Son of prominent UT booster signs with Vanderbilt

Chattanooga Baylor golfer Ryan Thornton, son of John "Thunder" Thornton, has signed to play golf at Vanderbilt.

“Vanderbilt is the best college for me to pursue a degree and the best overall fit," said Ryan Thornton. "I’ve always loved the South and attending Vanderbilt will allow me to remain close to the area where I grew up, and that’s very important. After spending time on campus and meeting the coaches and players, I knew it was where I wanted to spend my four years of college.

"At Vanderbilt I will have the opportunity to compete in golf at the national level and simultaneously earn a degree from one of the finest academic universities in the country. This extraordinary combination of a first class education coupled with exceptional athletics will prepare me for a successful future."

Ryan Thornton tied for medalist honors in leading Baylor to the Division II state championship. He also was a member of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 state champion teams.

John Thornton is a former University of Tennessee trustee and one of UT's more prominent boosters.

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Comments » 56

volnbig11land writes:

Good for him, but this is important news how?

blitzshoot writes:

"don't come here boy, run."

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Congrats.

murrayvol writes:

The next Brandt Snedeker?

tnbigg writes:

Thunder is and has always been Phulmers biggest supporter (VERY close "relationship")...interesting...

VolFaninTriCities writes:

Whoopty freakin' doo! Good luck in Nashville.

shipperman#280095 writes:

Maybe Thornton will give Vandy a million bucks so he can run thru the V

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

Only news in that the time as a booster is limited to until Thunder dies....not to mention that he might start splitting his money between the two universities.

FLAVOLS writes:

I would say that his family can afford to send their son to whatever school he would like without actually receiving a scholarship. I'm sure he could still play golf at Vandy and give that scholarship money to someone with less means.

thevoice writes:

Congratulations Ryan.

mikec1000000 writes:

News Flash : "4th cousin of the sister-in-law to a famed UT Booster scrathes the big toe on his left foot while hiking in the adirondacks" ....stop the presses!

tenncorncob writes:

in response to FLAVOLS:

I would say that his family can afford to send their son to whatever school he would like without actually receiving a scholarship. I'm sure he could still play golf at Vandy and give that scholarship money to someone with less means.

are you a communist?

murrayvol writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Maybe Thornton will give Vandy a million bucks so he can run thru the V

What do they call it?? Follow the wedgie?

volnbig11land writes:

in response to tenncorncob:

are you a communist?

Obama's "share the wealth" philosophy.

pabashia#208095 writes:

Can we send Thunder there, too? I'd gladly pay the freight.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dupree told me it was neat to be able to legally date the teachers. Esp the ones younger than him.

khelton657 writes:

I'm tellin' ya, Ladies..we need to be very appreciative of people like Thunder Thornton...I don't know the gentleman but he has been very loyal to our school and our program, he has enabled us to do a lot of the things that has in turn pushed our program to rank among the best in the nation. Maybe he is a Fulmer supporter, maybe not but either way, he has done a lot for **our** program...few have done as much..certanly no one on this board has done as much. If he likes Fulmer, so what ???

This is not good that Vanderbilt has offered his son a scholarship and UT hasn't. We can give a full ride to Fulmer's daughters so they can run out beside him at the end of games but we can't offer a scholarhsip to the son of a contributor who has given our program millions. Doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't know Thuinder Thornton from Jerry lee Lewis but I know I apprecaite him and his loyalty to our program.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

Congratulations to young Mr. Thornton. Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders and made a sound, rational decision. I wish him and every young person pursuing a higher education the best.

I agree this is a nonevent as far as news goes. Where the son goes to college is really nobody's business. I bet his dad is just as proud. Where the elder Thornton donates his money is nobody's business either.

FYI: Bill Haslam, the son of UT's biggest booster, is a graduate of Emory University. What is not widely known is that the Haslams are significant big buck contributors to Maryville College and Pellissippi State as well. Does this make them any less a UT supporter? Nope!

This story is like something one would read in The National Inquirer. It was published only to incite.

knxsmithc writes:

wow...interesting news getting harder to come by.

Sheepscape writes:

in response to khelton657:

I'm tellin' ya, Ladies..we need to be very appreciative of people like Thunder Thornton...I don't know the gentleman but he has been very loyal to our school and our program, he has enabled us to do a lot of the things that has in turn pushed our program to rank among the best in the nation. Maybe he is a Fulmer supporter, maybe not but either way, he has done a lot for **our** program...few have done as much..certanly no one on this board has done as much. If he likes Fulmer, so what ???

This is not good that Vanderbilt has offered his son a scholarship and UT hasn't. We can give a full ride to Fulmer's daughters so they can run out beside him at the end of games but we can't offer a scholarhsip to the son of a contributor who has given our program millions. Doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't know Thuinder Thornton from Jerry lee Lewis but I know I apprecaite him and his loyalty to our program.

Seems to be a contradiction. He wore a Fire Mike Hamilton hat to the Wyoming game and has threatened to withdraw his support henceforth.

He's not an alum, and he is taking his money with him when Fulmer leaves next Saturday.

That's mercenary at best, certainly not a UT fan regardless of coach.

Congrats to his son for his success on the links.

khelton657 writes:

in response to Sheepscape:

Seems to be a contradiction. He wore a Fire Mike Hamilton hat to the Wyoming game and has threatened to withdraw his support henceforth.

He's not an alum, and he is taking his money with him when Fulmer leaves next Saturday.

That's mercenary at best, certainly not a UT fan regardless of coach.

Congrats to his son for his success on the links.

I can't argue with the hat thing, if it in fact happened, no place for it..I just don't know if the hat thing actually happeeed or was rumor..sounds awfully uncharacteristic..

brokebackvol writes:

and a big "WHO CARES??" on this article.

b16VOLster writes:

Also in, Pilot Travel Centers are selling gas and goods to Vanderbilt and Ohio State fans at the same price UT fans pay. Whats the world comming to.

bernardking writes:

No, he isn't the next Brandt Snedeker.

UT didn't offer him. He will have a hard time making the top 5

john#208876 writes:

in response to khelton657:

I'm tellin' ya, Ladies..we need to be very appreciative of people like Thunder Thornton...I don't know the gentleman but he has been very loyal to our school and our program, he has enabled us to do a lot of the things that has in turn pushed our program to rank among the best in the nation. Maybe he is a Fulmer supporter, maybe not but either way, he has done a lot for **our** program...few have done as much..certanly no one on this board has done as much. If he likes Fulmer, so what ???

This is not good that Vanderbilt has offered his son a scholarship and UT hasn't. We can give a full ride to Fulmer's daughters so they can run out beside him at the end of games but we can't offer a scholarhsip to the son of a contributor who has given our program millions. Doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't know Thuinder Thornton from Jerry lee Lewis but I know I apprecaite him and his loyalty to our program.

How do you know UT didn't offer this kid a scholarship?

golfballs03 writes:

GOLF!? Who cares!? That's be like hearing: son of prominent UT booster signs with Stanford to play Tennis... great! Good for him...

TommyJack writes:

No issue here. The kid should go wherever he prefers.

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to tenncorncob:

are you a communist?

No,
But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

john#208876 writes:

UT signed Jay Vandeventer, from Bristol I believe, the highest ranked player in the state - according to Golfweek - at # 32; Ryan Thornton at # 79 in the Golfweek national rankings was the second highest rated player in the state.
Ryan's older brother John was a member of the UT Tennis team from 2004 - 2007.

SomeGuy writes:

Let's hope that Bobby Johnson goes on to bigger and better things and is replaced by an incompetent like CPF. Let's then hope that Thunder spends tons of money propping up that idiot and thereby sees Vandy run right back into the ditch where they've spent most of their history. That wouldn't make up for the damage he's done to UT by propping up CPF for all these years but it would be a start.

debaser11 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Maybe Thornton will give Vandy a million bucks so he can run thru the V

If he tries to run through the "V" won't he get stuck?

gbrown2 writes:

I guess it must be nice to have your college choice SPLASHED on this website for all to see. And this is NEWSWORTHY because of WHAT!!!! No one really cares but your family!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to debaser11:

If he tries to run through the "V" won't he get stuck?

If we are lucky he will.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to khelton657:

I'm tellin' ya, Ladies..we need to be very appreciative of people like Thunder Thornton...I don't know the gentleman but he has been very loyal to our school and our program, he has enabled us to do a lot of the things that has in turn pushed our program to rank among the best in the nation. Maybe he is a Fulmer supporter, maybe not but either way, he has done a lot for **our** program...few have done as much..certanly no one on this board has done as much. If he likes Fulmer, so what ???

This is not good that Vanderbilt has offered his son a scholarship and UT hasn't. We can give a full ride to Fulmer's daughters so they can run out beside him at the end of games but we can't offer a scholarhsip to the son of a contributor who has given our program millions. Doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't know Thuinder Thornton from Jerry lee Lewis but I know I apprecaite him and his loyalty to our program.

Do you know that we DIDN'T offer a scholarship to the young Thornton? Is it possible that Vandy's golf team is better than UT's? As much money as Thunder has given UT, his son can go anywhere he wants.

eduardo writes:

FIRE THORNTON! Embroider that in your hats!

khelton657 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Do you know that we DIDN'T offer a scholarship to the young Thornton? Is it possible that Vandy's golf team is better than UT's? As much money as Thunder has given UT, his son can go anywhere he wants.

No argument there. My bigger issue is all the bashing of Thunder Thornton, who has done a lot for UT. That includes "spreading his wealth".

jimr07 writes:

i have been biting my nails and sitting on the edge of my seat checking and re-checking for this news. wow. what a relief to know. now i can sleep.

volnbig11land writes:

in response to khelton657:

No argument there. My bigger issue is all the bashing of Thunder Thornton, who has done a lot for UT. That includes "spreading his wealth".

100% agree! I don't like the "spread the wealth" thought process. I keep mine and you keep yours is my motto.

I don't know Thornton but since he contributed to us I appreciate him.

His kid (like everyone else's) deserves to go wherever he wants!

newtonrail writes:

A general comment on Athletic Scholarships is that only football and basketball offer full rides, and even those sports don't offer full rides at places like Sewanee and Maryville. Baseball, Golf, Tennis, Softball, Swimming, etc. offer fractional schollies. Schools try to get them qualified for lottery schollies, grants, etc.

bernardking writes:

Sewanee and Maryville offer NO athletic scholarships. As a member of NCAA Division III, you can't provide athletic scholarships.

TommyJack writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Naffy: Is he adopted?

xd9x19 writes:

I say if you've got a bunch of money and want to give it away, do something more useful with it than for the purpose of playing with a zipped up bag of air in a cow pasture.

Hehe.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's the way it should be for non revenue sports.
When I give to VASF it's not for non revenue sports or for the 1 free BBQ sandwich each year. It's for world class Football & Basketball. Say what you will but I'd guess 98% of VASF feels the same way.

tnbigg writes:

ButchIsBack writes:
Yes, this has been a bad year. Virtually all "Legends of the Game" throughout history have had them. Most had more than two. This one is very easily explained. They made a horrible hire as offensive coordinator. Nothing more, nothing less. You cannot win games with only defense. Phil's legacy is not debatable. His legacy will only grow as the next coaches come and go. Looking at the truth of the 2000's decade. Looking at the decades since 1950 (prior would be pointless and an apples to bananas comparison), the 2000 decade is still the second best behind the 1990's. We have enjoyed 4 10 win seasons. We have enjoyed 3 SEC East Titles. Even this "down" period will be looked at with reverence as the parade of successors begins.

Overall Winning Percentage, 2000-2008
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.696 102 71 31

Overall Winning Percentage, 1990-1999
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.809 123 98 22 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1980-1989
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.668 119 77 37 5

Overall Winning Percentage, 1970-1979
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.654 117 75 39 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1960-1969
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.667 105 67 32 6

Overall Winning Percentage, 1950-1959
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.692 107 72 31 4

tnbigg writes:

2.

ButchIsBack writes:
Yes, this has been a bad year. Virtually all "Legends of the Game" throughout history have had them. Most had more than two. This one is very easily explained. They made a horrible hire as offensive coordinator. Nothing more, nothing less. You cannot win games with only defense. Phil's legacy is not debatable. His legacy will only grow as the next coaches come and go. Looking at the truth of the 2000's decade. Looking at the decades since 1950 (prior would be pointless and an apples to bananas comparison), the 2000 decade is still the second best behind the 1990's. We have enjoyed 4 10 win seasons. We have enjoyed 3 SEC East Titles. Even this "down" period will be looked at with reverence as the parade of successors begins.

Overall Winning Percentage, 2000-2008
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.696 102 71 31

Overall Winning Percentage, 1990-1999
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.809 123 98 22 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1980-1989
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.668 119 77 37 5

Overall Winning Percentage, 1970-1979
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.654 117 75 39 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1960-1969
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.667 105 67 32 6

Overall Winning Percentage, 1950-1959
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.692 107 72 31 4

tnbigg writes:

in response to tnbigg:

ButchIsBack writes:
Yes, this has been a bad year. Virtually all "Legends of the Game" throughout history have had them. Most had more than two. This one is very easily explained. They made a horrible hire as offensive coordinator. Nothing more, nothing less. You cannot win games with only defense. Phil's legacy is not debatable. His legacy will only grow as the next coaches come and go. Looking at the truth of the 2000's decade. Looking at the decades since 1950 (prior would be pointless and an apples to bananas comparison), the 2000 decade is still the second best behind the 1990's. We have enjoyed 4 10 win seasons. We have enjoyed 3 SEC East Titles. Even this "down" period will be looked at with reverence as the parade of successors begins.

Overall Winning Percentage, 2000-2008
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.696 102 71 31

Overall Winning Percentage, 1990-1999
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.809 123 98 22 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1980-1989
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.668 119 77 37 5

Overall Winning Percentage, 1970-1979
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.654 117 75 39 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1960-1969
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.667 105 67 32 6

Overall Winning Percentage, 1950-1959
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.692 107 72 31 4

03.

ButchIsBack writes:
Yes, this has been a bad year. Virtually all "Legends of the Game" throughout history have had them. Most had more than two. This one is very easily explained. They made a horrible hire as offensive coordinator. Nothing more, nothing less. You cannot win games with only defense. Phil's legacy is not debatable. His legacy will only grow as the next coaches come and go. Looking at the truth of the 2000's decade. Looking at the decades since 1950 (prior would be pointless and an apples to bananas comparison), the 2000 decade is still the second best behind the 1990's. We have enjoyed 4 10 win seasons. We have enjoyed 3 SEC East Titles. Even this "down" period will be looked at with reverence as the parade of successors begins.

Overall Winning Percentage, 2000-2008
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.696 102 71 31

Overall Winning Percentage, 1990-1999
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.809 123 98 22 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1980-1989
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.668 119 77 37 5

Overall Winning Percentage, 1970-1979
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.654 117 75 39 3

Overall Winning Percentage, 1960-1969
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.667 105 67 32 6

Overall Winning Percentage, 1950-1959
Overall
Team Win% gm W L T
Tennessee
0.692 107 72 31 4

RockyTopVolFan writes:

The Thornton kid is going to the best school for HIM.

At Vanderbilt he can be schooled in the social needs of an elite family in numerous ways to count, keep, and preserve their money for their progeny, as the Vanderbilts did.
(i.e. "keep it in the family")

He will also be able to rub shoulders and ohter things with daughters or sons of other wealthy folks and best select from these monetarily endowed collegians his future lover or soul/money mate, to keep growing the wealth.

He will be required to play A LOT of golf too, as wealthy as this kid will be he will have time to play games, or maybe he will just "work" on the golf course. Yes, Vandy is dandy for him.

Who knows, maybe he will donate a million bucks to run through the T like his father.

"IF" Fulmer upsets Vandy Saturday, maybe the Thornton's will get him the coaching job at Vandy. Fulmer was quoted today as saying he would have to look at the Vandy film first before commenting. He could remain in state and seek revenge against Hamilton's new hired gun by coaching Vandy against the Vols. It seems a better fit than Clemson and Thornton could make it happen at Vandy by donating $$$$$. As an added bonus at Vandy, they do not have an athletic director for Fulmer to answer to.

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

in response to SomeGuy:

Let's hope that Bobby Johnson goes on to bigger and better things and is replaced by an incompetent like CPF. Let's then hope that Thunder spends tons of money propping up that idiot and thereby sees Vandy run right back into the ditch where they've spent most of their history. That wouldn't make up for the damage he's done to UT by propping up CPF for all these years but it would be a start.

Um... the kid's going there to play golf, not football. And it seems like he's more concerned with his education and the prestige/connections a Vanderbilt degree will give him. Good for him.

khelton657 writes:

I hope Young Thornton does great.....

THE_VOL writes:

in response to khelton657:

I'm tellin' ya, Ladies..we need to be very appreciative of people like Thunder Thornton...I don't know the gentleman but he has been very loyal to our school and our program, he has enabled us to do a lot of the things that has in turn pushed our program to rank among the best in the nation. Maybe he is a Fulmer supporter, maybe not but either way, he has done a lot for **our** program...few have done as much..certanly no one on this board has done as much. If he likes Fulmer, so what ???

This is not good that Vanderbilt has offered his son a scholarship and UT hasn't. We can give a full ride to Fulmer's daughters so they can run out beside him at the end of games but we can't offer a scholarhsip to the son of a contributor who has given our program millions. Doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't know Thuinder Thornton from Jerry lee Lewis but I know I apprecaite him and his loyalty to our program.

Let me see if I've got this right.....you don't know Thornton and wouldn't recognize him yet you KNOW that UT didn't offer his son a scholly. Based on what, idiot? Likewise you somehow know that FOOLmer's daughters got a full ride? I happen to KNOW FOR A FACT you are wrong on BOTH counts. And yes I do know Thornton and yes I would recognize him and yes I have done as much as him for this program. So I would suggest that you get some FACTS BEFORE forming erroneous OPINIONS that make you look very FOOLmerISH.

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