published Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Tennessee: Phillip Fulmer releases statement

Phillip Fulmer, the longtime University of Tennessee head football coach who preceded Lane Kiffin, released a statement Thursday morning. Kiffin left the Vols after 14 months to be the head coach at Southern Cal, and Fulmer was mentioned Wednesday as a possible coaching candidate and possibly a replacement for UT athletic director Mike Hamilton.

Fulmer denied he is a candidate for the head-coaching position in his statement, which was released by his current employer — CBS Sports — and is listed below:

“Over the last 24 hours, I have been contacted by friends, great fans and media members, and I feel it is important to comment, as a man who loves the University of Tennessee deeply and shares this love with millions of great Volunteer fans and friends.

“Recent events have been painful and an embarrassment to all of us who care about UT. I love the university. I am loyal to my alma mater and am ready to help as the university makes one of the most important decisions in the history of our football program. However, to prevent any misunderstanding, I am not seeking to be a candidate for the head-coaching position.

“I am looking forward to embracing the next coach and have some strong beliefs about the kind of man he should be. He must embrace Tennessee’s culture and traditions, be mature and of good character, and demonstrate integrity and leadership to our young men who desperately want to be shown the way. He must deserve, earn and keep the trust of our young men — both present and future.

“Tennessee football has been successful for so many years because it has been rooted in values and traditions. We can’t take those values for granted — if we do not guard them carefully, we will lose them.”

For more on the UT coaching search check back to and read Friday’s Times Free Press.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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WickedWen said...

Fulmer left some pretty big shoes to fill and there will never be another one like him.

January 14, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.
Salsa said...

The buffet restaurants miss him too.

January 14, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.
businesslady said...

That's why we love Fulmer. No fuss, no beating around the bushes. He just lays it out there. "He mature and of good character, and demonstrate integrity and leadership to our young men..." Kiffen lacked all four qualities -- obviously. I hope Mike Hamilton involves Fulmer in the search for a new coach. His insight is valuable and truly reflects the deep feelings in our Orange Culture.

January 14, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.
shrek0350 said...

It's amazing... Even after the way he was treated by Tennessee, he still loves the school. Maybe he needs to come back as Athletic Director and find us a coach that understands what his job is really about. After all Dickey came back after he was a coach...Maybe,just maybe not to far fetched.

January 14, 2010 at 2:01 p.m.
businesslady said...

Hey, I like that idea shrek0350!

January 14, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.
WEBMAN said...


January 14, 2010 at 2:36 p.m.
jacko said...

I so glad I am not STUCK on 18

January 14, 2010 at 3:07 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

I thought this was funny....

“Dear Lord, in the past year you have taken my favorite actor Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress Farrah Fawcett, my favorite musician Michael Jackson, my favorite news anchor Walter Kronkite, my favorite athlete Steve McNair, my favorite TV pitchman Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know my favorite coach is Lane Kiffin!”

January 15, 2010 at 3:54 p.m.
TrailerParkStud said...

Coach Dooley will be a great fit for Tenn. The next step is get rid of Mike Hamilton and bring back Coach Fulmer as the AD and put some integrity back into the program. We need to recruit young men who WANT to play at Tennessee and appreciate the opportunity to be part of the program. We could field a pretty good basketball or football team from the inmates in the Knoxville jail. Isn't it time we started changing that perception of UT?

January 16, 2010 at 1:14 a.m.
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