Some people just love to put down one of the top 4 coaches Tennessee ever had. Phil Fulmer was 18 wins shy of General Robert Neyland record as the winningest coach in Tennessee history. As for turning in Alabama I have heard other SEC coaches were involved including Steve Spurrier but if Alabama fans want to use Fulmer as the scapegoat for their lean years then go ahead but that dog won't hunt.
Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, speaking at a Chattanooga school on Monday, weighed in on the job current Vol coach Butch Jones inherited:
“It’s going to take time. When you go through three coaches in four or five years… Butch has lots of challenges…
Butch is a guy I’ve come to really appreciate and respect. I think (taking in a recent practice at Jones’ request) was good for me and I think it was good for the university. It was certainly good for my family, and all it was about was to be there to support.”
How far have the Vols fallen since the heady days of the late-80s, 90s, and early-2000s? Fulmer had this to say about Saturday’s contest: “Georgia is a really, really fine football team. Hopefully we’ll keep it close and in the fourth quarter make a play that wins the ballgame, but it’s going to be a challenge.”
When your talent level ranks about 12th or 13th in the SEC, yep, you just gotta hope you can keep it close.
On a sidnote, Fulmer showed class when given the opportunity to fire a barb at his immediate replacement, Lane Kiffin. Asked about Kiffin’s ouster from Southern Cal. “It’s a big business, and I’m sure there was some frustration there.”