Tennessee Volunteers football: Wikis


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Tennessee Volunteers football
UT Volunteers logo.svg
First season 1891
Athletic director Mike Hamilton
Head coach Derek Dooley
1st year, 0–0–0  (–)
Home stadium Neyland Stadium
Stadium capacity 102,037 [1]
Largest crowd: 109,061 (Sept. 18, 2004 vs. UF)
Stadium surface Grass
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Conference SEC
Division East
All-time record 773–327–53 (.693)
Postseason bowl record 25–22–0
Claimed national titles 6
1938, 1940, 1950, 1951
1967, 1998
Conference titles 16
Consensus All-Americans 38
Current uniform
Colors Orange and White            
Fight song Down the Field (Official)
Rocky Top (Unofficial)
Mascot Smokey
Marching band Pride of the Southland Band
Rivals Alabama Crimson Tide
Florida Gators
Georgia Bulldogs
Kentucky Wildcats
Vanderbilt Commodores
Website UTSports.com

The Tennessee Volunteers are an American college football team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). The NCAA Division I team is also a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Having played their first season in 1891, the Vols have amassed a successful tradition for well over a century, with their combined record of 783-332-53 ranking them ninth on the list of all-time winningest major college programs as well as second on the list of winningest SEC programs, just behind Alabama's Crimson Tide and ahead of Southern California's (USC) Trojans. Their all-time ranking in bowl appearances is third (tied with USC) and fourth in all-time bowl victories. They boast six national titles in their history and their last national championship was in the 1998 college football season.

The Vols play at historic Neyland Stadium, where Tennessee has an all-time winning record of 422 games, the second-highest home-field total in college football history for any school in the nation at its current home venue. Only Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium, which opened in 1913, eight years before the 1921 opening of Neyland, has hosted more victories (428) for its team. Additionally, its 100,011 seat capacity makes Neyland the nation's fifth largest stadium.

On November 3, 2008, Head Coach Phillip Fulmer announced that he would be stepping down from his position at the end of the season after a winning total of 152 games at his alma mater[2], followed, four weeks later, by UT's November 30 announcement that Oakland Raiders former head coach Lane Kiffin has been selected as his replacement. Lane Kiffin then left the program on January 12, 2010 to become USC's head coach after less than 14 months on the job. On January 15, 2010, Derek Dooley was named as the Vols 22nd all-time head coach.[3]




Early years

Tennessee's football program began in 1891, but the program's first win did not come until the following season. On October 15, 1892 The football team defeated Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee by a score of 25–0. Tennessee competed in their first 5 seasons without a coach. In 1899, J. A. Pierce became the first head coach of the team. The team had several coaches with short tenures until Zora G. Clevenger took over in 1911. In 1914, Clevenger lead the Vols to a dominant 9-0 season and their first championship, winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association title. The Vols would again field an undefeated squad in 1916 under coach John R. Bender, but consistency was elusive.

In 1921, Shields-Watkins field was built. The new home of the Vols was named after William S. Shields and his wife Alice Watkins Shields, the financial backers of the field. The field had bleachers that could seat 3,200 and had been used for baseball the prior year.

In 1922, the team began to wear orange jerseys for the first time after previously wearing black jerseys.

Neyland comes to Tennessee

Robert Neyland took over as head coach in 1926. At the time, Neyland was an Army Captain and an ROTC instructor at the school. Interestingly, in the 1929 season at least, his two assistant coaches (also ROTC instructors) out-ranked him. Former player Nathan Dougherty who had then become Dean of the school's engineering program and chairman of athletics made the standard clear: "Even the score with Vanderbilt."

Neyland quickly surpassed the Nashville school which had been dominating football in Tennessee. He also scored a surprise upset victory over heavily favored Alabama in 1928. Neyland captured the school's first Southern Conference title in 1927, on only his second year on the job. In 1929, Gene McEver became the football program's first ever All-America. He led the nation in scoring, and his 130 points still remains as the school record.

In the 1930s, Tennessee saw many more firsts. They played in the New York City Charity Game on December 5, 1931, the program's first ever bowl game. They scored a 13–0 victory over New York University, being led by Herman Hickman. Hickman's performance in the game caught the eye of Grantland Rice, and Hickman was added to Rice's All American team. Hickman would later play professionally in New York, for football's Brooklyn Dodgers. After the 1932 season, Tennessee joined the Southeastern Conference, setting the stage for years of new rivalries. Captain Neyland led the Vols to a 76–7–5 record from 1926 to 1934. After the 1934 season, Neyland was called into military service at Panama. Neyland's first stint with UT saw the Vols rattle off undefeated streaks of 33, 28 and 14 games, including five undefeated seasons(1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, and 1932).

Neyland returns

Tennessee struggled to a losing record during Neyland's time in Panama. He returned to find a rebuilding project in 1936. In 1936 and 1937, the Vols won six games each season. However, in 1938, Neyland's Vols began one of the more impressive streaks in NCAA football history. The 1938 Tennessee Volunteers football team won the school's first National Championship and earned a trip to the Orange Bowl, the team's first major bowl, where they pounded fellow unbeaten Oklahoma by a score of 17-0. They outscored their opponents 283–16. The 1939 regular season was even more impressive. The 1939 team was the last NCAA team ever to hold their opponents scoreless for an entire regular season. Surprisingly, the Vols did not earn a national title that year despite being ranked #1 for most of the season, but did earn a trip to the famed Rose Bowl. The Vols were without the services of stud tailback George Cafego, who would finish fourth in the Heisman voting and be the top pick in the NFL draft, due to a knee injury. Cafego's backup was also injured. For a single-wing squad heavily dependent upon the tailback position, it proved to be too much for the Vols to overcome. In front of a crowd of over 90,000, Tennessee fell by a score of 14–0 to Southern California. That loss ended UT's streak of 17 straight shutout games and 71 consecutive shutout quarters, NCAA records to this day. The 1940 Vols put together a third consecutive undefeated regular season(Neyland's eighth such season with the Vols). That team earned a National title from two minor polls, and received the school's first bid to the Sugar Bowl, where they lost to Boston College. After the 1940 season, Neyland was again pressed into military service, this time for World War II. His successor, John Barnhill did well in his absence, going 32-5-2 during the war years of 1941 to 1945. The Vols did not field a team in 1943 due to the war.

Neyland's final years

After World War II, Neyland retired from the military. He returned to Knoxville with the rank of General Officer and led the Vols to more success. From 1946 to 1952, Neyland's Vols had a record of 54–17–4. They won conference titles in 1946 and 1951, and National titles in 1950 and 1951. The 1950 season included what would prove to be the highest profile matchup between the South's two biggest coaching legends-General Neyland and Paul "Bear" Bryant, then at Kentucky. Both teams were ranked in the top ten. The Vols defeated Bryant, superstar quarterback Babe Parilli, and the Wildcats, 7-0. Bryant would never win a game against Neyland. The 1950 season culminated with a win against #2 Texas in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl Classic. The 1951 team featured Hank Lauricella, that season's Heisman Trophy runner up, and Doug Atkins, a future college football and Pro Football Hall of Fame performer. The Vols romped to a 10-0 regular season record(Neyland's ninth undefeated regular season) and the AP National Title. Neyland retired due to poor health in 1952, and took the position of athletic director. The Vols would see spotty success for some 40 years after that, but it would be the late 1980s and 1990s before the Tennessee program had similar winning percentages.

After Neyland

Harvey Robinson had the tough task of replacing General Neyland, and only stuck around for two seasons. Following the 1954 season, Neyland fired Robinson and replaced him with Bowden Wyatt who had seen success at Wyoming and Arkansas. Neyland called the move "the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

Neyland Stadium, named for Robert Neyland.

Wyatt, who had been a hall of fame player for Neyland, struggled at Tennessee. He won more than 6 games only twice, in 1956 and 1957.

The 1956 squad won an SEC Championship, going 10–1 and finishing the season ranked #2. That year, UT won one of the greatest games in team history, a 6-0 victory over Georgia Tech in Atlanta when both teams were ranked #2 and #3, respectively. It was voted the second best game in college football history by Sports Illustrated's 100th Anniversary of College Football issue(published in 1969). Tech was coached by former UT Hall of Fame quarterback, and revered Yellow Jacket coach, Bobby Dodd. In the final minutes of a legendary defensive struggle, UT was backed up just ahead of their own goal line, but star tailback and future head coach Johnny Majors took a direct snap and booted a roughly 70 yard punt deep into Yellow Jacket territory to seal the win. Majors would finish second in the Heisman voting that year; it was a controversial vote that resulted in the only time a player from a losing squad, Paul Hornung of 2-8 Notre Dame, won the trophy.

Despite two successful years, Wyatt's team never returned to a bowl game after the 1957 season. Assistant James McDonald took over for Wyatt in 1963, going 5–5.

Before the 1962 season, on March 28, 1962, General Neyland died in New Orleans, Louisiana. Shields-Watkins Field was then presented with a new name: Neyland Stadium. The stadium was dedicated at the 1962 Alabama game, and by that time had expanded to 52,227 seats. Incidentally, Neyland had a hand in designing the expansion efforts for the stadium while he was athletic director. His plans were so forward looking that they were used for every expansion until 1996, when the stadium was expanded to 102,544 seats.

Dickey and his three Ts

Doug Dickey, who had been an assistant at Arkansas under Frank Broyles, replaced McDonald in 1964. Dickey was entrusted with rebuilding the program, and his six seasons at the school saw considerable change. Dickey scrapped the single wing formation and replaced it with the more modern T-Formation offense, in which the quarterback takes the snap "under center." He also changed the helmets of the Vols, removing the numbers from the side and replacing them with a "T." His third change also remains today. Dickey worked with the Pride of the Southland Marching Band to create a unique pregame entrance for the football squad. The band would open a block T with its base at the locker room tunnel. The team would then run through the T to the sideline. The T was reoriented in the 1980s when the locker room was moved behind the north end zone, and the entrance remains a prized tradition of the football program. In addition to the "three T's", Dickey instituted the now universally recognized checkerboard endzone design.

Dickey had some success in his six seasons as a Vol. He led Tennessee to a 46–15–4 record and captured SEC titles in 1967 and 1969. The 1967 team was awarded the National Championship by Litkenhous polling. That season, UT lost its season opening game to UCLA in the Rose Bowl stadium. Bruin quarterback Gary Beban, who would win the Heisman trophy that year, scored the winning touchdown in the final minutes on a fourth-down scramble. The Vols would not lose again that season, winning the remaining 9 regular season games including handing Alabama its only loss of the year and snapping a 25 game unbeaten streak by the Tide. The 24-13 win in Birmingham landed the Vols on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was Dickey's biggest career win.

Bill Battle

Following the 1969 season, Dickey left Tennessee to coach at his alma mater, the University of Florida. He would later return to Tennessee as the Athletic Director. Dickey was replaced by Bill Battle. Battle was a 28 year old coach from Alabama, and was the youngest head coach in the country at the time that he took over. Battle won at least 10 games in his first three seasons; however, he lost to Auburn in each of those seasons. Therefore, he did not win a conference title, and would not do so during his time as head coach.

Majors moves home

Johnny Majors won a national championship at Pittsburgh in 1976, but decided that the job at Tennessee was too good to pass up. Majors replaced Battle in 1977, on the heels of two five loss seasons. Majors would go on to lose his first game as head coach to the University of California, by a score of 27–17, in Knoxville. Majors struggled his first four seasons going 4–7, 5–5–1, 7–5, and 5–6. His teams saw mild success in 1981, going to the Garden State Bowl and going 8–4; and in 1983 winning the Citrus Bowl and going 9–3.

Majors' 1985 Volunteer squad (9–1–2, 5–1) was one of his most revered squads. The team lost only one game, regrouped after losing the services of Heisman trophy contending quarterback Tony Robinson for the season, and won the first conference title since 1969. The "Big Orange" earned a trip to the 1986 Sugar Bowl, where they defeated heavily favored and 2nd ranked Miami Hurricanes, led by Jimmy Johnson, 35–7. The win kept Miami from a national title and earned the scrappy '85 squad the nickname: "Sugar Vols."

Majors later led the Vols to a resurgence following their losing season in 1988. The 1988 Vols lost their first 6 games and went on to finish with a 5–6 record. The Vols followed that effort with back-to-back SEC titles in 1989 and 1990. The Vols played on a January 1 bowl game every season in the early 90's under Majors. However, in the Fall of 1992, Majors suffered heart problems. He missed the early part of the season. Interim coach Phillip Fulmer took over and scored upsets over Georgia and Florida. Majors returned and lost three straight conference games to Arkansas, Alabama, and South Carolina. The Alabama loss on the Third Saturday in October cut the deepest as the Vols had lost seven in a row to the Crimson Tide. The administration decided to make a change after the regular season. Majors was forced to resign and Fulmer took over before the Hall of Fame Bowl.

Fulmer and Manning

1994 saw a down turn in the record of the Vols, but events shaped the bright future of the program. Starting quarterback Jerry Colquitt suffered a season ending knee injury in the first series of the season against UCLA. Backup Todd Helton suffered a similar fate early in the fourth game of the year at Mississippi State requiring backups Brandon Stewart and Peyton Manning to take action. The following week freshman quarterback Peyton Manning would take over the controls and not let go until he departed to the NFL. Manning would be a 4-year starter for the Vols, and he led them to an 8–4 record in 1994. The next season, Manning led the Vols to a 41–14 win over Alabama, breaking the long winless streak. The only loss of the 1995 season was a 62–37 loss to Florida. The loss to the Gators was the 3rd in a row, and would prove to be the major hurdle between the Vols and the National title.

The Vols would put together 11–1, 10–2, and 11–2 seasons in the first three seasons with Manning as quarterback. Manning entered his senior season as a solid favorite for the Heisman Trophy. The trophy would eventually be awarded to Charles Woodson of Michigan. Manning did lead the Vols to an SEC title in 1997, before losing his final game to eventual National Champion Nebraska.

A champion

Tennessee Football has seen moderate success since the 1998 National Championship.

After three seasons with high expectations, the Vols faced a new task. Tennessee was expected to have a slight fall off after their conference championship the previous season. They lost QB Peyton Manning, WR's Marcus Nash and Andy McCullough, and LB Leonard Little to the NFL. Manning was the first pick overall in the 1998 NFL Draft. They were also coming off of a 42–17 loss to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, and were in the midst of a 5 game losing streak to their rivals the Florida Gators.

However, the 1998 Tennessee Volunteers football team would prove to exceed all expectation. Led by new quarterback Tee Martin, All American linebacker Al Wilson, and Peerless Price, the Vols captured another National title and would win the first ever BCS Title game against Florida State. They finished the season 13–0, ending a remarkable run of 45–5 in 4 years. Those four seasons, the Vols were led by Fulmer, Offensive Coordinator David Cutcliffe and Defensive Coordinator John Chavis. Cutcliffe took over at Ole Miss as a head coach following the 1998 regular season.

Since 1998, the Vols have made three trips to the SEC Championship Game: 2001, 2004, and 2007. The 2001 team beat then head coach Steve Spurrier and Florida in the Swamp 34–32, moving them up to #2 in most polls and giving them a shot at the BCS title game in the Rose Bowl vs Miami. But they would lose to underdog #21 LSU in the SEC Championship Game. In 2005, the team suffered its first losing season since 1988, going 5–6, fielding a nationally-ranked defense but an anemic offense. Cutcliffe returned to the Vols as offensive coordinator before the 2006 season, which reunited the successful group of Fulmer, Chavis and Cutcliffe. Tennessee rebounded to go 9–3 in the 2006 regular season, losing two heartbreakers at home to Florida and LSU. This earned a spot in the 2007 Outback Bowl, where they lost to underdog Penn State, 20–10. The 2007 season was the first in team history in which the Volunteers allowed 40 or more points in more than one game (3 times). The Vol's defense did considerably better than expected with help from Seniors Xavier Mitchell, Antonio Reynolds, and Jerod Mayo, and also from Freshman Eric Berry. They would eventually win the SEC Eastern Division title and would go on to play eventual National Champion LSU Tigers. The Vols would lose to the Tigers 21-14. After the SEC Championship, the Vols were invited to play the University of Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl on January 1, 2008.

On January 11, 2008, it was announced that Dave Clawson had been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the Vols by head coach Phillip Fulmer.[4] He replaced David Cutcliffe, who moved to Duke University as head coach.

Jonathan Crompton started at quarterback for the first four games of the 2008 season and went 1–3, after which he was replaced by sophomore Nick Stephens. BJ Coleman is the third quarterback on the roster. Clawson's appointment introduced problems with the Volunteer's offense, leading to one of the worst performing offenses under then-Head Coach Phillip Fulmer's career. The Vols posted a dismal 5-7 record in the 2008 season, resulting in Fulmer's ouster at the end of the season. The athletic department had to come up with $6 million to do Fulmer's total buyout, which would be paid in over 48 months in equal installments.[5][6]

On December 1, 2008, Lane Kiffin, former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, was announced as the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. It was also reported that once the 2008 NFL regular season ended, Lane's father, Monte Kiffin, would join him in Knoxville. Monte would replace John Chavis as the Volunteers defensive coordinator.

On December 31, 2008, it was announced that former University of Mississippi head coach Ed Orgeron would become associate coach and defensive line coach as well as recruiting coordinator for the Vols. Jim Chaney was also announced as the Vols new offensive coordinator replacing Dave Clawson. Chaney was the tight ends coach for the NFL's St. Louis Rams, and was the offensive coordinator at Purdue University under Joe Tiller.

Lane Kiffin

In Lane Kiffin's first year, the Vols finished the season 7-6. On February 5, 2009, Kiffin gained media attention by accusing Urban Meyer of NCAA recruiting violations at Florida. The Vols would play the Gators in the third game of the season as 30-point underdogs. UT was able to keep the game close, losing 23-13. In the sixth game of the season, the Vols played #2 Alabama. Terrence Cody blocked a 44-yard field goal attempt on the final play to give the Crimson Tide a 12-10 victory. Tennessee played #22 South Carolina the following game. They would win 31-13, giving Kiffin his first win over a ranked team at Tennessee. In this game, the Vols unleashed black jerseys in modern UT's first ever blackout game that included the team's jerseys. Tennessee would finish the regular season 7-5, earning an invitation to the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl against #11 Virginia Tech. They would lose to the Hokies 37-14.

For 2009 season, UT paid $3,325,000 to all assistant football coaches, which was the highest in college football teams of public school.[7] On January 12, 2010, after just one year at Tennessee, Kiffin left to accept the head coaching job of the University of Southern California football team.

Derek Dooley

On January 15, 2010, Derek Dooley was named as the Volunteers 22nd all-time head coach to replace Lane Kiffin.

Logos and uniforms

Tennessee's uniform combinations

In 2009, the Volunteers wore black jerseys on Halloween night against the South Carolina Gamecocks.



The costumed Smokey Mascot.

Smokey is the mascot of the University of Tennessee sports teams, both men's and women's. There is a live blue tick hound mascot, Smokey IX, which leads the Vols on the field for football games. There is also a costumed mascot that appears at every Vols game, and has won several mascot championships.

Smokey was selected as the mascot for Tennessee after a student poll in 1953. A contest was held by the Pep Club that year. Their desire was to select a coon hound that was native to Tennessee. At halftime of the Mississippi State game that season, several hounds were introduced for voting. "Blue Smokey" was the last, and howled loudly when introduced. The students cheered and Smokey became the mascot. The most successful of the live dogs was Smokey VIII who saw a record of 91–22, two SEC titles and 1 National Championship.

The Vol Walk

Head Coach Johnny Majors came up with the idea for the Vol Walk after a 1988 game at Auburn when he saw the historic Tiger Walk take place. Prior to each home game, the Vols will file out of Stokely Athletic Center, down past the Tennessee Volunteers Wall of Fame, and make their way down Peyton Manning Pass and onto Phillip Fulmer Way. Thousands of fans line the street to shake the players' hands as they walk into Neyland Stadium. Through rain, snow, sleet, or shine, the Vol faithful are always out in full force to root on the Vols as they prepare for battle. The fans are pumped up with Rocky Top played by The Pride of the Southland Band.

The "T"

The Pride of the Southland opening the famous T.

The "T" appears two places in Vol tradition. Coach Doug Dickey added the block letter T onto the side of the helmets in his first season in 1964. A rounded T came in 1968. Johnny Majors modified the stripe to a thicker stripe in 1977.

The Volunteers also run through another "T." This T is formed by the Pride of the Southland marching band with its base at the entrance to the Tennessee locker room in the North endzone. The team makes a left turn inside the T and runs toward their bench on the east sideline. When Coach Dickey brought this tradition to Tennessee in 1965, the Vols locker room was underneath the East stands. The Vols would run through that T and turn back to return to their sideline. The locker room change was made in 1983. It was announced on January 24, 2010 that the Vols will switch their sideline from the east sideline to the west sideline for all home games. This will result in the Vols making a right out of the T instead of a left. This change will take effect for Tennessee's first home game of the 2010 season on September 4th against UT-Martin.

Checkerboard end zones

Checkboard orange and white end zones are unique to Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee first sported the famous checkerboard design in the mid sixties. They brought the design back in 1989. This tradition was also started by Dickey in 1964, and remained until artificial turf was installed at Neyland Stadium.

The checkerboard was bordered in orange from 1989 until natural grass replaced the artificial turf in 1994. The return of natural grass brought with it the return of the green (or grass colored) border that exists today. The checkerboard end zones are painted by athletic department employees, John Payne, Kenton Page, Greg Coram, and William Barnett.

Orange and White

Tennessee fans at Neyland Stadium wear the school colors.

The Orange and White colors worn by the football team were selected by Charles Moore, a member of the very first football squad in 1891. They were from the American Daisy which grew on The Hill, the home of most of the classrooms at the university.

The Orange is distinct to the school, and has been offered by The Home Depot for sale as a paint, licensed by the university. The home games at Neyland Stadium have been described as a "Sea of Orange" due to the large number of fans wearing the school color.

The color is Spot color PMS 151 as described by the University.[8]

Volunteer Navy

Around 200 or more boats usually park outside Neyland Stadium on the Tennessee River before games. The fleet was started by former Tennessee broadcaster George Mooney who parked his boat there first in 1962. Tennessee, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Washington are the only schools with their football stadiums built next to major bodies of water.

Rocky Top

Rocky Top is not the official Tennessee fight song, but is the most popular in use by the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. The Band began playing the fight song during the 1970s after it became popular as a Bluegrass tune by the Osborne Brothers. The fight song is widely recognized as one of the most hated by opponents in collegiate sports.[9] In 2009 the newest tradition started honoring Rocky Top. A T-Shirt worn by fans that says "[I Cant Hear You, Rocky Top is Playing]http://www.rockytopsplaying.com". more info see: Rocky Top.


The Volunteer.

The Volunteers (or Vols as it is commonly shortened to) derive that nickname from the State of Tennessee's nickname. Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State," a nickname it earned during the War of 1812, in which volunteer soldiers from Tennessee played a prominent role, especially during the Battle of New Orleans.[10]


The Vols are rivals with the Vanderbilt Commodores, Florida Gators, Alabama Crimson Tide, Memphis Tigers, and Kentucky Wildcats. None of their games have trophies, although Kentucky-Tennessee used to battle over a Beer Barrel until 1999. Dating back to 1984, Tennessee currently holds the longest active winning streak against a team that plays yearly over Kentucky. The streak currently stand at 25 consecutive wins.

Head football coaching record

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
Student coached teams 5 12-11 .522
1899–1900 J. A. Pierce 2 9-4-1 .654
1901 George Kelley 1 3-3-2 .500
1902-03 H. F. Fisher 2 10-7 .588
1904 S. D. Crawford 1 3-5-1 .389
1905-06 J. D. Depree 2 4-11-3 .305
1907-09 George Levene 3 15-10-3 .589
1910 Andrew A. Stone 1 3-5-1 .389
1911-15 Zora G. Clevenger 5 26-15-2 .628
John R. Bender 3 18-5-4 .741
1921-25 M. B. Banks 5 27-15-3 .633
Robert Neyland 21 173-31-12 .829
1935 W. H. Britton 1 4-5 .444
John Barnhill 4 32-5-2 .846
1953-54 Harvey Robinson 2 10-10-1 .500
1955-62 Bowden Wyatt 8 49-29-4 .622
1963 Jim McDonald 1 5-5 .500
1964-69 Doug Dickey 6 46-15-4 .738
1970-76 Bill Battle 7 59-22-2 .723
1977-92 Johnny Majors 16 116-62-8 .645
1992-08 Phillip Fulmer 17 152-52 .769
2009 Lane Kiffin 1 7-6 .583
2010 Derek Dooley
Totals 22 coaches 110 778-329-53 .693

All-time record

776-327-53 as of Nov 29, 2008 [1]
Winning percentage: .704

SEC and National Championship rings for the 1998 Vols

As of June 22, 2009 Tennessee was ranked 9th on the all-time wins list.


National championships

Tennessee claims six national championships. The following is a list of the six national championships listed by the Vols. Only four (1938, 1950, 1951, and 1998) were recognized by major polls. The Associated Press has only acknowledged Tennessee as National Champions twice, but the #1 Vols lost in the Sugar Bowl in 1951 after being named AP and UPI National Champions due to the polls being conducted before the bowl season prior to 1968 and 1974 respectively. The 1938 and 1950 championships, while not AP titles, were recognized by a majority of overall selectors/polls, and, as such, are generally recognized [11][12].

Year Coach Selector Record Bowl
1938 Robert Neyland CFRA, Dunkel, Billingsley, CFI, Litkenhous, Boand, Houlgate, Poling, NSFR, Frye, Massy, Koger, McCarty, Libby, Maxwell, Sagarin, Howell 11-0 Won Orange
1940 Robert Neyland Dunkel, Williamson 10-1 Lost Sugar
1950 Robert Neyland National Championship Foundation, Billingley, CFRA, Massy, Dunkel, DeVold, CFI, Frye, Fleming System, Howell, Maxwell, Sorensen 11-1 Won Cotton
1951 Robert Neyland AP, UPI 10-1 Lost Sugar
1967 Doug Dickey Litkenhous 9-2 Lost Orange
1998 Phillip Fulmer AP, USAToday/ESPN, BCS 13-0 Won Fiesta
Total national championships claimed 6

Tennessee has also been awarded unrecognized national championships by various organizations in eight additional years: 1914, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1939, 1956, 1985, and 1989[13].

Conference championships

Tennessee has won a total of 16 conference championships, including 13 SEC Championships. The Vols are the last team to win back to back SEC championships, in 1997 and 1998.

Conference affiliations

Year Conference Overall Record Conference Record
1914 SIAA 9-0 5-0
1927 Southern 8-0-1 7-0
1932 Southern 9-0-1 8-0
1938 SEC 11-0 7-0
1939 SEC 10-1 6-0
1940 SEC 10-1 6-0
1946† SEC 9-2 5-0
1951† SEC 10-1 5-0
1956 SEC 10-1 6-0
1967 SEC 9-2 6-0
1969 SEC 9-2 5-1
1985‡ SEC 9-1-2 5-1
1989† SEC 11-1 6-1
1990 SEC 9-2-2 5-1-1
1997 SEC 11-2 7-1
1998 SEC 13-0 8-0
Total conference championships 16
† Denotes co-champions

‡ Had identical record as Florida. Florida won head-to-head, but was ineligible for conference title due to probation.

Divisional championships

As winners of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division, Tennessee has made five appearances in the SEC Championship Game, with the most recent coming in 2007. The Vols are 2–3 in those games. The Vols also shared the Division with Florida and Georgia in two other years, but tie-breakers allowed Florida and Georgia to go to the game in 1993 and 2003 respectively.

Year Division Championship SEC CG Result Opponent PF PA
1993 SEC East NA Did Not Play X X
1997 SEC East W Auburn 30 29
1998 SEC East W Mississippi State 24 14
2001 SEC East L LSU 20 31
2003 SEC East NA Did Not Play X X
2004 SEC East L Auburn 28 38
2007 SEC East L LSU 14 21
Totals 7 2-3 - 116 133

Bowl game appearances

Year Bowl Opponent Result
1931 New York Charity Game NYU W 13-0
1939 Orange Bowl Oklahoma W 17-0
1940 Rose Bowl USC L 14-0
1941 Sugar Bowl Boston College L 19-13
1943 Sugar Bowl Tulsa W 14-7
1945 Rose Bowl USC L 25-0
1947 Orange Bowl Rice L 8-0
1951 Cotton Bowl Classic Texas W 20-14
1952 Sugar Bowl Maryland L 28-13
1953 Cotton Bowl Classic Texas L 16-0
1957 Sugar Bowl Baylor L 13-7
1957 Gator Bowl Texas A&M W 3-0
1965 Bluebonnet Bowl Tulsa W 27-6
1966 Gator Bowl Syracuse W 18-12
1968 Orange Bowl Oklahoma L 26-24
1969 Cotton Bowl Classic Texas L 36-13
1969 Gator Bowl Florida L 13-14
1971 Sugar Bowl Air Force W 34-13
1971 Liberty Bowl Arkansas W 14-13
1972 Bluebonnet Bowl LSU W 24-17
1973 Gator Bowl Texas Tech L 28-19
1974 Liberty Bowl Maryland W 7-3
1979 Bluebonnet Bowl Purdue L 27-22
1981 Garden State Bowl Wisconsin W 28-21
1982 Peach Bowl Iowa L 28-22
1983 Citrus Bowl Maryland W 30-23
1984 Sun Bowl Maryland L 28-27
1986 Sugar Bowl Miami (FL) W 35-7
1986 Liberty Bowl Minnesota W 21-14
1988 Peach Bowl Indiana W 27-22
1990 Cotton Bowl Classic Arkansas W 31-27
1991 Sugar Bowl Virginia W 23-22
1992 Fiesta Bowl Penn State L 42-17
1993 Hall of Fame Bowl Boston College W 38-23
1994 Citrus Bowl Penn State L 31-13
1995 Gator Bowl Virginia Tech W 45-23
1996 Citrus Bowl Ohio State W 20-14
1997 Citrus Bowl Northwestern W 48-28
1998 Orange Bowl Nebraska L 42-17
1999 Fiesta Bowl Florida State W 23-16
2000 Fiesta Bowl Nebraska L 31-21
2001 Cotton Bowl Classic Kansas State L 35-21
2002 Citrus Bowl Michigan W 45-17
2003 Peach Bowl Maryland L 30-3
2004 Peach Bowl Clemson L 27-14
2005 Cotton Bowl Classic Texas A&M W 38-7
2007 Outback Bowl Penn State L 20-10
2008 Outback Bowl Wisconsin W 21-17
2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl Virginia Tech L 14-37
All Time Record (W-L-T) 26 23 0
† No longer recognized as an official game by the NCAA

All-time bowl appearances

School Appearances Record (W-L-T)
Alabama 57 32-22-3
Texas 49 25-22-2
USC 48 32-16
Tennessee 48 25-23
Nebraska 46 24-22

All-time bowl wins

  1. Alabama - 32
  2. USC - 32
  3. Penn State- 27
  4. Georgia- 26
  5. Tennessee - 25
  6. Oklahoma - 25
  7. Texas- 25

Current coaching staff

  • Head Coach: Derek Dooley
  • Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line: Jim Chaney
  • Running Backs: vacant
  • Wide Receivers: Charlie Baggett[14]
  • Tight Ends/Offensive Tackles: Harry Hiestand[15]
  • Quarterbacks: vacant
  • Defensive Coordinator: Justin Wilcox[16]
  • Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator: Chuck Smith
  • Asst. Coach/Linebackers: Lance Thompson
  • Defensive Backs:

Strength and Conditioning: Bennie Wylie [17]

Hall of Fame

Tennessee boasts the most college football hall of famers in the SEC, seventh most in major college football, and the ninth most of all college football programs, with 22.


Also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Elected 1975)
Also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Elected 2006)


Retired jerseys

Retired Football Jerseys








Individual award winners


Peyton Manning - 1997
Peyton Manning - 1997
Peyton Manning - 1997
Steve DeLong - 1964
John Henderson - 2000
Peyton Manning - 1997
Michael Munoz - 2004
Eric Berry - 2009


Phillip Fulmer - 1998
Phillip Fulmer - 1998
David Cutcliffe - 1998
John Chavis - 2006
  • Robert R. Neyland Award
Phillip Fulmer - 2009

Past and present NFL players

All-Pro selection (1984) 3x Super Bowl champion (1992, 1993, 1995)


  1. ^ http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/082809aac.html
  2. ^ Fulmer agrees to step down
  3. ^ Austin (January 15, 2010). "Dooley's focus on UT's future". Knoxville News Sentinel. 
  4. ^ Richmond's Clawson named offensive coordinator at Tenn. - USATODAY.com
  5. ^ Low, Chris (October, 1, 2008). "Fulmer's buyout would be $6 million". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/523/fulmer-s-buyout-would-be-6-million. 
  6. ^ Drew Edwards & Dave Hooker (Knoxville News Sentinel) (November 3, 2008). "Fulmer agrees to contract buyout at Tennessee". Commercial Appeal. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/nov/03/report-fulmer-wont-return-coach-tennessee/. 
  7. ^ Rucker, Wes (Jan. 21, 2010). "Vols continue search for new coaches". Chattanooga Times Free Press. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2010/jan/21/vols-continue-search-for-new-coaches/. 
  8. ^ University of Tennessee Style Guide from the University of Tennessee Official Website. Retrieved January 4, 2007.
  9. ^ Top Ten College Football Traditions Fans Love To Hate from the Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  10. ^ Brief History of Tennessee in the War of 1812 from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Retrieved April 30, 2006.
  11. ^ http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/national_championships/yearly_results.php?year=1938
  12. ^ http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/national_championships/yearly_results.php?year=1950
  13. ^ http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/tennessee/all_national_champs.php
  14. ^ http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/tenn-m-footbl-coaches.html
  15. ^ http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/013010aab.html
  16. ^ http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/tenn-m-footbl-coaches.html
  17. ^ http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/013010aab.html
  • 2006 Tennessee Volunteers Football Media Guide

External links


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