Fulmer hunting new game this fall

Former UT coach to be spokesman for two groups

Former University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer tapes a public service announcement for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at River Islands Golf Course in Kodak.

Photo by Bob Hodge, Special to the News Sentinel

Former University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer tapes a public service announcement for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at River Islands Golf Course in Kodak.

It's almost fall and for the first time since he was in the sixth grade Phillip Fulmer has time on his hands.

He's decided that he's going to fill it the way a lot of people in East Tennessee do: Some days he will pick up shotgun, some days a rifle and some days a fishing rod. This year he will see the leaves change up close and personal, not just driving down the interstate or from 30,000 feet in an airplane.

Tennessee hunters can expect to be seeing a lot of the former Tennessee football coach in the weeks and months ahead as he takes on the role of sportsman and spokesman for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and the Hunters For the Hungry Program.

"When I was growing up in Winchester we had some land on the edge of town and I would love to find some time to get out just by myself with my .410," Fulmer said before taping some TV spots for the TWF. "I didn't have a lot of time because I was always so busy with athletics, I just loved getting away and being outside."

Fulmer admits he didn't often come home with an overflowing game bag. A three-sport athlete in high school, any chance to learn the finer points of hunting quail - which were once plentiful around Winchester - or rabbits or squirrels was by-passed to learn the finer points of blocking and tackling.

It wasn't until he got to Wichita State as a 22-year-old assistant football coach that hunting became something more than a way to kill a few hours in the fall.

"That's where I developed a passion for bird hunting," he said. "There's a lot of quail in the southeastern part of Kansas and if you go southwest you get into pheasant.

"Ever since then I've found time to bird hunt."

Fulmer ended up working with TWF after a conversation the organization's Chad Whittenburg had with him and broadcaster Doug Mathews. Whittenburg told Mathews he was looking for a spokesman, one coach recommended the other and Fulmer didn't hesitate to lend his name to not only the Hunter's For the Hungry Program but one of the state's oldest conservation organizations.

Hunter's For the Hungry takes venison donated by hunters and distributes it to families in need across the state. Since 1998 more than 360,000 pounds of meat have been donated, enough for 1.5 million meals.

"I called him and he said he would be glad to do it," Whittenburg said. "He said he wanted to give something back to the state of Tennessee."

Fulmer knows what he likes in the outdoors and what he doesn't like.

As a hunter he got a taste of turkey hunting this past spring with another former Vol head coach, Bill Battle, and shot two on a hunt near Demopolis, Ala. He had an invitation to go on an elk hunt out West where a big bull was all but guaranteed, but he's looking for something more challenging.

A trout fisherman, he'll take the tailwaters around East Tennessee over the out-of-the-way streams and creeks of the Smokies. As a hunter he got a taste of turkey hunting this past spring with another former Vol head coach, Bill Battle, and shot two on a hunt near Demopolis, Ala. He had an invitation to go on an elk hunt out West where a big bull was all but guaranteed, but he's looking for something more challenging.

"I was told you could shoot one off the front porch," Fulmer said. "I thought, where's the fun in that."

Raccoon hunting? He would rather not.

"My brother, Glenn, used to be considered one of the best coon hunters in our part of the state," Fulmer said. "I went four or five times, but that didn't do it for me."

What is likely to do it for him is a bird hunting/duck hunting/fishing trip to Argentina. He leaves Tuesday on a nine-day trip that would have been impossible for him to take since sometime in the early 1960s.

"I know a lot of people who have gone and I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "Because of football I've really never had a chance to hunt ducks before."

So Fulmer likes to hunt, his fall is free and some investment work and television commentary have replaced trips to Gainesville and Tuscaloosa on his calendar. With the only pressure most hunters face being whether or not they make the next shot, will Fulmer realize there's more to fall than just football?

Not likely.

"The closer it gets to fall the more excited about coaching I am," he said. "If you have a passion for coaching and the opportunity presents itself at the right school with a good tradition. . . it will be a big decision to make. But I've talked it over with Vicky and my family and I think I will coach again."

Bob Hodge is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 54

vailvol writes:

good for phil. hope he enjoys his time off and i wish him the best.

tdtnsee writes:

Good for u coach ! Maybe u will find that swagger you've been missing since 98'. If not Notre Dame will be looking for a new coach after this year , they don't seem mind clapping ur hands after a 5 or 6 win season

tngeoff2 writes:

I will support him no holds barred in this venture! Go for it Phil!

dvhill100 writes:

I wish him the best.

cookevol writes:

Enjoy life coach and thanks for the memories. Would love to see you coach again and prove the skeptics wrong.

RockinTop writes:

Awesome.... Glad to see he is a gun advocate, can't hunt without guns :-)

I hope it all works out.... Heck, if I were him I would never coach again....live and let die....or I should say...let it die and live.... I will never forget 1998.... Was there for every home game .... The Florida game was electric...I will never forget that either!

dirty_don writes:

happy hunting

volpreacherman writes:

Coach you can hunt my deer stand anytime. You were and are the class of the SEC!

PowderJr44 writes:

I hope he does have his own hunting show. The first show should be on how to shoot an elephant in the a double s. And the second show should be on how to skin a gator like back in 1998. With every show being commentated by John Ward.

Can I get a HooYah!

txvolsfan writes:

Coach looks like he has been working like heck on that waist line. Phil is look kinda thin these days. Maybe the lack of stress and the $6Mil. made him not stress eat!!!
Looking good Coach Fulmer

volhome#407234 writes:

Phillip, be happy. You brought such joy to so many true Volunteer fans. We will miss you each Saturday during the season, but want to be sure you are happy 365. You deserve it. Go Vols.

hilltopper writes:

proud for the man and when he takes off a year or two and gets rested and fired back up he will make someone a good coach till he retires. He may not be a great coach but he could recruit before he got to laid back. If the fire comes back I hope he coaches again and sure hope he gets in the Hall of Fame In the meantime have a great time hunting and God bless

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

The irony of Foolmore being the spokesperson for Hunter's For the Hungry. ROTFLMGMFAO!!!!!!!!

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Foolmore is a modern Sitting Bull with his Mule day, golf tourney and spokeman appearances. When will he be at the Wilson County Fair?

Bufforange00 writes:

A lot of people are Fulmer detractors, but Im not one of them. Guy's a class act and was a heckuva football coach. I think his downfall was that the S.E.C. got its act together and got quality coaches to compete for those recruits. Recruits Fulmer used to get are now staying in state since Bama, LSU, and Ga have come out of the doldrums. Also, could have made better choices to replace Cutcliffe (both times). But I don't think he let off the gas. The situation changed. Good luck coach-you will coach again and everyone will see why you were the best-if only for a short time.

pms151 writes:

Well at least he's going to kill something other than the football team this fall.

n2thecheckerboards2 writes:

Glad to see Coach Fulmer relaxing for a while. I pass through Winchester every other weekend from Manchester when i go visit my mother and Coach Fulmer always comes to mind for some reason (hmm lol). Take it easy coach.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

Great to see some classy comments overall about Coach Fulmer. Just a few who just can not or will not let it go. Folks, like him or not, he "gave his all" for the University of Tennessee and has more love for this great institution than most all of you put together. Enough with the name calling already. You really show your true colors when you do that, and it ain't Orange.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

ethanfrome writes:

Keep it up Phil, all the Phil-haters will see what a great Tennesseean you are. Thanks for reminding me that I need to start getting back out more often.

CrankE writes:

Is it just me, or does Phil look as good as I've seen him in years? Maybe it's the camo. The Mule King is shootin' like HECK!

I'm mildly concerned about his "trip to Argentina." But you know what they say, "What happens in Argentina STAYS in Argentina." All in good fun.

Best wishes to Philip Fulmer!

TommyJack writes:

Sasquatch found!

blitzshoot writes:

good hunting Phil. Apply for a tag to hunt gators

vailvol writes:

in response to TCHDWN10C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

pitiful attempt at humor.

ctownvol writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's the first thing I thought when I saw this as well.

Sssshh. Be vewy kwiet....I'm hunting wabbit.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to A_VOICE_OF_REASON:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The reason KNS keeps running stories about Coach Fulmer is to play with the little minds of the classless, pea-brain haters. Seems to work very well.

88volgrad writes:

They run the stories to see how many low class losers will post negative comments. Looks like they reeled in a few.

88volgrad writes:

You ever noticed after every arrest of a kiddie porn pervert, there are less of the Fulmer bashers posting? I'm sure it's just a coincidence, right?

movol53 writes:

Here's a thought . . .
Fulmer is just sitting around waiting . . .
for this grand experiment of ex-NFL coaches at UT to unfold. When it fails (and I hope not; I am a Vol fan all the time win or loose)no other coach in the country will want to come to UT to once again "rebuild" the program.
Phil will be rehired (rememeber Neyland was actually head coach twice) as head coach and Peyton Manning will become the offensive cooridnator / QB coach.
Previously when Phil was head coach we did not have the problems "off the field" and Phil did a lot of the recuiting but as time went by he allowed the assistant coaches to do more of the discipline and recuiting. He will not make that mistake again.
So those of you who hate Fulmer; rememeber history does repeat itself!!!!
I know I'll get a million comments.
I'm not saying this will happen; just saying that it could happen.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

in response to movol53:

Here's a thought . . .
Fulmer is just sitting around waiting . . .
for this grand experiment of ex-NFL coaches at UT to unfold. When it fails (and I hope not; I am a Vol fan all the time win or loose)no other coach in the country will want to come to UT to once again "rebuild" the program.
Phil will be rehired (rememeber Neyland was actually head coach twice) as head coach and Peyton Manning will become the offensive cooridnator / QB coach.
Previously when Phil was head coach we did not have the problems "off the field" and Phil did a lot of the recuiting but as time went by he allowed the assistant coaches to do more of the discipline and recuiting. He will not make that mistake again.
So those of you who hate Fulmer; rememeber history does repeat itself!!!!
I know I'll get a million comments.
I'm not saying this will happen; just saying that it could happen.

I don't think there's much of a chance Fulmer will coach at UT again. How about after Kiffin wins a couple of titles, then decides to go back to the NFL, and Peyton comes in as Head Coach?

GO VOLS!!

rmw21273 writes:

Phil may not be what the team needs now, but he is and was a very good man and coach. And even though I'm glad for the changes at UT, I still have utmost respect for the man and I'm very thankful for what he brought to the Big Orange Nation.

WereInTrouble writes:

Wonder if he's going to gun down the remaining part of the football program he didn't destroy?

rockytopatl writes:

Is it the camo, or does Phil look a little slimmer in the photo? Whatever, I hope he gets another chance to coach -- if he truly wants one.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to movol53:

Here's a thought . . .
Fulmer is just sitting around waiting . . .
for this grand experiment of ex-NFL coaches at UT to unfold. When it fails (and I hope not; I am a Vol fan all the time win or loose)no other coach in the country will want to come to UT to once again "rebuild" the program.
Phil will be rehired (rememeber Neyland was actually head coach twice) as head coach and Peyton Manning will become the offensive cooridnator / QB coach.
Previously when Phil was head coach we did not have the problems "off the field" and Phil did a lot of the recuiting but as time went by he allowed the assistant coaches to do more of the discipline and recuiting. He will not make that mistake again.
So those of you who hate Fulmer; rememeber history does repeat itself!!!!
I know I'll get a million comments.
I'm not saying this will happen; just saying that it could happen.

Pretty weak attempt at revisionist history with this comment: "Previously when Phil was head coach we did not have the problems "off the field".

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colleg...

http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2008/f...

Fulmer needs to check into the Larry Coker model of getting back into the coaching ranks.

VolinLexington writes:

Much love to you Phil! Always admired you and you are one of THE greatest coaches UT has ever had!

eduardo writes:

I wonder if F$$lmer is hunting small mike?????????

Voluvr writes:

With nothing left to prove in football, I'm glad to see he's not slipping out of the public eye. He will continue doing a lot people a lot of good.

RJ_Vol writes:

Coach Fulmer, the SoHo and the Watauga are the places to be. Enjoy your time off and pick up the flyrod for us. Thanks for a great tenure! Go Big Orange!

Slystone writes:

Word has it that Mike Hamilton has been invited on Fulmers next Hunting excursion, lol.

eefor10c writes:

Wow! I'm surprised at the number of decent comments by the majority. But there is always Stupid like heck, JCvet and of course TDTN who doesn't have anything to do but post many, many stupid little comments.

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

Looks like a doorman at the Bass Pro Shop

murrayvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Sasquatch found!

Thanks! I needed that.

HallowedHill writes:

I'm hunting wabbits!

murrayvol writes:

in response to movol53:

Here's a thought . . .
Fulmer is just sitting around waiting . . .
for this grand experiment of ex-NFL coaches at UT to unfold. When it fails (and I hope not; I am a Vol fan all the time win or loose)no other coach in the country will want to come to UT to once again "rebuild" the program.
Phil will be rehired (rememeber Neyland was actually head coach twice) as head coach and Peyton Manning will become the offensive cooridnator / QB coach.
Previously when Phil was head coach we did not have the problems "off the field" and Phil did a lot of the recuiting but as time went by he allowed the assistant coaches to do more of the discipline and recuiting. He will not make that mistake again.
So those of you who hate Fulmer; rememeber history does repeat itself!!!!
I know I'll get a million comments.
I'm not saying this will happen; just saying that it could happen.

Given the context of your post I'll assume you're not kidding.

You could start by getting the facts straight. Neyland was thrice coach. Tours in Panama (1935) & WWII breaking up his tenure. Being called to duty and getting canned are very different circumstances.

Chances of Phil coaching at UT again are slim and none. I do sincerely hope he lands a job somewhere.......and soon.

Slystone writes:

in response to Slystone:

Word has it that Mike Hamilton has been invited on Fulmers next Hunting excursion, lol.

And that Hunting expedition is being sponsored in part by Cheney.

Moaninglikeheck writes:

It's been, what three or four months since I posted on an article? Yes, been a while. Good to see the same old same old Fulmer haters hanging around. Keep up the great work.

It really puts things into perspective, not wasting precious time obsessing over this site...When you come back and read posts after a long period, and see the same old thing. Man.

It's like your wife's soap operas. Ever sat down on a weekday, perhaps you were off sick, and watch one? You pick up the plot pretty quickly. Funny thing, take a few years and come back and watch the show. Same old characters, new affairs, new addictions, divorces, remarriages, yadda yadda, but the SAME OLD PLOT. Doesn't skip a beat.

And so is the story at GoVolsX.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Moaninglikeheck:

It's been, what three or four months since I posted on an article? Yes, been a while. Good to see the same old same old Fulmer haters hanging around. Keep up the great work.

It really puts things into perspective, not wasting precious time obsessing over this site...When you come back and read posts after a long period, and see the same old thing. Man.

It's like your wife's soap operas. Ever sat down on a weekday, perhaps you were off sick, and watch one? You pick up the plot pretty quickly. Funny thing, take a few years and come back and watch the show. Same old characters, new affairs, new addictions, divorces, remarriages, yadda yadda, but the SAME OLD PLOT. Doesn't skip a beat.

And so is the story at GoVolsX.

WOW!!! An astute observation that is 'spot on!' I agree it is alot of the same old same old stuff......Some of our favorites cut and paste to death from article to article. Something about being the winner of the 'most prolific' poster for the day.....yippee!!

On topic, Coach Fulmer will always be a favorite of mine. He is just a man like you and me with our imperfections/flaws. Never figured out how someone felt better by continually dragging someone through the mud over things in the past. I've seen people experience peace and healing when they forgive and move on. Oh well, someone told me a long time ago to not be surprised when "the ungodly act ungodly." So such behavior seems to fit many on this blog.

See ya and have a nice day if you will allow yourself such.

voloffaith writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

For those of the conspiracy school, how do you steal a job if it has to be offered to for you to have it? Did Coach Fulmer want the job? I'm sure he did want it no doubt. Again there is too much speculation that has gone on for years.I was on campus at the time and remember the statements floating around about it. I chose then and now not to get mired down in he said/ she said rumors/gossip.

GO VOLS!!! Get that wascally wabbit Coach!

smoky50 writes:

"It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season""It's Duck season, NO! WABBITT Season"

smoky50 writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well the way that team looked last year it reminded me of a Warner Brothers cartoon.

Bufforange00 writes:

no retrievers needed. Just clap loudly to scare up game.

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