Reflections and remembrances of Haywood Harris

Haywood Harris

Photo provided by

Haywood Harris

Funeral services for longtime University of Tennessee Athletics icon Haywood Harris will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. at Knoxville’s Second United Methodist Church (1524 Western Avenue). The family will receive friends at the church following the worship service.

Harris died Wednesday afternoon at his Knoxville home. He was 80. For nearly 50 years, Harris was a steadying voice in the UT Athletics Department since Gen. Robert R. Neyland appointed him Sports Information Director in January 1961.

Online condolences may be extended at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church (9132 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tenn. 37923); Second United Method Church (1524 Western Ave., Knoxville, Tenn. 37921) or the charitable organization of donor preference.

Interment will be private.

Here are some reflections and remembrances of Harris.

Gus Manning, Longtime Friend and Co-worker

“I have lost an incredible friend. Haywood and I have enjoyed a wonderful friendship of tremendous esteem and respect for more than a half century. Together we were involved in radio, TV and public speaking – we also co-authored two books on behalf of the UT Athletics Department.

“Haywood was extremely intelligent and humorous. He loved his family, friends and especially his political party. And he detested the New York Yankees. Haywood played golf but said it was a waste of time. He did enjoy cards, mainly Tong, and breakfast at Long’s.

“Haywood was one of my best friends for many years. May God have mercy on his soul?”

John Ward, Voice of the Vols

“Smart. Smarter than the rest of us. But smart didn’t stand in the way of Haywood’s putting people and his profession first. Perhaps more times than we’ll ever know, a smart suggestion from Haywood to higher ups helped create the positive image the University of Tennessee enjoys today among people from all walks of life. Haywood didn’t ask for credit; didn’t want it. He simply did what a really smart person does – help other people.”

Phillip Fulmer, UT Player, Assistant Coach, and Head Coach

“There is no way to do this in one paragraph. You could write a book on Haywood’s positive attitude, his wisdom, experience and words of encouragement when things were the toughest. His wit brought a smile. His scolding’s for using the wrong grammar made you feel you disappointed him and every English instructor you had ever had. Haywood knew and loved Tennessee history and traditions. It was amazing to watch him teach our football freshmen the words to Rocky Top or our alma mater, or to explain where our unique orange and white colors came from. He was fun and interesting, a good man that loved his family, friends, a good joke or a challenge, and was loyal to the Vol family and all it is at its core. I love you Haywood, already miss you. Thank you for your friendship and guidance, and I know that you know I want you on my team anytime. May God bless you and yours.”

A.W. Davis, All-America Basketball Player and Former Vols Assistant Coach

“One of the finest men I ever met in my life and a person you would be fortunate to be with as a friend and associate. I had the privilege to know him as a student-athlete, as a UT coach and as a friend, and he always remained the same person regardless of the situation. A man of deep integrity.”

Johnny Majors, UT All-America Football Player and Head Coach

“There has never been a better person than Haywood Harris, and never will be. My wife, Mary Lynn, often stated he was one of the great people she has ever known and we both concur in that regard. He was honest and loyal to the core to the University of Tennessee and to the great country he lived in. He loved his country deeply. And even though we may have differed politically from time to time, I always respected his love for the United States and his unwavering loyalty to country and the Tennessee Vols. He was intelligent in every sense of the imagination and he knew the English language in an impeccable manner. When I would seek his counsel, I was comfortable that his intention was to support me and the University of Tennessee, and he used that same approach even when I didn’t seek his advice and he had concern for my welfare and the institution.”

David Cutcliffe, Former Vol Assistant and current Head Football Coach, Duke University

I have been very fortunate in my career to have met and been mentored by some of the great men in college football. In the winter of 1982 I was introduced to Tennessee football and met many of the legends surrounding the Vols. Soon after I was blessed to have the opportunity to hear first hand of the history and folklore of the Big Orange from a gentleman named Haywood Harris. Haywood was able to bring the legendary figures to life with his passionate descriptions of the men that built and structured Tennessee Football. With a voice only matched by his friend Gus Manning he was able to keep me on the edge of my seat and started for me what has been a love affair of The Tennessee Vols for my entire adult life. Haywood could light up the past as well as brighten any gathering of the present. As I have listened to Haywood describe the legends of years gone by I have come to realize that I have known one of the all time greats up close and personal! I will miss my mentor and friend! I thank God I have had the opportunity to know gentlemen like Haywood Harris, I am a better person for that privilege.

Kerry Tharp, Former Graduate Assistant SID and NASCAR Media Relations Director

Of all the people who have impacted me the most professionally, I’d have to say Haywood Harris ranks right at the top. I was about to graduate from Western Kentucky University in 1979 and knew I wanted to work in sports, but I wasn’t exactly sure what path I wanted to take. I remember hearing that if I wanted to learn from a real pro, I should go to graduate school at the University of Tennessee and work in their sports information office, because “Haywood Harris was the best in the business.” That might have been the best advice I ever got, because believe me, Haywood was the best in the business.

Haywood knew how to treat people and he knew how to put people at ease. He had a calming influence and in the public relations profession, that is a priceless quality to have. I often have told people that if there was an explosion outside the Stokely Center, Haywood would be the best person you could have to keep the situation under control. In all the years I’ve known him, I never once saw him lose his cool.

While I only worked directly with Haywood for the two years I was in graduate school at UT, I took with me all the life lessons and professional characteristics that he taught me for the rest of my life. I can honestly say, that if it wasn’t for Haywood and Bud Ford, I wouldn’t be where I am today, professionally. The Good Lord has blessed me for sure, and He blessed me by having the opportunity to cross paths with Haywood. I consider Haywood a mentor, a friend and a real-life example of how you handle situations, especially when the going gets tough.

Finally, the loyalty and love he had for his alma mater, the University of Tennessee, are attributes that we all should learn from. The Big Orange was lucky to have someone like Haywood around for all these years and his passing will leave a huge void in Vol athletics. Thanks, Haywood for all you did for me.

Bill Higdon, Former Associate Athletic Director, Game Management

Haywood and I have spent many hours jogging and walking the campus of the University of Tennessee. Approximately and hour and a half each Monday through Friday for 34 years amounts to a lot of time together and gives you an opportunity to really get to know someone.

It did not take long to know that Haywood had a sense of humor that none of my friends could match. Many times he has stopped me in my tracks after he had said something funny. You name the, basketball, politics, women, religion, money. Whatever the subject, he had an opinion and usually it was hilarious. He never lost his sense of humor even during his illness.

More importantly, Haywood was the most honest person I have ever met. Many times he expressed to me the importance of “just do what is right.” He never wanted to offend anyone and, if he did, he certainly felt badly about it.

Lastly, he was a gentleman. He treated people the right way. Many times he was late for our work outs only to say “I could not be rude to the caller” or “someone stopped me to talk and I could not be rude.”

Haywood was my hero!

Bill Petty, Knoxville Attorney, Press Box Statistician, and Friend

Haywood was a Christian and a gentleman in every thought and action. We met in 1961 after he was appointed Director of Sports Information for the athletics department at The University of Tennessee while I was a student there. From that time until the present, I have known no one who was more respected and admired than he – by his family, his close friends, his co-workers, and those with whom he came in contact through the years. Never prideful but with every justification to be so, he built a reputation for excellence in the Sports Information Office at UT that can be considered the “gold standard” for other colleges and universities. He remained objective and fair in all situations. Never once have I known him to lose his temper or be a cause for conflict in his dealings with others. Without a doubt, U.T. has lost a loyal supporter and knowledgeable voice that cannot be replaced nor duplicated.

Haywood and I shared many interests including baseball. Together we saw games at Fenway Park, Forbes Field, Wrigley Field, Great American Ballpark, Busch Stadium, Miller Field and Fulton County Stadium. Last July in Milwaukee, I had gone to park the car and Haywood waited in the hotel lobby. A fellow walked by him and asked, “Where are you from, young man? (Haywood was 79 at the time.) Haywood responded, “Knoxville, Tennessee.” The old man replied, “I am from Beverly Hills, California.” It was Ernest Borgnine (who was 93)! We shared many good times on those trips.

Haywood was a loyal friend and faithful to a fault. His was a life well-lived. Personally, I am blessed to have called him my friend.

Sandra Ford, Friend

Bud and I have been married for 40 years and Haywood was in our wedding. Since 1970 he has been a part of my daily life. He was my partner in crime – we loved to eat at the Waffle House and visit the Dairy Queen on many of our trips to various sporting events. Life was always fun spent with Haywood. He is a Tennessee legend and I loved him dearly and will miss him so much!

Bud Ford, UT Associate Athletic Director, Media Relations

I have been privileged to work under one of the most respected men in the sports information field and also be apart of a time in collegiate sports history that will most likely never occur again. Since 1950 the job of the Sports Information Director and promoting men’s sports has been held by a graduate of the University of Tennessee. Lindsey Nelson, 1950, Gus Manning, 1951-1960, and Haywood Harris, 1961-2000. If you add in the 10 years I have been privileged to serve in that position, that is a total of 60 years at one school by alumni who totally dedicated themselves to their University in every way.

I will always have a huge void in my life without Haywood. Since I was a student assistant beginning in the fall of 1964 until this day Haywood has been a sustaining part of my life as a constant friend and mentor to me in many ways. No one could have asked for a better role model than Haywood. It’s tough to put my feelings about him into words---that was his specialty.

Tom Mattingly, UT Sports Information Office (1987-2005), blogger and columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel (2007-present)

“To a good man no evil can come either in life or after death.”

Socrates wrote that a long time ago and could have been describing Haywood Harris. Haywood was a “professional’s professional,” blessed with the innate ability to say and do exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. All of us who worked with him through the years learned a great many valuable lessons from him, the greatest of which are the value of personal loyalty and the ability to communicate whatever stories we were writing or telling in a way that made complete sense to those who read or heard it. There were no wasted words for Haywood, either orally or on the printed page. When Haywood Harris wrote or spoke, thoughtful people paid attention.

Todd Sandstedt, FBI Agent, Friend, “Breakfast Bunch” member

Burnt Toast…Bacon…Jelly. The next time I walk into Grandpas Café in Berthoud, Colorado, I will place that order in honor of my dear friend, Haywood Harris. Haywood Harris defined the 14 years my family and I spent in Knoxville. From the moment I met him in his office at the University of Tennessee, Haywood shaped and molded my life in ways I could never have imagined. As much as I knew of Haywood the professional (his reputation reached all the way to the University of Colorado where I worked in the Sports Information Office as a student), it was his character that has provided me with the most valuable of lessons. The husband, the father, the grandfather, the loyal and trusted friend, the Christian, the gentleman, the CONSERVATIVE political force, these are the things that I treasure about Haywood. I will always remember the night that I attended a football game with Haywood at Oak Ridge High School. You would have thought I was attending a game with the President of the United States. I stepped back next to my friend, Bill Petty, folded my arms and watched as a steady stream of fans came out of their seats to greet and thank Haywood for his service to Tennessee. I am thankful for that memory for it demonstrated how appreciative Tennessee people are and how important this humble and noble man was to them. Most of all, I am thankful that my Tennessee born sons met and knew Haywood for he symbolizes everything that is good about their home and is an example of the type of person they should aspire to be.

Don Ferguson, Friend

Haywood and I have been friends since the mid-1950s, when he was a sportswriter and I was a news reporter, and we’ve always had an interest in grammar and the use of the English language. He and I were teaching a grammar course through UT’s non-credit department about 10 years ago when the director proposed that Haywood teach a class about the UT football program. He said he would if I would help him do it. I’m a football fan, which is about the extent of my football knowledge, but I reluctantly agreed. Our first session of “Big Orange Football and More” in 2001 had about 12 enrollees. Attendance grew each year, and for the past three seasons, more than 100 fans enrolled. The course annually attracted more people than any other non-credit class; all because Haywood, through his friendship with the UT football staff and their fondness for him, was able get various ones of them year after year to speak to the class. Just a few weeks ago he told me he thought it was time for us to start making plans for what would have been our 10th session this season.

Tim Hix, Former SID Student Assistant, Associate SID, University of Georgia

It’s been almost 30 years since I last reported for work at the UT Athletic Department. Why is it that I still catch myself doing and saying things I learned there? To answer that question, I just say “Thanks, Haywood.” From our very first encounter, the learning process began. Your charm and humor totally disarmed me and dispelled whatever fears I had of making a good impression. Thereafter, you taught me how to write sports, to set high standards for myself, to handle my business with grace and, above all, to see the funny side of life. The writing part, though, stands out above all else. Every time I’ve ever written a book, a news release, a season outlook or a player’s biography, there’s been a little piece of Haywood that has gone into it. What a blessing you have been to me! Thanks again, Haywood.

Langston Rogers, Associate Athletic Director, Media Relations, Ole Miss Rebels

I have so many fond memories of Haywood that I continue to hold dear. Although I had met him years ago during a CoSIDA workshop in Chicago, it was not until 1981 when I went to work at Ole Miss that I really came to know the person that so many in our profession admired and wanted to emulate. That was during the days when we would “advance” road games, which provided an opportunity to really spend quality time together. I cherish those moments and am so appreciative of our friendship that continued to grown with each passing year. His gentle smile and encouraging words provided strength to meet the challenges we all face on a daily basis. Haywood touched so many lives and he has left a legacy of excellence which will continue to be felt by those who were fortunate to have known him.

Claude Felton, Associate Athletic Director and Media Relations Director, University of Georgia

Haywood was a mentor from my first days at Georgia. He was a legend and I sought his advice on many occasions in my early years. I was pleased when he once said to my athletic director in referring to me, “He’s a good ole boy.” And I am proud to say that I am the longest continuous-running guest on the nation’s longest continuous-running sports radio show—The Locker Room. The annual invitation from Haywood and Gus to appear on the program has been a highlight of the last 31 years. Haywood was always generous in giving me a raise every year for appearing on the show. “I’m going to give you a 10 percent raise over what we paid you last year,” he would say. Somehow, 10 percent of zero always came out to be “zero.” I told Haywood many times over the years that the two greatest experiences in my career were winning the 1980 national football championships and appearing on The Locker Room.

Coach Bill and Theresa Wright, former UT Baseball Coach and Friends

Theresa and I will always remember the fun trips we took with Haywood and Carolyn, especially the trip to Hawaii. One minute we would be talking and the next Haywood would be taking a 15 minute snooze from which he would awaken and be ready to go. Although we knew each other before UT, we arrived there about the same time and soon became friends. Later, Theresa, my wife, and Carolyn became friends and we did many things together. We will always cherish those times we spent together, and, after I retired, following Haywood in his efforts to research UT football history.

Pat Summitt, Lady Vols Head Basketball Coach

“The University of Tennessee has lost an irreplaceable treasure in the passing of Haywood Harris. Haywood’s knowledge of UT athletics history and his service to the university for almost five decades was truly amazing. Personally, I always appreciated his support of the Lady Vol basketball program and his love for all of the student-athletes wearing the Orange and White.”

Debbie Jennings, Associate Athletic Director, Media Relations, Lady Vols

When I decided to enter the sports information field in 1977, it was Haywood Harris who helped to guide me. “Deborah, he said, always remember that you are responsible for chronicling history.” I took his advice to heart and those words (and my responsibility) have stuck with me for over 30 years.

David Housel, Auburn Sports Information Director, 1981-94; Athletic Director, 1994-2005

“The person of a man may go, but the best part of him stays forever...”

When I think of Tennessee, I think of Davy Crockett and Haywood Harris, both good Volunteers. To hundreds, maybe even thousands, of media all across the country, Haywood Harris was Tennessee, more so than all the great coaches and athletes who have worn the Big Orange. Coaches and athletes come and go; it seemed that Haywood would remain forever. He was the gateway to Tennessee athletics, and Tennessee could not have had a better gate keeper and doorman.

Like so many others, I am blessed and fortunate to have had Haywood Harris as my mentor and friend. I never heard him cuss, not like the rest of us. There were plenty of “Gosh-Dang-Its…” along the way, but nothing more. He was a gentlemen and a competitor in the truest, finest sense of the word.

The Locker Room and Rankin’s, even though it will continue to serve, as Haywood called it, “fresh country ham” on game day will never the same. And neither will Tennessee…A patriot is no more…”

Buddy Davidson, Former Auburn University Sports Information Director

Haywood Harris was always the consummate professional among the sports information directors. He was a pioneer, an innovator and a loyal ambassador for Tennessee athletics his entire life. His character, wisdom and humor helped shape the image and direction of UT athletics for decades. He made all of us who knew and worked with him better at our jobs and in our personal lives.

Roy Kramer, Former Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference

Haywood Harris will always endure as a solid brick in the foundation of the Tennessee Athletic Department. His talent as a great sports writer is well documented but it was his gift for telling the story with a very passionate human interest that set him apart from most in his field. Saturday afternoon in the press box was his stage. No one was more exhilarated in victory or gracious in defeat. He loved the game but far more, he loved those who played and coached the game. It was his passionate interest in those players from Lauricella to Hardesty, not only while they were wearing the orange but long after they left the campus, that was the signature of this man. He will be long and fondly remembered as a true friend by the writers and sports information staff members in every press box across the Southeastern Conference.

Bruce Pearl, Vols Head Basketball Coach

He had seen it all! Haywood has seen a whole bunch of guys like me come through the University of Tennessee. And his endearing presence and personality has been a big part of why this university--and this community--is such a special place. I wish I’d known him longer.

From a basketball standpoint, all he wanted was for our team to be competitive again. He earned my respect very early on. He offered great advice without pushing, and I always appreciated that. I really enjoyed our Q&A sessions. He did his research and asked tremendous questions--and he was kind enough to phrase them in such a way that I could usually knock them right out of the park. And he did it all with a smile we will never forget.

He saw some great moments in Tennessee basketball history from his spot at the scorer’s table. And I’m glad he got to see us go deep in the NCAA Tournament….. betcha he liked that.

Steve Early, General Manager, Vol Network - IMG/College

“Haywood Harris and the University of Tennessee are inseparable. The world will never know a more gracious or compelling personality with a deeper passion for his Vols. No matter how big of a win or how disappointing of a loss, Haywood always had the right words. A pure artist with a keen sense of history and humor, five minutes with Haywood were guaranteed to make your day. There was only one Haywood Harris, and the Vols’ had him.

The coming years are sure to bring an abundance of new and exciting stories for the Volunteer faithful. If only Haywood could be here to tell them. His words, conveyed through such charm and that lightning-fast wit, can never be duplicated.

The University of Tennessee without Haywood Harris. .. There are no words.”

Ben Byrd, Former Knoxville Journal Sports Editor, Friend

In his case, just the name is enough. Just mention Haywood Harris in the college sports community and the image falls into place. The ultimate Good Guy. Straight Arrow, a Friend in Need. And yet, when this modest, unpretentious man faced a rough end, he lashed himself to the mast like a brave captain going down with the ship. Counting back to 1947, when we were both raw newspaper rookies at the old Knoxville Journal, he and I enjoyed sixty-three years of wonderful friendship. I only wish we had sixty-three more.

Charlie Fiss, V/P Communications, Cotton Bowl

Haywood Harris was the ultimate friend, mentor and advisor. Anyone who had the good fortune to know him won the big prize.

His passion was the University of Tennessee. Each and every day, Haywood always thought Tennessee first and how he could best represent and promote his alma mater.

However, his influence didn’t stop at the Tennessee border. His larger than life persona could be felt throughout the world of college athletics. He always stood ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed his special touch.

No doubt, we will miss him. But, Haywood Harris taught us well. Everyone has a special memory of Haywood and those memories will continue to guide and inspire us all.”

Mike Hamilton, Men’s Athletic Director, UT

Haywood Harris was one of the finest people I have ever known. He was a true Tennessee legend. Intercollegiate athletics’ most storied programs have “characters” and he was one of those. Haywood made friends across generations, entertained us through his words and deeds as well as his relationship with Gus. He insisted on calling me “Coach” and each year wanted to renegotiate his “contract” as if he needed to have that conversation. He made our lives richer through his friendship and his presence. He will be incredibly missed.

Glenn Thackston, Executive Producer, Vol Network – IMG/College

The only thing that was better than reading prose written by Haywood Harris was having the blessed fortune of being in his company. Being with Haywood for any length of time was pure Camelot. When you were in his presence, it was a vacation from the rest of the world. Beside the words gentleman, class and wit in the dictionary you’ll find the name Haywood Harris beside it. He was as distinctive and unique as his wonderful name suggests. Haywood enjoyed life and found humor while being a master at his various professions. He did so with a distinguished grace that was totally mesmerizing. Those of us who had the fortune to work under his tutelage will always proudly wear that badge. He was as famous, loved and revered in circles outside Tennessee as he was inside it.

I never saw him or Gus Manning act any differently after a big Tennessee win or a devastating loss. They were always the same and it frustrated me a bit earlier in my life, but it was a quality that I came to admire both of them for tremendously. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we all loved to imitate Haywood’s lines and his wonderful dialect. The phrase “Hey Boy” became an endearing term that many of us still use to this day. I came walking in his darkened office during the middle of the day and was startled to find him restfully reclined on the couch for his daily nap with his arms crossed like a vampire. What a much better and more productive place the world would be if we all took a little afternoon siesta. Some of my fondest memories of college were using Haywood and Carolyn Jo’s cabin in Walland as home base for our tubing adventures down the Little River. They were always wonderful and inviting hosts and we could sit on the back porch and talk to them forever. I will remember him almost falling out of the side door of the UT sports information van headed to the stadium one Friday fall afternoon and uttering the immortal phase “Oh God In Heaven No!” as he hung on like a Hollywood stuntman before he was safely retrieved inside. I will never forget the career advice he once gave me of “if you stick around long enough they start looking at you like a piece of the furniture”. I remember his inspiring, fist-pumping love for Tennessee’s true fight song “Fight Vols Fight!” My wife and I met while working for Haywood and Bud and we will forever be grateful for that piece of matchmaking.

I remember the long-standing and running joke we had about Gus and Haywood coming on and joining the Vol Network. I am so thankful that, that joke finally became a reality that they became the first feature that listeners heard on the “Kickoff Call-In Show”. Also in recent years, the lunch club Steve Early and I shared with that dynamic duo was the highlight of our social calendar when it came around. There was always the debate of who paid last. While riding in a car, I have never seen anybody be able to fall asleep in mid-conversation so effortless and then resume the conversation without missing a beat upon awaking a few minutes later.

Haywood always made people laugh and enjoy life – even towards the end when his body was failing him. What a great tribute for a man. His was truly a treasured character from a member of this nation’s greatest generation. He was funny even when he wasn’t trying to be funny. Steve Early and I valued his voice mails so much that we taped and recorded them off our phones. They were just too entertaining and valuable to simply delete. I wouldn’t take all the money in the world for those tapes.

We will all forever be “Haywood’s Boys”…The Good Lord up above is getting the best publicity man in the business.

Mark Dyer, Former SID Student Assistant, Sr. V/P IMG/College

Haywood Harris was considered by many to be the best SID in collegiate sports. He had the rare combination of intelligence and wisdom, and a great sense of humor. The University of Tennessee has lost one of its greatest ambassadors. He loved his university, his town and his state. His family and those of us lucky enough to call him a friend can attest to his love and loyalty. And, he was fun. Fun to talk to, play golf with, and join for Saturday morning breakfasts. We have all lost a true Tennessee treasure.

J. D. Rutledge, Former SID Student Assistant, Account Mgr., EBSCO Media

Haywood Harris was one of the people who most influenced my life. He taught me the meaning of honesty, of loyalty, of friendship and of integrity. His greatness was displayed the way he treated everyone with the same aplomb. I don’t know, besides Bud Ford, if there was a man who most influenced my professional life more than Haywood Harris. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I remember all the great times at Tennessee. I remember the first time I met Haywood and Bud in the sports information office. I recall my first picture day in 1977 when as a fat little high school graduate Haywood took me under his wing in 90-plus degree weather and made me feel part of something special. I remember the “Cigarette ashes, cigarette butts” cheer we would recite before every home football game. I remember through all the wins and the losses Haywood was ever the professional. Of course the wins were always better…

And I can confidently say Haywood Harris was the consummate winner in every area of his life.

Wallace McClure, McClure Realty and Friend

Haywood and I have been friends for 65 years, since Knoxville High School and continuing at UT, church, roommates, golf, tennis, running, press row, press box, West Knox Republican Club, real estate showings, construction of his home and other activities. In the field of journalism and the use of the English language, Haywood excelled and had no peer. His images and unique examples for explanation were flawless. Whenever I could not spell a word, even after searching the pages of the dictionary, I would call Haywood, who always would correctly pronounce the word, spell the word, and have me locate the word in the dictionary for verification. Haywood will not be equaled.

Andy Rochelle, Dogwood Realty and Friend

Haywood to me was definitely a character. We shared so many good times and laughs. He was the funniest person I ever met. He had so much integrity as a man and he was the most genuine person I ever met. Trying to put into a few words all that Haywood was to me is quite a challenge, because he was so much. He was a father figure to me, whom I loved like a brother, looked up to as a real life hero, and was my best friend. We kept a competitive spirit whether it was who could walk longer, or who knew the most sports trivia. (I never could beat him at that one) Nor could Gus out argue Haywood about politics.

I am glad to have the opportunity to share with others what I told Haywood many times during our walks and trips together. I told him how much I loved him and what he meant to me. From day one Haywood and his family treated me as one of their own. Watching the love and care that Grandma Carolyn, Jimmy and the family showed him in his final days was heartbreaking but beautiful. I would like to give them my thanks for allowing me to be part of the sad goodbye. Haywood looked over all of Neyland Stadium and its many fans from the press box many times. I have no doubt that today he is looking over all of us, and has the best seat in the house. Knowing that he has been welcomed into Heaven and is now in the arms of God brings blessed peace.

Josh Battle, Former SID Student Assistant

I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to know Haywood and always found it remarkable that he never failed recognize me and call me by name when I would see him in the office, the hallway or at a game. I will always remember him as a man who brought a joyful mood and laughter with him wherever he went.

Carmen Tegano, UT Associate Athletic Director

If Stephen Spielberg were directing a movie and casting for a southern gentleman his first choice would be Haywood Harris. He is the ONLY man I could not say a cuss word in his presence.

© 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Related Stories

Comments » 3

prideofthesouthland writes:

On a Hallowed hill in Tennessee
Like Beacon shining bright
The stately walls of old U.T.
Rise glorious to the sight.

So here's to you old Tennessee,
Our Alma Mater true
We pledge in love and harmony
Our loyalty to you.

What torches kindled at that flame
Have passed from hand to hand
What hearts cemented in that name
Bind land to stranger land.

O, ever as we strive to rise
On life's unresting stream
Dear Alma Mater, may our eyes
Be lifted to that gleam.

R.I.P. Haywood Harris

Ralph_Crampton writes:

The death of Heywood Harris means that the few still remaining are getting to ne fewer and fewer that actually knew and saw Gen. Neyland in person. Neyland, in my opinion was the Grandmaster of coaches. Neyland could spot talent whether in football or any other field...Harris was his pick for sports information director...and he could not have found a better one. So long, Haywood, God rest your soul.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

And Ralph Crampton, Haywood was Neyland's last hire as athletic director. So besides a few players, this direct link is now gone.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.