Go Vols
 
#64

photovol

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#64
Both Johnny Majors and Philip Fulmer were good football coaches and both were Tennesseeans, by God, with Orange running through their souls, I'll take that anyday of the week!
Go Vols



I'd gladly follow either one into battle with only the Pride a Tennesseean can exibit.....damn right!
Go Vols
 
#65

VaBornVol

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#65
A couple of you mentioned how Fulmer let it all go after the 1998 season and one stated the last 10 years (y'all's chose time frame, not mine) were not good and it was time for him to go. That's an opinion that I don't share.

The facts indicate that from the 1999 season through the 2008 season, the Vols:
--Went 85-41 which is a winning pct of .675 -- For comparison, Vols all time record 838-390-53 for a winning pct of .675
--That pct was the 19th best in the nation during that time frame and 5th best in the SEC
--The Vols finished the season ranked in 7 of those 10 years with 2 top 10 finishes
--During the time frame the Vols finished 1s tin the SEC East 3 times, tied for 1st one other time and 2nd 4 times. (8 of the 10 yrs, Vols 1st or 2nd in SEC East)
--The Vols played in 3 SEC title games in the last 7 years of this time frame including.......
--2007 when the Vols staff thoroughly out coached a more talented LSU team that went on to win the national title With the exception of a bad decision by a QB, Vols win that game
--Vols played in the Fiesta, 2 Cotton, 2 Outback, 2 Peach, and a Florida Citrus Bowl in that same time frame.
--When the coaching staff was fired in 2008, they had the #4 recruiting class in nation including a QB who later led the resurgence of the Clemson program.

Your only true argument is, the Vols under Fulmer's last 10 years were not nearly as good as the first 6 years were. However, his last 10 years were better than the Tennessee football program average for any similar time frame going back to the Neyland era. History shows the Vols were going to the SECCG at least one every 3 years under Fulmer and you can't win it if you don't get there. How many times have they been back since he left? If these were dark days for Tennessee Football, please let them return.

I apologize in advance for letting facts get in the way of your biased opinions and rants against one of only 2 HOF coaches in Tennessee history.
In the last 10 years he always had highly rated recruiting classes; lost all three of those SECCGs; showed he couldn’t make staff changes outside of his tree; and managed to amass losing records to Meyer, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Tuberville, Miles, and Petrino. That’s over half of the league at the time, and doesn’t mention the losses to Franchione at home in 02, the multiple losses on the west coast, or any of the bowl losses.

The reason this time is not remembered fondly is because, although Fulmer did win a bunch of games, he lost almost every one that mattered
 
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#66

KBVol

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#66
In the last 10 years he always had highly rated recruiting classes; lost all three of those SECCGs; showed he couldn’t make staff changes outside of his tree; and managed to amass losing records to Meyer, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Tuberville, Miles, and Petrino. That’s over half of the league at the time, and doesn’t mention the losses to Franchione at home in 02, the multiple losses on the west coast, or any of the bowl losses.

The reason this time is not remembered fondly is because, although Fulmer did win a bunch of games, he lost almost every one that mattered
Wow. How anybody can be so tone deaf as to post this, given where this program is and has been since his firing....it’s far beyond me. Fulmer is the second best head football coach in Tennessee history, period. Had a phenomenal run early after taking over, tailed off a bit in the second half of his career...probably would’ve bounced back strongly had they not fired him (in a shameful fashion) in 2008 since he had a great class with a couple stud QBs coming in.

But hey, he lost 3 freaking SEC CHAMPIONSHIP games and ONLY had 4 10+ win seasons his last 8-9 years.
 
#67

knox73

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#67
Look - Spurrier was one of the top NCAA coaches of his era there is no doubt on that. Factor in the in-state high school talent gap between the states of Florida and Tennessee and then come back and convince me how much better Spurrier was than Fulmer. When Spurrier had Bob Stoops as his DC he no doubt had it all going. Fulmer took a great base built by Majors along with Phil and others and turned it into a powerhouse for a period of time and won it all without any of Majors' players in 1998. Look at UT football since Phil was let go and you clearly should understand the need for an out of their minds national recruiter to offset Tennessee's consistently weak in-state talent base. Dickey had it all going - if Woodruff had hired Majors all would have been well. Dickey's flop at Florida needs to be factored into whether he was truly a great coach or not. Ray Mears never won a single NCAA tournament game. Memphis, ETSU, Vandy and other Tennessee schools preceded the Vols in that regard so Ray's decent efforts against Adolf Rupp and Joe B. Hall were regionally significant but nothing major in the national scheme of things. The OVC had better basketball than SEC during the 1960s and 1970s or at least equal.
 
#68

Backwards K

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#68
In the last 10 years he always had highly rated recruiting classes; lost all three of those SECCGs; showed he couldn’t make staff changes outside of his tree; and managed to amass losing records to Meyer, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Tuberville, Miles, and Petrino. That’s over half of the league at the time, and doesn’t mention the losses to Franchione at home in 02, the multiple losses on the west coast, or any of the bowl losses.

The reason this time is not remembered fondly is because, although Fulmer did win a bunch of games, he lost almost every one that mattered
Not remembered fondly by whom? His former players still love the guy and he was a first ballot HOF selection as soon as he was eligible to enter the Hall of Fame. His return as AD was as celebrated as any hire made by the University in years. The only folks I know who speak poorly of Fulmer are the dozens of listeners to Basilio's webcasts and a few miserable folks who only support champions, but never played a sport in their lives.

At least, the Vols used to play in games that meant something.....and to get to SECCGs and NYD bowls, you have to have won more than your share of "Big games" like the 01 UF game in Gainesville, the bowl win over Michigan, the win at Miami, the 7 game winning streak over Alabama, winning in Athens in 04 against what many were calling the greatest team in UGA history, the blow out win over a top 10 Cal team in Neyland, going to the SECCG every 3 years, going to NYD bowl games every year. And all of that was in his "bad stretch." Yeah, you got spoiled in the Fulmer years
 
#69

VaBornVol

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#69
Wow. How anybody can be so tone deaf as to post this, given where this program is and has been since his firing....it’s far beyond me. Fulmer is the second best head football coach in Tennessee history, period. Had a phenomenal run early after taking over, tailed off a bit in the second half of his career...probably would’ve bounced back strongly had they not fired him (in a shameful fashion) in 2008 since he had a great class with a couple stud QBs coming in.

But hey, he lost 3 freaking SEC CHAMPIONSHIP games and ONLY had 4 10+ win seasons his last 8-9 years.
So, your rebuttal to all the things I said is to defend three games, that we can agree, he lost?
 
#71

VaBornVol

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#71
Not remembered fondly by whom? His former players still love the guy and he was a first ballot HOF selection as soon as he was eligible to enter the Hall of Fame. His return as AD was as celebrated as any hire made by the University in years. The only folks I know who speak poorly of Fulmer are the dozens of listeners to Basilio's webcasts and a few miserable folks who only support champions, but never played a sport in their lives.

At least, the Vols used to play in games that meant something.....and to get to SECCGs and NYD bowls, you have to have won more than your share of "Big games" like the 01 UF game in Gainesville, the bowl win over Michigan, the win at Miami, the 7 game winning streak over Alabama, winning in Athens in 04 against what many were calling the greatest team in UGA history, the blow out win over a top 10 Cal team in Neyland, going to the SECCG every 3 years, going to NYD bowl games every year. And all of that was in his "bad stretch." Yeah, you got spoiled in the Fulmer years
My opinion of Fulmer was cemented in 2008 when I realized I had spent a lot of time and money going to Neyland every year to watch our big games (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, even Cal and all three SECCGs you mentioned earlier) and I had seen the Vols win twice since 2004
 
#72

vettefool

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#72
A couple of you mentioned how Fulmer let it all go after the 1998 season and one stated the last 10 years (y'all's chosen time frame, not mine) were not good and it was time for him to go. That's an opinion that I don't share.

The facts indicate that from the 1999 season through the 2008 season, the Vols:
--Went 85-41 which is a winning pct of .675 -- For comparison, Vols all time record 838-390-53 for a winning pct of .675
--That pct was the 19th best in the nation during that time frame and 5th best in the SEC
--The Vols finished the season ranked in 7 of those 10 years with 2 top 10 finishes
--During the time frame the Vols finished 1s tin the SEC East 3 times, tied for 1st one other time and 2nd 4 times. (8 of the 10 yrs, Vols 1st or 2nd in SEC East)
--The Vols played in 3 SEC title games in the last 7 years of this time frame including.......
--2007 when the Vols staff thoroughly out coached a more talented LSU team that went on to win the national title With the exception of a bad decision by a QB, Vols win that game
--Vols played in the Fiesta, 2 Cotton, 2 Outback, 2 Peach, and a Florida Citrus Bowl in that same time frame.
--When the coaching staff was fired in 2008, they had the #4 recruiting class in nation including a QB who later led the resurgence of the Clemson program.

Your only true argument is, the Vols under Fulmer's last 10 years were not nearly as good as the first 6 years were. However, his last 10 years were better than the Tennessee football program average for any similar time frame going back to the Neyland era. History shows the Vols were going to the SECCG at least one every 3 years under Fulmer and you can't win it if you don't get there. How many times have they been back since he left? If these were dark days for Tennessee Football, please let them return.

I apologize in advance for letting facts get in the way of your biased opinions and rants against one of only 2 HOF coaches in Tennessee history.
Hindsight being 20/20, I wish that fulmer had been retained for another season.Two good things might have happened, fulmer might have gotten the program back on the right track, and we wouldn’t have made a rash hiring of Kiffin.
 
#74

vettefool

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#74
Not remembered fondly by whom? His former players still love the guy and he was a first ballot HOF selection as soon as he was eligible to enter the Hall of Fame. His return as AD was as celebrated as any hire made by the University in years. The only folks I know who speak poorly of Fulmer are the dozens of listeners to Basilio's webcasts and a few miserable folks who only support champions, but never played a sport in their lives.

At least, the Vols used to play in games that meant something.....and to get to SECCGs and NYD bowls, you have to have won more than your share of "Big games" like the 01 UF game in Gainesville, the bowl win over Michigan, the win at Miami, the 7 game winning streak over Alabama, winning in Athens in 04 against what many were calling the greatest team in UGA history, the blow out win over a top 10 Cal team in Neyland, going to the SECCG every 3 years, going to NYD bowl games every year. And all of that was in his "bad stretch." Yeah, you got spoiled in the Fulmer years
Fulmer,s decline began with Cutcliff,s move to ole miss. And then again after he went to duke. The loss of Rodney garners recruiting was also a major factor. Check the record.
 
#75

ProudVOLfan

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#75
In a world that claims to hate Participation Trophies, they sure do get celebrated a lot
In a world where some people act like they know it all they sure cant see whats right in front of them.. To act like even getting to the SECCG isnt something we would jump up and down about today is silly but you do you.
 

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