Top 5 All Time Vol Coaches

#76

SonOfGodVolforlife

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#76
The other thing that clouds Fulmer’s tenure, apart from the drift into mediocrity at the end, was his inability to deal with Spurrier and the gators. Except for a handful of games, we didn’t exactly look like a dominant program going against them. A few more wins in that series, and Fulmer would have risen in the esteem of the fans to a remarkable degree
I see your point, but you can’t forget he won the East 6 times. All the other coaches on this list I would argue had trouble against 1 of the big three as well. Neyland is really the lone number one and for good reason. The others you can make arguments for and against for their places in the top 5.
Hard to argue that fulmer isn’t a solid number 2 as painful as it is for some fans to admit. He’s my number 2 behind Neyland as well.
 
#77

DuckInAPen

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#77
Fulmer's record with and without Cutcliffe sort of speak for themselves:

91-25 (with)
61-27 (without)
I don't wish to take a side in the acrimonious Majors-Fulmer debate. Majors was the coach of my childhood, Fulmer of my college years; I recall the tenure of both with fondness and gratitude. Both were nativeTennesseans deeply devoted to our common Alma Mater.

It seems fair, though, if we're going to compare Fulmer's record with and without Cutcliffe, to ask: what was Majors' record without Fulmer as his OC?
 
#82

TNnative

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#82
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.
Yes we do. Had Tony Robinson not gotten injured? NOBODY would have beaten Tennessee that year.

Now, is that the same as winning a national championship? No. But ask anyone who lived to see that team. How it felt was damn close.
 
#83

Backwards K

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#83
Yes we do. Had Tony Robinson not gotten injured? NOBODY would have beaten Tennessee that year.

Now, is that the same as winning a national championship? No. But ask anyone who lived to see that team. How it felt was damn close.
In 1985, the Vols were 9-1-2. They were 3-1-1 in games Robinson started and 6-0-1 in games started by Dickey. Robinson's overall record as a starting QB was 10-5-2 with 22 TDs and 16 interceptions.

To fix your quote, NOBODY beat Tennessee after Robinson was injured. The 85 team, much like the 98 team was a great team and a team of destiny. Only Johnny's conservative nature kept the Vols from being 11-1 and National Champs that year.
 
#84

Jravol78

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#84
Supposedly, Majors pissed everyone off to the point that there was a near mutiny at halftime.
I saw ‘92 LSU mentioned but I don’t recall ever hearing that story . I’m not saying something didn’t happen to create static at that game but I remember the “near halftime mutiny “ @ the 92 Fiesta Bowl. Dale Carter fumbled the opening kick and then after PSU scored took the ball at the one rather than the TB and was on the sidelines jawing with CJM . It continued to escalate and IIRC they were really going at it in the closing minutes of the 1st half . Apparently it all boiled over in the locker room at the half and what had been a 10-7 TN lead turned into a 42-17 trashing by PSU.
 
#85

unfrozencvmanvol

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#85
Without Cut, Fulmer had a 70% winning percentage which was better than Johnny's UT and career winning percentage.
But as I already inconveniently pointed out, Majors took over a dumpster fire. Fulmer took over a program that was already one of the SEC's best and had won the SEC three out of the previous seven seasons. Majors winning percentage also improved as time went on, the way you'd expect a coach building a program to do, Fulmer's declined steadily.
 
#86

GoodlettsvilleVol

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#86
Summit
Neyland
Wyatt
Meers
Majors
Wyatt?
Wyatt???

The same Wyatt who drove Neyland's proud program into the mud?

The same Wyatt who sent Steve Spurrier away? Spurrier grew up an adoring Vols fan. Genius Wyatt refused to change his flagging single wing offense to accommodate a passing strong Spurrier.

In addition to all that Bowdens out of control drinking was the nail in the coffin for his career in Knoxville.

You had Wyatt #3?
 
#90

Jravol78

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#90
Wyatt?
Wyatt???

The same Wyatt who drove Neyland's proud program into the mud?

The same Wyatt who sent Steve Spurrier away? Spurrier grew up an adoring Vols fan. Genius Wyatt refused to change his flagging single wing offense to accommodate a passing strong Spurrier.

In addition to all that Bowdens out of control drinking was the nail in the coffin for his career in Knoxville.

You had Wyatt #3?
Not sure if this story ever got out but my 92 year old VFL grandfather told me that Wyatt was hammered at the last SEC coaches meeting the year that he was fired and threw a reporter in the swimming pool at the hotel where the coaches and press were staying . Think old school days so you know the guy had a suit and tie on and Wyatt thought it would be hilarious to throw the guy in the pool . I believe that Bear Bryant may have had some hand in egging it on as he and Wyatt liked to get together and have a little good old fashioned drunken hijinks together.

edit : so actually appears that this story did get out, I just don’t ever recall seeing it discussed in some of VN’s more infamous moments

Pull up a chair...: Who did Bowden Wyatt push into the pool?
 
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#91

LAVol1

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#91
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.
Majors got the program to the hump and Fulmer took it over the hump. Majors had issues that most won't acknowledge.
 
#92

LAVol1

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#92
I do too. But that wasn’t my point.

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.
Really. How about recruiting Shuler, Manning, Tee, Clausen, Ainge, and Bray at QB, annually having the best stable of RB's in the country. putting the top OL on the field year-in, year-out, having one of the best LB corp in the country most every year, putting more guys in the pros than most any other program during his tenure, and having one of the top 5 programs in the country for most of his tenure. Yeah, that's no evidence. What planet are you from?
 
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#93

GregAmsler

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#93
Really. How about recruiting Shuler, Manning, Tee, Clausen, Ainge, and Bray at QB, annually having the best stable of RB's in the country. putting the top OL on the field year-in, year-out, having one of the best LB corp in the country most every year, putting more guys in the pros than most any other program during his tenure, and having one of the top 5 programs in the country for most of his tenure. Yeah, that's no evidence. What planet are you from?
Shuler was a Majors recruit. Shuler specifically credited Majors with his recruitment.

Bray was a Kiffin recruit.

Nothing in your post is evidence that Fulmer could build a program from scratch. You cite evidence that he did good things inheriting an elite program. That’s not the issue.

I’m from planet Earth, a place full of people to whom facts, issue recognition, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning are optional.

And yes…really.
 
#97

LAVol1

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#97
Shuler was a Majors recruit. Shuler specifically credited Majors with his recruitment.

Bray was a Kiffin recruit.

Nothing in your post is evidence that Fulmer could build a program from scratch. You cite evidence that he did good things inheriting an elite program. That’s not the issue.

I’m from planet Earth, a place full of people to whom facts, issue recognition, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning are optional.

And yes…really.
O.K., I missed on Bray. Fulmer was credited with recruiting Shuler. You ignore all the other "evidence". You Fulmer haters just can't accept that he's the greatest Vol football coach in your lifetime and ALL the evidence supports it. Majors won only 12 games in 4 years after returning to Pitt. I rest my case.
 
#98

GregAmsler

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#98
O.K., I missed on Bray. Fulmer was credited with recruiting Shuler. You ignore all the other "evidence". You Fulmer haters just can't accept that he's the greatest Vol football coach in your lifetime and ALL the evidence supports it. Majors won only 12 games in 4 years after returning to Pitt. I rest my case.
I’m not a “Fulmer hater.” Ad hominem labels don’t advance your point any more than missing the issue does.

Shuler himself credited Majors with being the reason he signed with UT. He said Alabama told him how they’d make him a better football player, while Majors told him how he’d make him a better man. Even if we put that aside, Shuler signed under Majors. Period. Fulmer doesn’t get credit as an assistant coach for things accomplished while Majors was the head coach. Majors gets credit for all the assistants he hired…then he left them to Fulmer, who floundered hiring assistants on his own.

If you can’t understand how the difference in talent/stature of the program each coach inherited affected the difficulty of the job and how each is to be judged, it’s probably best you “rest your case.” You never really presented a relevant one. Majors set the table for Fulmer in a way that Fulmer never could have done, then Fulmer left the program in worse shape in 2008 than he inherited in in 1993. That’s undeniable. Conversely, Majors left it in 1993 in MUCH better shape than he found it in 1977.

But at least Fulmer recruited Condredge Holloway, Tony Robinson, and Hank Lauricella. I’ll give him credit for that.
 
#99

901 Orange

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#99
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!
Straight Facts.
 

whobethis16

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I’m not a “Fulmer hater.” Ad hominem labels don’t advance your point any more than missing the issue does.

Shuler himself credited Majors with being the reason he signed with UT. He said Alabama told him how they’d make him a better football player, while Majors told him how he’d make him a better man. Even if we put that aside, Shuler signed under Majors. Period. Fulmer doesn’t get credit as an assistant coach for things accomplished while Majors was the head coach. Majors gets credit for all the assistants he hired…then he left them to Fulmer, who floundered hiring assistants on his own.

If you can’t understand how the difference in talent/stature of the program each coach inherited affected the difficulty of the job and how each is to be judged, it’s probably best you “rest your case.” You never really presented a relevant one. Majors set the table for Fulmer in a way that Fulmer never could have done, then Fulmer left the program in worse shape in 2008 than he inherited in in 1993. That’s undeniable. Conversely, Majors left it in 1993 in MUCH better shape than he found it in 1977.

But at least Fulmer recruited Condredge Holloway, Tony Robinson, and Hank Lauricella. I’ll give him credit for that.
Why does Cutcliffe get so much credit for Fulmer's success yet Fulmer gets 0 credit for Majors'? Fulmer could've very easily cleaned house when he was promoted, but he didn't. Disregarding Fulmer's contributions as an assistant yet putting Cutcliffe's on such a pedestal is mindboggling.
 

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