Top 5 All Time Vol Coaches

#5

GregAmsler

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#5
I think I would Put Majors #2.
I would too. Dickey would be #2 if he’d stuck around. And Majors would be unquestionably #2 if he’d been hired to replace Dickey in 1970.

But Majors took over a dire situation and left Tennessee a top 10 program. Fulmer left it worse than he found it. I don’t think the 1998 season overcomes that when comparing the two.
 
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#6

gasguy98

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#6
Fulmer got the natty and we can't take that away from him. However, he inherited a program on the rise and at the time we were recruiting lights out. Majors (it took him a while) basically rebuilt the program. Would he have won a natty? We will never know.
 
#10

unfrozencvmanvol

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#10
Fulmer got the natty and we can't take that away from him. However, he inherited a program on the rise and at the time we were recruiting lights out. Majors (it took him a while) basically rebuilt the program. Would he have won a natty? We will never know.
Fulmer owes everything to Majors leaving him a finely tuned sports car of a program and to Cutcliffe for driving it for him for awhile. Once Cutcliffe left and Fulmer had to drive it himself, we ended up upside down in a ditch...twice.
 
#13

GAVol

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#13
Majors didn't have a ton of success until Fulmer came in as an assistant so it goes both ways. Also, Majors propensity to sit on a three point lead with 20 minutes left ensured he'd reached his zenith.

The 1990 season was a microcosm of his career.
No doubt about it. It was all right there for the taking in 1990. Things got weird in the middle of 1990. No way a program that produced 3 top 10 draft picks in 1991 should have combined for 5 losses and 2 ties in 90 and 91. Then it all came to a head in the locker room of the Fiesta Bowl.
 
#16

RDU VOL#14

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#16
I would too. Dickey would be #2 if he’d stuck around. And Majors would be unquestionably #2 if he’d been hired to replace Dickey in 1970.

But Majors took over a dire situation and left Tennessee a top 10 program. Fulmer left it worse than he found it. I don’t think the 1998 season overcomes that when comparing the two.
Our last National Title would either be 1967 or 1951.. I think 1998 sounds a helluva lot better than going all the way back there.
 
#17

GregAmsler

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#17
Our last National Title would either be 1967 or 1951.. I think 1998 sounds a helluva lot better than going all the way back there.
I do too. But that wasn’t my point.

Fulmer doesn’t win a NC in 1998 without the ground work Majors did. There’s zero evidence to suggest he was capable of building a program from the ground up. He couldn’t even maintain the elite one he had handed to him. What Majors did was more impressive.
 
#19

RDU VOL#14

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#19
I do too. But that wasn’t my point.

Fulmer doesn’t win a NC in 1998 without the ground work Majors did. There’s zero evidence to suggest he was capable of building a program from the ground up. He couldn’t even maintain the elite one he had handed to him. What Majors did was more impressive.
I see what you’re saying, but Fulmer did bring some of the greatest players and ambassadors to our school. Peyton Manning, Al Wilson Peerless, Raynoch, there’s a long list of greats. Fulmer definitely lost his sense of urgency after the title, but he wasn’t Larry Coker or Mark Helfrich.
 
#20

VFL-82-JP

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#20
Some haters go waaaaay out of their way to 'splain why Phillip Fulmer is a nobody who happened to be in the right seat when the Vols won a national title. It was all Johnny Majors and David Cutcliffe who won it, Fulmer was simply there to collect the accolades.

Utter horse poop.

Give the man his due. You don't win a national title and two SEC titles, as well as 152 football games (at a win rate of 75%) unless you've got it going on.

Fulmer absolutely the 2nd best head football coach we've ever had.

break/break

The guy who is getting short shrift is John Barnhill.

Robert Neyland took two sabbaticals from coaching the Vols in his career. The first was only a single year, while he was deployed by the Army down to Panama. In that year he was gone, the Vols fell hard to a losing season (4-5). Fell so hard that it took Neyland two recovery years (6-2-2 followed by 6-3-1) before he was back to 10- and 11-win seasons.

But get this: Neyland's other break was for five years, during World War II. The guy who filled in for him, John Barnhill, just did this:
8-2-0
9-1-1
(didn't play football in 1943)
7-1-1
8-1-0

If I remember right, that puts John Barnhill at the pinnacle of Tennessee head football coaches, measured by winning percentage. Yep. Better even than the General.

If there's one coach in Vols' history that we under-appreciate, John Barnhill is the fella.

Go Vols!
 
#21

OffTackleVol

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#21
Some haters go waaaaay out of their way to 'splain why Phillip Fulmer is a nobody who happened to be in the right seat when the Vols won a national title. It was all Johnny Majors and David Cutcliffe who won it, Fulmer was simply there to collect the accolades.

Utter horse poop.

Give the man his due. You don't win a national title and two SEC titles, as well as 152 football games (at a win rate of 75%) unless you've got it going on.

Fulmer absolutely the 2nd best head football coach we've ever had.

break/break

The guy who is getting short shrift is John Barnhill.

Robert Neyland took two sabbaticals from coaching the Vols in his career. The first was only a single year, while he was deployed by the Army down to Panama. In that year he was gone, the Vols fell hard to a losing season (4-5). Fell so hard that it took Neyland two recovery years (6-2-2 followed by 6-3-1) before he was back to 10- and 11-win seasons.

But get this: Neyland's other break was for five years, during World War II. The guy who filled in for him, John Barnhill, just did this:
8-2-0
9-1-1
(didn't play football in 1943)
7-1-1
8-1-0

If I remember right, that puts John Barnhill at the pinnacle of Tennessee head football coaches, measured by winning percentage. Yep. Better even than the General.

If there's one coach in Vols' history that we under-appreciate, John Barnhill is the fella.

Go Vols!
Yep, forgot about Barnhill, and I've read Neyland's biography twice.......no excuse for my blunder. Barnhill was an University of Arkansas icon as well.
 
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#22

LakeMaryFLVol

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#22
Majors didn't have a ton of success until Fulmer came in as an assistant so it goes both ways. Also, Majors propensity to sit on a three point lead with 20 minutes left ensured he'd reached his zenith.

The 1990 season was a microcosm of his career.
The Alabama game that year was the golden framed poster for that style. Unfortunate gentleman next to me even dropped dead from a heart attack as we were exiting gate 21. To this day ....the most expletives I have ever heard. Wild scene at end. Toughest loss I saw in person.

Here is my order: General.., Dickey, Majors, Wyatt, Fulmer.. Would have Fulmer higher but being a great coach is also being a faithful steward of the program. Fell short on that item.
 
#24

Boston Vol

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#24
No doubt about it. It was all right there for the taking in 1990. Things got weird in the middle of 1990. No way a program that produced 3 top 10 draft picks in 1991 should have combined for 5 losses and 2 ties in 90 and 91. Then it all came to a head in the locker room of the Fiesta Bowl.
What happened in the locker room? Whatever it is, I assume that it took place after the disastrous second half.
 

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