Press conference live thread: Phillip Fulmer named athletic director

There’s a press conference scheduled at 4:00 this afternoon to announce the appointment of Phillip Fulmer (The Papa!) to the position of athletic director.


Follow along with us here.


  1. The only thing I’ve read this afternoon that has made me feel okay about losing Leach is some mystical combination of Fulmer, Tee Martin, & Chavis. That said, the idea that Fulmer had anything to do with tanking the Leach deal so that he could be brought back on board is worrisome.

  2. Big Orange Puffy Clouds. Puppies. Children Smiling. Fulmer as AD.

  3. He’s gonna’ work like heck to get us going… Go Vols! (Just cancelled therapist appointment)

  4. Opening remarks. Praising the passion. Regrets generally what’s happened recently.

  5. She asked Currie to return to Knoxville, it had nothing to do with any specific coach. We had to make a tought decision, Currie’s been suspended. Fulmer has agreed to step in as AD. Currie’s worked hard. He was given “full authority” to find the best coach.

    We now have a new opportunity to move forward. Fulmer’s been asked to take the reins. He understands well the expectations for the football program.

    Please know that our goals are the same. We want a successful football program.

  6. Over to The Papa.

    We do most things together. Vicki’s not here visiting brother who’s not doing great. They’d be here, but couldn’t. Some others are here. Family.

    This should go without saying, but UT is a fantastic institution. All of our sports are front doors to the University. It’s a bond that connects students, alumni, fans, Tennesseans. Success of student athletes is a source of inspiration. Football program has the history, facilities, tradition, and resources to play with anyone, any time, and that’s what we’re going to do again.

    We agree on the objective and urgency of achieving it. It’s time we all pull together to be part of the solution. Much work to be done. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with alumni, fan base, coaches, athletes.

    First job is to turn around football program. We’ve had problems but have been supported by fan base. This won’t be easy, it will take some time, but we’ll succeed. First have to find a coach who wants to be here and who’s driven to win at highest level of college footabll and honors our values. Be a role model for student athletes. Honest community, trust, hard work.

    Will require teamwork. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gts the credit. That’s driving my approach. Let’s be so enthusastic we win over our naysayers. Let’s go ahve fun winning championships.

  7. Q: Mike Leach

    A: We’re here to talk about the change. Won’t talk about coaches at other schools.

  8. Q: What was the tipping point?

    A: It’s been a tough week, a series of events. There’s not a single event. You all have reported on it.

  9. Q: Time table, and will you look back at some already talked to?

    A: Don’t have a time table yet. There will be people who will be interested.

  10. Q: Stability?

    A: I hope to be a stabilizing and unifying force. We do have some experience here. Sometimes you gain experience from having messed up before. Everybody wants to be champions here. What we need is communication and trust, not looking back at last nine years.

  11. Q: Reach out recruiting class?

    A: Yes. I’ve been charged to find the right coaches, head, assistant. Usually you like experience, we’ll see where that goes. REcruiting is the backbone of what we do. We will work to keep them. Some may be interested now who weren’t before.

  12. Q: Neyland Stadium renovation project?

    A: We’ll go forward with it.

  13. Q: Interim head coach?

    A: No. I’ve done my duty that way and enjoyed it. Will be coaching little league some. I will be touching base with prospects and with our commits.

  14. Q: Currie’s contract?

    A: Don’t have financial details worked out.

  15. Q: [couldn’t hear the question]

    A: Don’t want to talk about coaches. We’re looking forward.

  16. Q: What’s changed?

    A: Experience matters. UT is a special place. We need experience, someone who knows it and is committed to UT.

  17. That’s it.

    Initial reactions. Very, very good.

  18. Seemed to be very nervous twosome with very carefully chosen words. Hope they can get it done.

    • Yeah, but I think they had cause to be careful. My first peek at Twitter showed a lot of media already going negative for the responses. I understand from their perspective that they wanted answers — so did I.

      But I also understand from a legal and inside-politics perspective that that’s really the only thing they could say, and I thought they handled it as well as they could. Until you’ve been on the other side of being asked questions about sensitve things you’d rather not talk about with a microphone in your face, it’s hard to fully appreciate how difficult that is. My only taste of it was local TV asking me about a deal we were working on that we wanted to remain confidential, and I knew the guy. Still really hard.

      • Davenport and Fulmer did a great job of not saying anything. And our impotent media did their usual excellent job of letting them.

      • I agree Joel… I have done depositions in a patent dispute and it is not easy… I am sure they were well coached. I also think Davenport received a lot of internal criticism by the trustees on leadership and control miss steps on handling Currie and the damage done to the UT brand. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  19. I’m starting to feel better. Feels like some wrongs from 9 years ago have just been atoned for.

  20. Truth be told, we have no idea what went on for the last 20 days, and so long as some of the behind-the-scenes suspicions remain present (however they manifest themselves), there is still cause for concern.

    BUT- and this is a big adversative- nobody loves Tennessee more than Phil Fulmer. If we are going down, and there’s more to be discovered at rock bottom, at least we’re doing it with Phil, and I’ll ride there with him.

  21. I’d been in full support of this 8 months ago. Call me paranoid, but I’m going to wait until I see results in the search. This whole week has tested my trust. I’m still not buying the whole “Currie went rogue” angle and Beverly seemed tense during the whole show. It all seemed like a distraction from the issues upstairs by getting a familiar face as a public figure.

    With that being said I’m confident Fulmer is for the best interests of Tennessee and is currently out only hope to salvage our class.

    • Understand. But see my comment below about Davenport’s nervousness.

      And we could still get a not great hire even from Fulmer. But if we do, at least it’s not for the same bad reason as the past ten years. We might still have the sniffles, but even if we do, it doesn’t mean that the disease hasn’t been cured.

  22. Phil: I’m awesome, UT is awesome, recruits will think we are awesome, our coach will be awesome.
    Bev: Don’t ask me anything about anything that has to do with anything. I’m simply here to be the unrecognizable person introducing the person everyone recognizes.

  23. In other news, our next BBall opponent GT, just got beat by an awful Gramling team.

    Definitely need to win that or it could count as a bad RPI loss.

  24. I was thinking back to the questions surrounding Fulmer and Majors and stumbled upon you gem:

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