Strange: Chavis' exit will be quiet

Defensive coordinator John Chavis yells to his players during a scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008 at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Wade Payne

Defensive coordinator John Chavis yells to his players during a scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008 at Neyland Stadium.

UT linebacker Omar Gaither (44), right, jokes around with UT Defensive coordinator John Chavis during an informal practice session at the Georgia Dome Friday afternoon in Atlanta.

Photo by Jeff Adkins

UT linebacker Omar Gaither (44), right, jokes around with UT Defensive coordinator John Chavis during an informal practice session at the Georgia Dome Friday afternoon in Atlanta.

Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis talks to Demetrice Morley on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of Tennessee's lost to Florida  Saturday night in Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Michael Patrick // Buy this photo

Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis talks to Demetrice Morley on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of Tennessee's lost to Florida Saturday night in Neyland Stadium.

He was known as Johnny Chavis when he played defensive tackle for Tennessee from 1976-78.

Photo by UT Photo

He was known as Johnny Chavis when he played defensive tackle for Tennessee from 1976-78.

Defensive coordinator John Chavis yells to his players during a scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008 at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Wade Payne // Buy this photo

Defensive coordinator John Chavis yells to his players during a scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008 at Neyland Stadium.

John Chavis’ game plan for Saturday night includes a new wrinkle: an exit strategy.

When the final horn sounds at Neyland Stadium, the man known as Chief will walk to the Tennessee locker room one last time, get dressed and reach for his car keys.

“I don’t want to be in that scene,’’ he said. “I’ve already talked to my players.

“I’m going home.’’

He’s also leaving home. And it will hurt too much for a long good-bye Saturday night.

Tennessee football has been Chavis’ home for the past 20 years. Before that, it was home when he played football for the Vols from 1976-78.

He returned in 1989 as a linebackers coach, hired by Johnny Majors. Phillip Fulmer kept him on board when he succeeded Majors in 1993.

If Fulmer weren’t being forced out, Chavis would likely have stayed at UT as long as the boss was around. His career has been linked to Fulmer’s ever since Fulmer took a shot on him as defensive coordinator in 1995.

Chavis wasn’t necessarily the people’s choice back then, but he was Fulmer’s.

“There were several people out there, kind of the gunslingers, come-in-and-fix-your-defense kind of guys,’’ Fulmer recalled this week.

“It was a little bit of a stretch to hire from within like that, but I felt it was the right thing to do for us, short term and long term. And it’s just continued to pay off.’’

The earliest returns weren’t so hot. In Chavis’ third game as coordinator, Steve Spurrier’s Gators scored 48 unanswered points in a 62-37 romp.

“Even your dog will try to bite you after that,’’ Chavis was able to joke several years later.

Things got better in hurry. Chavis’ second defense allowed a miserly 237 yards a game in 1996. His ‘98 defense was the glue that made a national championship possible.

There have been fluctuations over the years, but by and large, defense has been something you could count on at Tennessee. The 2008 season, overall horror show that it’s been, is no exception: The Vols rank sixth in the nation in total defense.

“Given some of the deficiencies of our offense, it’s almost amazing what they’ve been able to accomplish,’’ Fulmer said.

While change has been part of the offense’s undoing, familiarity has been an ally to the defense.

Kentucky will be the 176th consecutive game that Chavis has schemed with assistants Dan Brooks and Steve Caldwell. Larry Slade is the new kid with a 126-game streak.

That longevity speaks both to UT’s success and the satisfaction of working with and for Chavis.

“He’s a good Christian man,’’ said Caldwell. “He’s very passionate about the game and very passionate about the kids. He doesn’t ever change.’’

“The guy,’’ said Brooks, “has got more football in his head than anybody I’ve ever been around. We’re more multiple than anybody I’ve ever worked with.’’

But the core of Chavis, to paraphrase a coaching cliche, is not so much his Xs and Os as the effort he gets from his Jimmies and Joes.

“When he’s in front of his kids,’’ said Brooks, “he’s so real. They know whatever he tells them is from his heart.

“He’s himself. That’s what he grew up with, fighting all his life to get to a Tennessee. He loves this school and loves those kids and that comes out every Saturday.’’

Chavis fought his way out of sharecropper’s tobacco field in South Carolina to go to college. He fought out of the lower-level coaching ranks to work at UT.

When he got there, he already had the knack for tapping into his players. As a fledgling coach at Alabama A&M, he would hear players talk about “keeping it real.’’ Not the hippest guy with slang, he had to ask them what “keeping it real” meant.

Chavis: “They said, ‘Coach, just tell the truth. That’s all you have to do is tell the truth and people will trust you.’ That’s what I’ve tried to do.’’

So Chavis will be keeping it real Saturday night with a quiet, quick exit. He doesn’t want to leave, but he’ll leave true to his own terms.

“When I was hired by coach Majors 20 years ago,’’ he said, “there was about two lines in the newspaper about the hiring.

“That’s me. I liked it better that way.’’

Mike Strange may be reached at 865-342-6276 or strangem@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 103

JBruce writes:

We will miss you Chief!

vol88 writes:

Thanks Coach Chavis!

BigVolOnBoard writes:

We can hardly do better than Chavez for defense,
why does he have to go?

stevefrommemphis writes:

If the new coach doesn't keep John Chavis, he should be offered a position somewhere within the U.T. system, either as a football coach or otherwise. I think he would make a great hire as head coach of Chattanooga.

Tennball writes:

I, for one, questioned whether Chavis could lead the defense like Ken Donahue. I was always a fan of how Donahue coached. I was wrong to question Chavis' leadership. He has always quietly led this team and given it the consistent balance it needed. We have been fortunate to have his dedication. Thanks Coach and I do not look forward to seeing your next team’s defense. They will be tough!

MidTennVol writes:

Thanks, Chief, and God bless.

Tennball writes:

in response to BigVolOnBoard:

We can hardly do better than Chavez for defense,
why does he have to go?

Because it is his decision, not ours and the man knows it is time to move on. I wish him the best.

volcop writes:

Now go get that NFL D/C job and make some bucks (maybe with the Titans or Colts)

DennisVols writes:

You have represented UT with class and honor chief. We will alway be thankful for your years of dedication and service to our university.

Waldorf writes:

What's the deal with all of these woe-is-me-stories this week?

Facts are facts - If Chavis lets his defense play in the season opener against UCLA and doesn't go to the stupid Mustang package against a 4th string QB, we're probably not having this conversation. If Arian Foster is reason #1 Fulmer is gone, Chavis and his uncanny ability to allow teams back into games is reason #2.

Don't give me stats, all I remember are games like UGA 2001, LSU 2001, Florida 2006, LSU 2006, Bama 2007, and UCLA 2008 off of the top of my head and the countless number of games that we won in spite of him.

Oh yeah, and anybody want to know who culprit #1 was in not wanting Trooper here this year?

rockitwithrespect writes:

its up to the new HC and chavis to decide if he stays or goes, isnt it? whoever the new guy might be, he would do very well keeping chief around. as well as being a top notch DC, he can provide that link from the old staff to the new, making the transition that much easier. either way, good luck coach chavis, in whatever you choose to do.
go vols

hmhawk writes:

Gonna miss ya Chief.Wish ya weren't going.Godspeed in whatever you decide.

volcycle writes:

I'm speculating that since he wants to make a quiet exit, he knows that he will not be part of the next staff. It seems more and more like the new coach is already hired, officially or unofficially.

SemperVol writes:

in response to Waldorf:

What's the deal with all of these woe-is-me-stories this week?

Facts are facts - If Chavis lets his defense play in the season opener against UCLA and doesn't go to the stupid Mustang package against a 4th string QB, we're probably not having this conversation. If Arian Foster is reason #1 Fulmer is gone, Chavis and his uncanny ability to allow teams back into games is reason #2.

Don't give me stats, all I remember are games like UGA 2001, LSU 2001, Florida 2006, LSU 2006, Bama 2007, and UCLA 2008 off of the top of my head and the countless number of games that we won in spite of him.

Oh yeah, and anybody want to know who culprit #1 was in not wanting Trooper here this year?

The production we've seen from this defense in amount of time they've been on the field this season thanks to a wretched offense is incredible.

If you don't respect this man, you can't respect anything.

If whoever they bring in here pulls a top 3 defense next year, then I'll be quiet...if not, then you should severely miss this man.

Godspeed, Chief!

glenncandrews#217154 writes:

Thanks coach. Best of luck.

Appreciate your great work.

Glenn C. Andrews

utk 1974 and 1977

hotrodvol writes:

He will be a DC for another college team next year. He will be a hot commodity. Dan Brooks will also be in demand, maybe both end up at Clemson.

blitzshoot writes:

May you find comfort Coach Chavis and find time to relax.
You left a tremendous benchmark for others to match at UT.
Good luck, good health, good fortune. Always a Vol!

bluetick writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

He will be a DC for another college team next year. He will be a hot commodity. Dan Brooks will also be in demand, maybe both end up at Clemson.

Unless of course he takes a break from the game for a while, which he might. But I would say wherever Fulmer goes(if anywhere), that Chavis and much of the same staff that is on now will go with him. It will be The Vols coaching staff wearing another teams colors. And that's a fact.
I still think one of the biggest mistakes was allowing Trooper to get away like he did. That is what the team lacked the most this year was some 'fire'..(no pun on Fulmer)

smoky50 writes:

Will miss you Chief. Hope you find a new "D" job somewhere. You are true class. God Speed.

Waldorf writes:

in response to SemperVol:

The production we've seen from this defense in amount of time they've been on the field this season thanks to a wretched offense is incredible.

If you don't respect this man, you can't respect anything.

If whoever they bring in here pulls a top 3 defense next year, then I'll be quiet...if not, then you should severely miss this man.

Godspeed, Chief!

Once again - stats mean nothing to me.

What does matter to me is his knack for giving up the big play, drive, whatever at the absolute worst time and that it has been a trend since he took over in 95.

He's cost us countless ball games, made too many games closer than they ever needed to be, probably a shot at a second national title, oh yeah - and runs off everyone who doesn't see things the same way as him.

And to boot, and he self-admits that he's a lazy recruiter. It would have been nice if he would have carried his weight this offseason in recruiting when we could have used it when the staff was minus a few coaches.

tnbigg writes:

Thanks coach...well done...best wishes...

southernson writes:

SHHAA NAA NAA NA SHAA NAA NAA NA HEY HEY HAYY GOOD BYEE...... 3RD AND LONG + chief = 1st down

BillsBrother writes:

This is a bittersweet week.

Last game of the season - I will miss our team in a bowl game and yet, finally the pain of their performance this year is almost over.

Phillip Fulmer Day - honoring a man that gave so much of his life to our team, university and state and yet, it is time for someone new.

Last game for faithful, longtime assistants - they also gave much of their lives to our team and our university at far less pay and public acknowledgment.

I will be cheering when they all run through the T to close out 2008.

gslaton#227127 writes:

Thanks for the memories, Chief. You'll be missed...by most.
All the best to you and your family.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to SemperVol:

The production we've seen from this defense in amount of time they've been on the field this season thanks to a wretched offense is incredible.

If you don't respect this man, you can't respect anything.

If whoever they bring in here pulls a top 3 defense next year, then I'll be quiet...if not, then you should severely miss this man.

Godspeed, Chief!

AMEN

A true asset to UT

shipperman#280095 writes:

I personally said it was time for a change. However I do wish for Fulmer, Chavis and others that gave of themselves for so long the very best. I hope they all get to do things they want to do somewhere. But it is usually the case that when change comes, it comes from top to bottom. Best wishes Coaches Fulmer and Chavis

DennisVols writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Once again - stats mean nothing to me.

What does matter to me is his knack for giving up the big play, drive, whatever at the absolute worst time and that it has been a trend since he took over in 95.

He's cost us countless ball games, made too many games closer than they ever needed to be, probably a shot at a second national title, oh yeah - and runs off everyone who doesn't see things the same way as him.

And to boot, and he self-admits that he's a lazy recruiter. It would have been nice if he would have carried his weight this offseason in recruiting when we could have used it when the staff was minus a few coaches.

You are a classless idiot.
His defense won us a National Championship and if it weren't for the play of the defense this year we would be even worse than we are.
You could coach you way out of a paper bag and yet you feel qualified to criticize a coach who has given more to this university than you could ever do.
Quit your whining. Fulmer’s last game is Sat along with a good many coaches who no matter how it has ended gave us more wins than any coach since Gen Neyland.

Waldorf writes:

Man.....post facts and you are hated.....oh well....so goes life.

kwvolsfan writes:

Chief, Fair winds and following seas. Wishing you and your family the best in the future. God bless.

imw8n4u writes:

in response to BigVolOnBoard:

We can hardly do better than Chavez for defense,
why does he have to go?

Good Grief - how many times did they mention his name in this article and people still can't get it right. C-H-A-V-I-S, not Chavez.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Man.....post facts and you are hated.....oh well....so goes life.

Actually, much of what you said is true. Too much dreaded Mustang Pkg...Not sure I will ever forget the lack of D in the UCLA game.
I know, I know..the offense too, but that's another story.
Chavis had his moments and is a good guy. But don't let the emotion of his leaving cloud the issue.

BillVol writes:

I'm sure he is a fine man, but he never should have gotten the job. His defense cost us many big games, potential millions of dollars in revenue, a Rose Bowl and NC game appearance, SEC titles, and maybe even a Heisman Trophy. I appreciate his hard work, but I'm glad to see him go.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

Good Grief - how many times did they mention his name in this article and people still can't get it right. C-H-A-V-I-S, not Chavez.

Maybe he will overthrow a small country in South America. =)

LargeOrange writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Man.....post facts and you are hated.....oh well....so goes life.

Goshdarn - They are right, you really are a loser and a low class piece of poop. Sure some of the "facts" you posted are true, but you hater/losers who have no respect for loyalty and true Orange Blooded coaches are in for a long run of true misery. And mark my words, you will look back to the last 15 years and say, if we could just get back there... How do you think Notre Dame, Miami, Nebraska etc, etc, fans feel now? Hang on, it is going to be a rough 7 or 8 years to get back to Atlanta, where we were last year if you were watching, two plays away from a Sugar Bowl vs Hawaii and a top 10, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Thanks Chief for the run. The slippage showing up at times lately was due to your having to go to war with less than necessary to get the job done.

Thanks and wish you the best.

mdvol writes:

Should have fired Clawson, not Fulmer. Sixth best defense in the nation and Chief gets shown the door.

Waldorf writes:

in response to LargeOrange:

Goshdarn - They are right, you really are a loser and a low class piece of poop. Sure some of the "facts" you posted are true, but you hater/losers who have no respect for loyalty and true Orange Blooded coaches are in for a long run of true misery. And mark my words, you will look back to the last 15 years and say, if we could just get back there... How do you think Notre Dame, Miami, Nebraska etc, etc, fans feel now? Hang on, it is going to be a rough 7 or 8 years to get back to Atlanta, where we were last year if you were watching, two plays away from a Sugar Bowl vs Hawaii and a top 10, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Yes sir I was watching. Second deck in the endzone to be exact. Didn't speak for an hour after the game because I couldn't believe we lost it. But, the curse of the backup QB got Chief again. Backup scrambling QB to boot, I don't know how I ever felt we had a chance.

Sat there is 2001 too and watched his defense made to look a fool because he couldn't contend with a backup QB and RB. Wonder if to this day he's figured out that when LSU lined up empty backfield with two tight ends that they were going to run the QB Draw?

I really love how I am labeled a loser because I post an opinion about a guy that I backup with facts. OK Chief, thanks for your however many years you gave to the university. I forgot all that most Tennessee fans care about is loyalty only and not winning.

And by the way - I am fully ready for a little drought before we're a contender again. Chief and friends have left the cupboard bare and it's going to take a while to restock. I can also promise you it wasn't going to happen any sooner with Fulmer at the helm.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to Waldorf:

What's the deal with all of these woe-is-me-stories this week?

Facts are facts - If Chavis lets his defense play in the season opener against UCLA and doesn't go to the stupid Mustang package against a 4th string QB, we're probably not having this conversation. If Arian Foster is reason #1 Fulmer is gone, Chavis and his uncanny ability to allow teams back into games is reason #2.

Don't give me stats, all I remember are games like UGA 2001, LSU 2001, Florida 2006, LSU 2006, Bama 2007, and UCLA 2008 off of the top of my head and the countless number of games that we won in spite of him.

Oh yeah, and anybody want to know who culprit #1 was in not wanting Trooper here this year?

>>> Don't give me stats, all I remember are games like UGA 2001, LSU 2001, Florida 2006, LSU 2006, Bama 2007, and UCLA 2008 off of the top of my head and the countless number of games that we won in spite of him. <<<

Stats? No. Why mix up a perfectly good opinion with facts?

EVERY team / DC has allowed comebacks. Every one. Now, I would love to do a comparison of all the squeakers and comebacks UT has had since UGA in 01. How many times over and over did our defense keep us around against inferior opponents while our fumbling bumbling offense got a close win? A whole lot more than the losses. I would prove it, but that would require stats.

I have this nasty feeling that we are all not going to like the "Change" on the defensive side in the next few years.

LargeOrange writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Yes sir I was watching. Second deck in the endzone to be exact. Didn't speak for an hour after the game because I couldn't believe we lost it. But, the curse of the backup QB got Chief again. Backup scrambling QB to boot, I don't know how I ever felt we had a chance.

Sat there is 2001 too and watched his defense made to look a fool because he couldn't contend with a backup QB and RB. Wonder if to this day he's figured out that when LSU lined up empty backfield with two tight ends that they were going to run the QB Draw?

I really love how I am labeled a loser because I post an opinion about a guy that I backup with facts. OK Chief, thanks for your however many years you gave to the university. I forgot all that most Tennessee fans care about is loyalty only and not winning.

And by the way - I am fully ready for a little drought before we're a contender again. Chief and friends have left the cupboard bare and it's going to take a while to restock. I can also promise you it wasn't going to happen any sooner with Fulmer at the helm.

I was there also for EVERY one of them, and I was in shock also, but if think peeing away a top 10 recruiting class this year gets us to the top faster, you are just wrong.

LargeOrange writes:

BTW, I was in a sky box on the 50 yd line that night and accidentally dropped the "F" bomb on The second INT, which wasn't a good thing in front of some big business partners, but I remember it well. I doubt I will be back in a box at the Dome watching Tennessee in this decade. Enjoy the "CHANGE".

rabidvol1998 writes:

in response to Waldorf:

What's the deal with all of these woe-is-me-stories this week?

Facts are facts - If Chavis lets his defense play in the season opener against UCLA and doesn't go to the stupid Mustang package against a 4th string QB, we're probably not having this conversation. If Arian Foster is reason #1 Fulmer is gone, Chavis and his uncanny ability to allow teams back into games is reason #2.

Don't give me stats, all I remember are games like UGA 2001, LSU 2001, Florida 2006, LSU 2006, Bama 2007, and UCLA 2008 off of the top of my head and the countless number of games that we won in spite of him.

Oh yeah, and anybody want to know who culprit #1 was in not wanting Trooper here this year?

Wow. You can name a hand full of games over 15 years. Name me another defensive coordinator who's coached 15 years and doesn't have a handful of bad games?

jsm67vol writes:

I hope Chavis lands a pro job somewhere. I sure don't want him on another SEC team for sure. It is easy to remember some of the big lapses in Chavis' defenses but i will choose to remember the many stuffs his defenses gave us. I will remember the many seasons when media types pointed to the glaring weaknesses of the UT D in the preseason only to see the defense time and time again carry the team. Maybe Chavis was a bit lazy in recruiting, but he he sure knew how to get production out of his players. Having a sixth ranked defense in a season like this is unbelievable and I think I read somewhere that this D also ranked 6th in the nation in time spent on the field. I know Chavis' players will play their hearts out vs. KY and they may move up to 5th. Thanks for all the memories Chavis! You will be missed.

ncvol17 writes:

Man, I used to be there for all of them. The combination of distance, economy, and poor play made me give up season tickets, travel to 3 or 4 away games a year and quit on bowl games.

I'm sure we will see all of these coaches including Fulmer at one schol or another. Maybe the firing will put fire back in their bellies and they will amke UT look bad. But it may take the dismissal to put the fire back in the belly.

I have known only 3 coaches since I began shool over 30 years ago. Amazing fact in this sports world of today. Who but Penn State & FSU fans can say the same. It will be differnet next year.

ncvol17 writes:

Should have used spell check above huh?

volsbandit writes:

in response to Waldorf:

What's the deal with all of these woe-is-me-stories this week?

Facts are facts - If Chavis lets his defense play in the season opener against UCLA and doesn't go to the stupid Mustang package against a 4th string QB, we're probably not having this conversation. If Arian Foster is reason #1 Fulmer is gone, Chavis and his uncanny ability to allow teams back into games is reason #2.

Don't give me stats, all I remember are games like UGA 2001, LSU 2001, Florida 2006, LSU 2006, Bama 2007, and UCLA 2008 off of the top of my head and the countless number of games that we won in spite of him.

Oh yeah, and anybody want to know who culprit #1 was in not wanting Trooper here this year?

the facts may hurt sometimes, but your right. as far as the arian foster thought though, i think it goes back to kelley washington. the players didn't start having the "i'm playing for me" attitude till be came aboard. granted we was a talented player, but it just seems like he took the "ME" out of "TEAM".

VOLS85 writes:

Some of you people need to drop your facts on the last ten years, and your complaints of this coaching staff, and realize that these guys have been monumental for UT.

The truth is that they gave their all for tennessee, for you...and in the last week of their tenure, they are still suffering the diatribes of fans that can only find the negatives in this staff's tenure.

Coach Chavis brought us a national championship with his suffocating defense in 98...leonard little, al wilson, dwayne goodrich, those were players that helped us to our National Championship. Tell me if Johnny Majors, Bill Battle, Doug Dickey, etc. were able to do what the chief and Phil did over their tenure...

You talk about 2001, you talk about losing in the SECC in 07, but you fail to acknowledge that Phillip Fulmer and John Chavis were part of the second best coaching staff in TENNESSEE HISTORY. Love them or hate them, I'll be damned if you fail to respect them for the enormous things that they have done to make this a national program again.

Too bad they made us a national program, because it has bred fans that can't respect a full body of successful work, even in the final days of a staff that has been here for 30-40 years.

Just disgraceful...

It was time for this staff to go, but I'm going to be extremely sad on Saturday night, because these guys ARE Tennessee football, and next year won't be the same.

Thank you coaches.

GO BIG ORANGE

The_Mayor writes:

in response to DennisVols:

You are a classless idiot.
His defense won us a National Championship and if it weren't for the play of the defense this year we would be even worse than we are.
You could coach you way out of a paper bag and yet you feel qualified to criticize a coach who has given more to this university than you could ever do.
Quit your whining. Fulmer’s last game is Sat along with a good many coaches who no matter how it has ended gave us more wins than any coach since Gen Neyland.

Hey DennisVols, just curious how you muster the nerve to refer to anyone as a "classless idiot". I mean, I appreciate you standing up for Chavis and Fulmer today (along with your heartfelt post earlier today over on the Fulmer article), however below is your post only a month ago. You seem to be good at talking out of both sides of your mouth. Are you related to Hamilton?

Posted on October 29 at 2:17 p.m.

Rocky Top (2008 Version)
>>
>> Wish that Phil was gone from Rocky Top
>> Sent away from the Tennessee hills
>> Aint' no wins or fans on Rocky Top
>> Ain't no SEC thrills
>>
>> Once we had a team on Rocky Top
>> Half run, the other half pass
>> Quick as a mink,
>> but strong as mountain men
>> We still dream about that.
>>
>> Rocky Top come back to me
>> The best in the SEC
>> Good ol' Rocky Top
>> Rocky Top Tennessee,
>> Rocky Top Tennessee
>>
>> Once some Vols fans climbed ol' Rocky Top
>> Lookin' for a Gator kill
>> Phil got out-coached on ole Rocky Top
>> And Phil always will
>>
>> Rocky Top come back to me
>> On top of the SEC
>> Good ol' Rocky Top
>> Rocky Top Tennessee,
>> Rocky Top Tennessee
>>
>> Phil can't coach no more on Rocky Top
>> The game has passed him by
>> That's why all the fans on Rocky Top < BR>Are singing Me Oh My
>>
>> Rocky Top come back to me
>> On top of the SEC
>> Good ol' Rocky Top
>> Rocky Top Tennessee,
>> Rocky Top Tennessee
>>
>> I've had years of cramped-up Neyland life
>> Hoping for a simple win
>> All I know is it's a pity if Phil
>> Will be our coach again
>>
>> Rocky Top come back to me
>> On top of the SEC
>> Good ol' Rocky Top
>> Rocky Top Tennessee,
>> Rocky Top Tennessee

coach75 writes:

i am torn in half. one part wants new blood, but one part admires the love that fulmer an some of his longtime assisstants have for tenn football. i am truly worried about our new hire putting us ikn a trend of revolving door coaches.

DennisVols writes:

Be for-warned LSU will need a new DC following this year and our offense could not score a FG against a Chavis lead defense.
All this phooey blaming Chavis for this year’s loss to UCLA. Wake up it was our offense's failures and turnovers that even allowed UCLA to be in the Game. It was Fosters fumble in the end zone that cost us the Auburn game not the defense.
Yes I have seen our defense give up too many 3rd and longs over the years but the big picture shows there have been more games won because of our defense than there ever were losses. It was our defense that stopped a FSU offense that won the National Championship game and also held off all the competition that year. This year’s defense is rated 6th in the nation. I'm willing to bet if the offense was rated in the top 20 none of the coaches would be saying goodbye this year. Watching the NFL on any given day you would not have to look hard to see a formal Vols playing defense because of what Coach Chavis taught them.
The honorable thing to do at this point is to show some respect to both Chavis and Fulmer. They both gave more to the university than any of us ever will. We have the luxury of seating in the stands or our recliners and coaching. None of our decisions concerning this team will ever be questioned because none of us are qualified to make those kinds of decisions in a real life situation.
Give Chavis the respect he has earned.

Waldorf writes:

in response to LargeOrange:

I was there also for EVERY one of them, and I was in shock also, but if think peeing away a top 10 recruiting class this year gets us to the top faster, you are just wrong.

And how many top 10 recruiting classes have we had the past decade? And how have they turned out? Starting with the first signed recruiting class after the title in 1998 (that would have graduated in 2002), how many Top 10 finishes have we had?

Look at this group of seniors this year. Hardly what I would call a "top 10" group despite their hype out of high school.

Why's that? I'd say player development, or lack thereof. Who's that go back to? The coaches.

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