Another Majors shot: hiring Fulmer was a mistake

For a guy who’s not talking, Johnny Majors sure is talking a lot.

The former University of Tennessee football coach took his second major shot in as many weeks at UT coach Phillip Fulmer.

Appearing Thursday on the Paul Finebaum radio show based in Alabama, Majors called his hiring of Fulmer as an assistant coach one of the biggest mistakes he ever made.

“There’s nothing funny about it, but that was one of the main mistakes I made in my coaching career,” Majors admitted after some goading from Finebaum. “Maybe that’s the major mistake, but I’m not going to talk about what they’re doing now.”

Just a week-and-a-half ago, Majors was in Alabama for a speaking engagement and told the Chattanooga Times Free Press how he thinks Fulmer has kept his job the past decade.

“Frankly,” Majors said, “I think (defensive coordinator) John Chavis has saved (Fulmer’s) job for 10 years.”

Majors mentioned Chavis again on the Finebaum show.

“John Chavis has kept them afloat up here for several years at defensive coordinator,” Majors said.

Finebaum commented on the Vols’ slow start to the 2008 season and asked Majors, “At what point do fans just say enough is enough?”

“...If I had any advice I wouldn’t offer it to the person in charge over there trying to coach the team,” Majors said.

All of that came after Majors vowed he didn’t want to comment on UT’s current situation.

“I don’t say anything about it publicly,” Majors first told Finebaum. “I have my own private thoughts, but I don’t get into that.

“It’s pretty well obvious things have changed so that’s enough for me to say at the present time.”

You can listen to the complete interview.

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Comments » 220

MusicCityVol writes:

first

Moaninglikeheck writes:

Bitter old man, go have a shot of Johnny Walker Red and take a STFU pill.

MusicCityVol writes:

Wow. This whole thing is getting uglier and uglier. A win in Athens would do this team, coaching staff, and fanbase a great deal of good. I can't remeber a time in my life that we've needed a win more.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Like him or not, Majors is straight forward!

SavDawg writes:

Wow. Brutal.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

in response to Moaninglikeheck:

Bitter old man, go have a shot of Johnny Walker Red and take a STFU pill.

awww someone didn't do their Yoga this morning...

RoyaltyVol writes:

If Majors hadn't hired Fulmer, we wouldn't have won a National Championship. And I wouldnt trade the memories of 1998 for nothing.

pammyvol1000 writes:

Sounds like him and Phil need to air out the laundry and move on.

drum45 writes:

Attack, Attack, Attack!!!! Tell it like it is Coach Majors! U R Still The MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

arkansas_vol writes:

give'm hell johnny

VolGraduate writes:

sad and pathetic...living too much in the past. sounds like he wants chavis to take over so fulmer can feel the same pain he has felt.

gslaton#227127 writes:

I go back to when Majors played ball at UT, and I have always admired him, even when he lost to Alabama so many times, but this is degrading to him. He is obviously still dealing with the loss of the head coach job. These things happen in life, fair or not. I wish he would move on and just be the great representative of the University that we all want him to be. Alabama fans have got to love this!!

FlaVol2 writes:

Johnny, I thought a lot of you in the past and you are now being disrespectful to Tennessee and the coaching staff. Now is not the time to vent your feelings. You will end up losing a lot of respect that over many years you worked hard to gain as a coach.

OrangeAndWhite4Life writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

If Majors hadn't hired Fulmer, we wouldn't have won a National Championship. And I wouldnt trade the memories of 1998 for nothing.

Agreed.

I will turn 40 next month and took my 1st trip to Neyland in 1974 when I was 6. My blood turned from red to orange, er Big Orange rather, and it has been so ever since.

Never thought I would see a National Championship clad in Orange in my lifetime. Well, I was fortunate enough to go to Tempe and witness it live.

Personally, I think Johnny Majors took UT to another level and I think that Phil Fulmer took it another from where Johnny left off.

Now may well be the time we need another coach to take us "Back to Glory" and if so I wish Coach Fulmer well...just as I did Coach Majors.

Go Vols !!

Moaninglikeheck writes:

in response to bugman:

awww someone didn't do their Yoga this morning...

No, I'm just sick of seeing Majors, a 70something grown man, act like a child and embarass the program...Like or hate Fulmer, Majors quit coaching this team 17 years ago and his opinion matter about as much as mine. He was never a great coach (good, not great) and had just as many flaws as Fulmer. Giving him newspaper space is just adding to the division in the Vol nation which is going to have long term ramifications WORSE than the coaching situation.

If Fulmer is ruining his legacy by being stubborn, Majors BURNED his bridges long ago, and burned everything else along the way. Must have taken a lot of booze to start all those fires.

FlaVol2 writes:

in response to MusicCityVol:

first

Who cares whether you are first or not. Got something intelligent to say?

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to OrangeAndWhite4Life:

Agreed.

I will turn 40 next month and took my 1st trip to Neyland in 1974 when I was 6. My blood turned from red to orange, er Big Orange rather, and it has been so ever since.

Never thought I would see a National Championship clad in Orange in my lifetime. Well, I was fortunate enough to go to Tempe and witness it live.

Personally, I think Johnny Majors took UT to another level and I think that Phil Fulmer took it another from where Johnny left off.

Now may well be the time we need another coach to take us "Back to Glory" and if so I wish Coach Fulmer well...just as I did Coach Majors.

Go Vols !!

Well said!!!

armyvol544 writes:

I guess Mr. Majors' mom never taught him manners. I still remember when John Ward told him to never show up at the coaches show drunk again. Johnny needs to go away. He is an embarrassment.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Zzzz Zzzz

The season ended on Sept. 1...

Wake me up when it's basketball season...men or women!

huntined#565710 writes:

He needs to stay in BAMA..Not man enough to look Fulmer in the face and say that to him..Ole Finebaum just gave him a few drinks and let him go off SAD-SAD-SAD

ggriggs939#223122 writes:

The record does not support that statement. It is normally considered an accolade when you train somebody who does a better job than you did, but apparently some don't see it that way. But some apparently get to be like the jackass which brays just to hear itself make the noise and then some get paid to say what they are told to say.
It appears that one of The General's
principles has been violated. He told a coach that you take whatever comes your way without whining.
I guess you never know what 'ole Jack might do to you.

GatorHater326 writes:

Guess since majors couldn't beat bama while he was a coach he decided to join them... true or not ... wrong place to voice his opinions

Einstein writes:

Johnny Majors is just a bitter old man.

murrayvol writes:

"At what point to fans just say enough is enough?" P. Finebaum

On a scale of 1-10 for loaded questions I give this an 11. Ole Paul has a way of bringing out the "best" in those associated with UT football.

john#208876 writes:

First, I'm a big John Majors fan, and think his number should be retired. Although I'm sure he has reason to be bitter, at some point you have to let it go. Second, as an alumnus, former letterman & coach, I believe there to be no bigger traitor to the University of Tennessee than Paul Finebaum; how do you explain a person who makes a living taking pot-shots at their alma mater, I'd rather be homeless. With all due respect Coach Majors, please don't give a loser like Finebaum the pleasure of disparaging the University of Tennessee, the current head coach (no matter how much you dislike them) or ultimately yourself, which - believe me - he will not hesitate to do. Please ignore Finebaum, and his venomous diatribe.

lewhs93#205993 writes:

It is sad.I am fast losing respect for a great football player and coach.SAD SAD

RockyTop1998 writes:

At least this man still has some fire. All Fulmer does when he gets mad is adjust his hat and talk about staying the course and watching film & working like heck. If I hear any of those sayings again I might just burn all my UT Stuff (except My basketball stuff that is).

rusty_shackleford writes:

Dear Johnny,

The Volunteer faithful are whispering those three little words that many women need to hear..."Let It Go!"

Love and Kisses, Ken Donahue

P.S. the bus you threw me under had "Bama Owns Majors" written all over it.

FlaVol2 writes:

in response to john#208876:

First, I'm a big John Majors fan, and think his number should be retired. Although I'm sure he has reason to be bitter, at some point you have to let it go. Second, as an alumnus, former letterman & coach, I believe there to be no bigger traitor to the University of Tennessee than Paul Finebaum; how do you explain a person who makes a living taking pot-shots at their alma mater, I'd rather be homeless. With all due respect Coach Majors, please don't give a loser like Finebaum the pleasure of disparaging the University of Tennessee, the current head coach (no matter how much you dislike them) or ultimately yourself, which - believe me - he will not hesitate to do. Please ignore Finebaum, and his venomous diatribe.

Well said, John.

BigVolOnBoard writes:

Johnny will really let loose in time.

Wait until Fulmer is out of here, then the truth will be told!

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

Coach Majors is sort of a legend and brought us back to the national spotlight, but his comments are like the pot calling the kettle black. He would not quit when it was time either. We would have wallowed in the middle of the SEC pack during the 90s if he had not been forced out; if he would have retired when he should have, it would not have been the ugly mess. I would respect him more if he had more class and kept his mouth shut.

FWBVol writes:

The only reason Johnny Majors thinks hiring Phillip Fulmer was a mistake is because of his warped perception with time.

If hiring Fulmer was a mistake how come Johnny not only kept him on staff, but promoted him to the point that he was assistant head coach and offensive coordinator?

Majors' 1988 UT team started 0-6 before righting the ship and winning the last five games against Memphis, Ole Miss, Vandy, Kentucky and Boston College. The largest margin of victory was eight points.

It's a good thing for Johnny that the internet and message boards had yet to evolve in 1988 or he would have made it to 1989, when, by the way, UT was 11-1.

The fact is while we won three SEC championships under Majors, the only two 10 win seasons were 1987 and 1989. And most of the Majors era was when the SEC was still only 10 teams and played six conference games.

As others have said, Johnny sounds like a bitter old man. I agree that it is in poor taste for one Tennessee man to turn on another and I think many of the Tennessee men and women posting on this site should think about that.

Now let's take care of the Bulldogs tomorrow.

coach75 writes:

I liked coach majors, and to some degree believe that phil had a hand in sticking the knife in his back. On the other hand, Phil did win big games in his absence and started to turn the program around. It was time for him to go, as it is time for Phil to go now. I just lost the respect I had for coach Majors with the comments he made the second time. The first time, I frrl he may have been right about Chavis saving his job, but this time he has brought to much disgrace to the university by airing his dirty laundry. Turn the other cheek and let it slide off and Phil will get his in the end if he had a hand in him leaving. I vote BILL COWHER for the new head coach of the volunteers.

williamshockley#225607 writes:

Cheat shots by a now classless individual. If he would have spent as much time coaching as he did drinking he wouldn't have had to worry about losing his job. Any former Tennessee coach who fires up the Alabama airways is a total idiot feeding a fire that can't be contained. We don't need any of this negative press...we have enough already.

Sober Up Johnny....and zip your mouth.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

No class Johnny. I am not loving what is going on at TN, but that is ridiculous. Orange blood is thicker than water.

gaVOLman writes:

Say what you want to about the game passing ol'Phil by, but I seriously don't ever think he would go to Alabama radio and talk to a traitor about how "wronged" he was at his alma mater that he loves so much. Johnny needs to just go away, its getting sad now.

beachvol1 writes:

Think Johhny may have been waiting all these years and now the time has come when it will hurt coach Fulmer the most!!!! Why would he even venture to make up these stories in the past few weeks...I believe him and if anybody knows what happened during his last few months at UT, it would be Johnny...Go Johnny Go

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to Moaninglikeheck:

Bitter old man, go have a shot of Johnny Walker Red and take a STFU pill.

Amen brother. Amen.

MusicCityVol writes:

in response to FlaVol2:

Who cares whether you are first or not. Got something intelligent to say?

Ouch. I see it done on every article posted here. Sorry if that offended. I know we are having a rough season but no point in being a jerk.

As far as something intelligent....I think Majors needs to let go, move on, and enjoy retirement. Holding a grudge against Fulmer, whether warranted or not, does no one any good. It makes us look bad and makes the situation in VolNation appear worse than it already has become. Not sure if that is intelligent enough for ya but those are my 2 cents. I'll refrain from the whole "first" thing in the future, apparently that is bothersome to a fellow Vol fan and I certainly don't mean to cause a brother to stumble.

BEAT UGA!!!

topgun writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

Like him or not, Majors is straight forward!

Do you mean he drinks it straight?? I used to like Majors--knew his brother, Billy, pretty well. BUT, Johnny needs to shut up and support UT or go back to the Pits burg. Firing cheap shots at the UT coach--in Alabama--for god's sake doesn't do the University of TN any good. I have lost all respect for him.

tenmanjonez#561272 writes:

What the hell is this. I still dont know how he can say the only reason he is doing well is because of Chavis. Hell, the only reason Chavis is doing well is because he lucked out with Cutcliffe's recruiting. So, listen here Majors, your a legend in Tennessee and all, but you need to pick your spots, and just because we are having a bad season right now, doesn't mean Fulmer is a bad decision. I do think we have one of the highest totals of players in the NFL, he IS the winningest active coach. (P.S. Bowden, Joepa, and Spurrier are still coaching) This really pisses me off. I would expect that from some fans, but not from such distinguished alumni and former player.

DarthVol writes:

"He's on his final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2 iron I think." carl spackler

Bigger_Al writes:

Adams just gave up his "Turncoat of the year" award to Johnny. They LOVE Johnny in Alabama. He was their "whipping boy" on the 3rd Saturday of October for the last 7 years of his UT coaching career.

beachvol1: Johnny is as biased as they come, so believing his version is pretty dim of anyone. My litmus test for what happened in 1992 was that ZERO assistant coaches followed Johnny to Pitt. They all stayed with Phil at UT. At least with Phil, UT doesn't have to hire anyone to make sure the coach shows up at practices and games in any condition, much less sober.

Back to the Stupor, Johnny.

TommyJack writes:

OK by me if Johnny wants to lob one over Phil's considerable bow. Can't embarrass the program much more than it already is. This isn't Nazi Germany. Johnny can say what he wants. If I'm not mistaken, Finebaum is a UT alum. as well.

Orange4life writes:

WELL, ahhh in my opinion, ahhhh I feel, that ta ahhhhhh I'll have another one and another one and another one...

lol

Go Johnny go, and take Don Devoe!

SemperVol writes:

“There’s nothing funny about it, but that was one of the main mistakes I made in my coaching career,” Majors admitted

????

He who giveth can taketh away. If he hated his hire so much why didn't he cut bait?

Huntingdonvol writes:

AHH,The now after all these years Majors finally speaks out,wow what a think to bring up at this time why not any other time the University of Tennessee drunk has not spoken?Hey majors rember you record at UT and who will ever forget the North Texas St. loss.My friends just check the majors record against the alabamas,georga,ole miss, georga tech,and will never forget the ucla debacle,ahead by the score of 16 to zip with 5 mins to play(final score UT 16--ucla 16,,,,,oh and my fellow vol fans check out the bowl record under majors,,,my god the whiskey is still talking after all these years,,,,I had a good friend you was on the board or regents that was the party where he gave Mr Tom Elam the cussing,,,,John Majors should be stricken from the record books as a player and coach as far as im concerned,and to have the gall to do this in alabama at an alabama radio show only proves your damn brain has pickled after all these years.Sincerly,one who rembers the majors era-----ps(just check the record).

Feared_Mustang_Package writes:

in response to GatorHater326:

Guess since majors couldn't beat bama while he was a coach he decided to join them... true or not ... wrong place to voice his opinions

So, if the trend continues we'll see Phil in Florida in 15 years?

volburger writes:

As an AMERICAN citizen Johnny can say what he wants, and if you touchy bunch of politically correct sissys dont like it why dont you all kiss mine and Johnny's rear.

Feared_Mustang_Package writes:

Typical Bible Belt: Faulting a man cause he likes the smooth taste of whiskey.

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