Quite a year it's been for University of Tennessee sports and primarily not in a good way.
Here's a look at the top 10 UT stories not involving football or basketball:
1. Baseball Changes: Todd Raleigh was fired on May 23, his four-year record 108-113. Dave Serrano was hired June 15, exciting a fan base with his history or guiding both Fullerton and Cal-Irvine to the College World Series.
2. The Merger: A sidebar to Mike Hamilton's resignation as men's athletic director in June was the official word that the men's and women's athletic departments are merging and Joan Cronan, women's AD, is retiring. New AD Dave Hart heads a combined department as UT gets in step with virtually every other college athletic department.
3. Track Controversy: Track and field, already merged, had a rocky summer when director J.J. Clark fired two men's assistant coaches, one of them longtime aide and former Vol runner George Watts. A number of men's track alumni went public with criticism of Clark's stewardship. To make matters worse, the men's best young athlete, sprinter Derrick Locke, transferred.
4. Men's Tennis: Another banner year for Sam Winterbotham's men on the tennis courts. The Vols were briefly ranked No. 1, were SEC co-champs and made it to the NCAA semifinals. Senior J.P. Smith was the SEC tennis player of the year and the SEC male athlete of the year. Sophomore Rhyne Williams at one point held the No. 1 ranking, advanced to the NCAA singles title match and then turned pro.
5. Volleyball Title: The Lady Vols won the SEC regular-season title outright, clinching with a dramatic win over Kentucky on the final day. Sophomore Kelsey Robinson was named SEC player of the year, Rob Patrick the coach of the year and Mary Pollmiller the freshman of the year. The freshman-and-sophomore-dominated Lady Vols fell in the second round of the
NCAA tournament, finished 28-4 and ranked No. 19.
6. Kelly To Texas: Soccer coach Angela Kelly left for Texas after 12 years in which she took the program from fledgling status to a SEC contender. Kelly was a three-time SEC coach of the year. Her final team lost its NCAA tournament opener to Ohio State.
7. Hendee Dies: Long-time men's swimming assistant coach Joe Hendee lost his battle with brain cancer in April. Hendee was an inspiration both to the swimmers he coached and everyone in the athletic department. His boss, John Trembley, was named SEC coach of the year.
8. Softball Falls Short: As usual, Tennessee was among the nation's elite programs in softball. The Lady Vols began the season No. 4 and reached as high as No. 3, winning the SEC tournament behind first-team All-SEC hitters Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson. The goal of a College World Series was missed, however, when the Lady Vols were upset by Oklahoma State in NCAA regional at Lee Stadium.
9. Popson's Titles: Lady Vols golfer Erica Popson had a year to remember. She won three tournaments — the Bryan Invitational, the SEC and the NCAA West Region. She cooled off in the NCAA tournament, finishing 14th, but was a first-team All-American.
10. Connolly Is Golden: Jenny Connolly enjoyed a terrific year swimming for the Lady Vols, and one especially golden day. She won three events in one day at the SEC meet, the 100 fly, the 100 back and a leg of the 400 MR. In August Connolly won gold and silver for the USA at the World University Games in China.