Former Vols kicker James Wilhoit returning to Chattanooga Christian School for kicking camp

Former Vols kicker James Wilhoit returning to Chattanooga Christian School for kicking camp

June 20th, 2018 by David Paschall in Breaking News

Former Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit, who tallied 325 points with the Volunteers from 2003 to 2006, is returning to Chattanooga Christian School this afternoon to conduct another Wilhoit Kicking Camp.

Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press

Former University of Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit is returning to Chattanooga Christian School to conduct another Wilhoit Kicking Camp starting Thursday afternoon.

The motivation behind his camp does not stem from his stellar four-year career with the Volunteers but his three-month stint with the Baltimore Ravens during the spring and summer of 2007.

WEIGHING IN WITH WILHOIT

Former Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit picks out some kicking favorites:

Q: What was your favorite game with Tennessee other than the 2004 win over Florida?

A: “Alabama in 2003, which went into five overtimes.”

Q: Who is the best kicker in the history of the NFL?

A: “Gary Anderson.”

Q: Who is the best kicker in the history of the SEC?

A: “I’ll say Jeff Hall.”

Q: Could you walk out there right now and make a 50-yarder?

A: “Yes.”

Q: What is the missed kick you have most sympathized with?

A: “The one that comes to mind most is the ‘Kick Six’ with Alabama and Auburn, because that was such a wild turn of events.”

"When I went to camp with Baltimore, I figured out very quickly that I really wasn't trained all that well," Wilhoit said. "That is nothing against my high school coaches or my coaches in college. There just really weren't a whole lot of people who knew enough or were qualified enough to coach kickers, and if somebody had known what they were doing, they could have spent three or four months with me and changed some things to where I think I could have made the NFL.

"I went through a process of what it was that I was missing, and after going through a series of mentors and going through some different things, I figured out some things but figured them out too late to play in the NFL, so I decided I wanted to share that information with high school guys to where they can achieve the things I thought that I could achieve."

A world history teacher at Nashville's Brentwood Academy most of the year, Wilhoit held a camp at CCS last June and already has conducted camps this month at Brentwood Academy and at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis. The camp is for aspiring kickers and talented soccer players ages 10 to 18, and it's designed to give attendees a mental edge in addition to physical pointers.

Wilhoit has a masters in sports psychology.

"You have to want to be out there," he said. "It's no different from when Michael Jordan wanted the ball at the end of the game. Everybody wants your job during the week, but nobody wants it on a Friday night, a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday afternoon.

"You've got to be able to focus under pressure."

The camp will start at 4 p.m. Thursday and run until 8:30, and it will resume Friday morning from 7:30 to 11. For information, visit jameswilhoitkickingcoach.com.

Wilhoit has worked with several kickers currently competing in college, including former East Hamilton standout Jake McClure (Oklahoma State) and former Baylor standout Rafael Gaglianone (Wisconsin). He also has helped former Bledsoe County kicker Gabe Boring, who signed this past winter with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

During his career with the Vols from 2003 to 2006, Wilhoit racked up 325 points, making 72 percent of his field-goal attempts (82 percent as a senior) and 98.7 percent of his extra-point tries. He is most remembered for missing an extra point in the 2004 game against Florida inside Neyland Stadium and then atoning for that gaffe by nailing a 50-yard field goal with six seconds remaining to give Tennessee a thrilling 30-28 triumph.

That was Tennessee's last win over Florida until 2016.

"It's one of those crazy moments that people remember, and what makes it interesting for me is that was just my sophomore year," said Wilhoit, who was a guest this week of "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM. "I still had two more years left, but that was such a defining moment.

"I was really proud that I followed that up with a great career, but that moment kind of cemented my legacy as a Tennessee kicker and as one of those Tennessee kickers that you remember."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.


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