Newest additions to coaching staff talk about Tennessee's tradition, appeal

The recent history might not be all that memorable.

But for the six new faces on Derek Dooley's coaching staff with a broader view of the past, the tradition and potential at Tennessee clearly is still in the front of their minds.

Each of them, along with the three holdovers for the Vols, met with the media on Wednesday morning at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex. And in a practice facility lined with banners, the recent hires in particular had some handy supporting evidence as to why a job offer from the program still carries so much appeal.

"I’m excited, I’m really excited," new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri said. "I just know in the history of Tennessee, they’ve won a lot of SEC championships, they’ve won national championships.

"There’s great tradition here."

One after another, the guys now in charge of restoring it at UT made reference to what the schools has accomplished in the past and its place in the college football landscape.

And even given the rough stretch over the last few years and a 5-7 campaign that helped produce the job openings for Sunseri and five others, there doesn't appear to be much doubt that there are still plenty of believers out there who think the Vols can get back to that level.

"Well, this is Tennessee," offensive line coach Sam Pittman said. "It's pretty self-explanatory."

For more explanations from the new Vols coaches after their meetings with the media, check back to http://www.govolsxtra.com or follow @Vols_Beat on Twitter

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 67

IndyVolFan writes:

Queue the Negative Nancys.

voloffaith writes:

The Negative ninnies will probably write them individual letters to explain the woeful situation at hand.

On topic,glad they are upbeat despite recent program setbacks.....

NashvillePreds writes:

Yes, Tennessee has great tradition.
Yes, Tennessee has the ability to win it all.
However, I am agitated by the constant reference to the past, given the results of the present.
We haven't won the SEC since I was in high school.
Quit talking about the past, CONSTANTLY, and get it done in the here and now.
I, for one, am not convinced we have the pieces in place to accomplish the goal.
We'll know soon enough...

givehim6 writes:

I think to get back to were UT was this house cleaning neaded to be done. Is one more needed? many think yes, I say I am not a CDD lover but a UT lover If 2012 is the year I can live with the guy if he can learn to win. But if not lets get the guys in to put UT back. I think Hart can do this. GO VOLS!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure about "all" but that seems to be Austin's point of view (either that or they are all quitters).

Ironcity writes:

I think we all take whats written to literally. I doubt any coach is going to say I am here because this was the best I could do on short notice. Bottom line everyone who is new is happy to have a great paying job and every coach knows that the best way to keep the job is to win. I hope Dooley succeeds but am not sure he will. That said by September I know I will be drinking the koolaid like I always do come the start of the season.

DiegoVol writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Yes, Tennessee has great tradition.
Yes, Tennessee has the ability to win it all.
However, I am agitated by the constant reference to the past, given the results of the present.
We haven't won the SEC since I was in high school.
Quit talking about the past, CONSTANTLY, and get it done in the here and now.
I, for one, am not convinced we have the pieces in place to accomplish the goal.
We'll know soon enough...

Now that we know your age, I understand where the impatience comes from. Rome wasn't built in a day. Just like most of the youth today, The "I want it and I want it now" Doesn't work in the real world.

RockVegas writes:

I Love The University of Tennessee,but I'm like everybody else it's time to stop talking,and make it happen.We got this,we got that,the history,all the things that's happened in the past.Ok I get,but it's time to start winning some ball games.We need to start back getting the Best Players too.This is the third season,no more how young of a football team we are.Everybody else wins with young players,and when they become upper classmen they can't be beat at all.I respect the coaches for going other places if it's better for them,but I know some left because they couldn't coach in the S.E.C. and win.If we go another direction after this season we need to break the bank,it seems to work for everybody else,and they seem to enjoy every minute of it.I just think we need to start thinking future a lil more,if we start winning now it will be easy to get these players to come to the hill,Trust Me...GBO.

easleychuck writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Huh?

volfanz writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then why are you even posting on here?.....If UT is dead, why are you even bothering?

kyvol98 writes:

Blah blah blah Doolaid. Blah blah blah 5-7. Blah blah blah Doolaid..... Blah blah blah

Just being our buddy's proxy poster

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to DiegoVol:

Now that we know your age, I understand where the impatience comes from. Rome wasn't built in a day. Just like most of the youth today, The "I want it and I want it now" Doesn't work in the real world.

Thank you for the pretentious response.
However, I have been in the "real world" for some time now.
If the "real world" has taught me anything, it is that we live in a results driven society.
As far as "Rome being built in a day," how about 14 years?

witcherjk10 writes:

in response to DiegoVol:

Now that we know your age, I understand where the impatience comes from. Rome wasn't built in a day. Just like most of the youth today, The "I want it and I want it now" Doesn't work in the real world.

You do realize our last conference title was in 1998, right? I agree we should give Dooley time to build the program back up, but 14 years w/o an SEC title is inexcusable given the talent and resources at our disposal. Your reply illustrates NashvillePreds' point

voloffaith writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Walt GO..............

On topic, back who is here and if job is poor 'Ya got to have' Hart will do his job and replace the appropriate parties....

Couchdummy writes:

No offense to KNS, but the title told the entire story of the 2 quotes from the coaches. Not a very newsworthy article.

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Thank you for the pretentious response.
However, I have been in the "real world" for some time now.
If the "real world" has taught me anything, it is that we live in a results driven society.
As far as "Rome being built in a day," how about 14 years?

just as it wasn't built in a day...neither was it destroyed in a day.

papavol writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad you feel that way, now go back home to Vandy.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Yes, Tennessee has great tradition.
Yes, Tennessee has the ability to win it all.
However, I am agitated by the constant reference to the past, given the results of the present.
We haven't won the SEC since I was in high school.
Quit talking about the past, CONSTANTLY, and get it done in the here and now.
I, for one, am not convinced we have the pieces in place to accomplish the goal.
We'll know soon enough...

I agree that we should not focus on the past and look to the future. I will always remember our great years and players but as a fanbase we need to focus on our upcoming year and forget the last few years that were bad including our loss to the mildcats! Your post is confusing because you stated that we do have the ability to win it all yet contradicted yourself by saying that you are not convinced that we can accomplish the goal.It is really simple,you either support UT or not. I am thankful for DD and Hart for bringing in some great position coaches that do acknowledge our past success.UT will be a better team this year,what did you expect,overnight success? See you in Neyland! VFL

Vol43 writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Yes, Tennessee has great tradition.
Yes, Tennessee has the ability to win it all.
However, I am agitated by the constant reference to the past, given the results of the present.
We haven't won the SEC since I was in high school.
Quit talking about the past, CONSTANTLY, and get it done in the here and now.
I, for one, am not convinced we have the pieces in place to accomplish the goal.
We'll know soon enough...

Ever thought about being full time hockey and forget about UT football?

Vol43 writes:

in response to witcherjk10:

You do realize our last conference title was in 1998, right? I agree we should give Dooley time to build the program back up, but 14 years w/o an SEC title is inexcusable given the talent and resources at our disposal. Your reply illustrates NashvillePreds' point

So why don't you and your idiot friends make it happen. Because you can't and it's much more fun to complain. You better hope Dooley fails, but if he succeeds, I'll remember you.

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to Vol43:

Ever thought about being full time hockey and forget about UT football?

No.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Thank you for the pretentious response.
However, I have been in the "real world" for some time now.
If the "real world" has taught me anything, it is that we live in a results driven society.
As far as "Rome being built in a day," how about 14 years?

Actually, most would say that the 10 years after the 98 NC should have produced another NC. At least, looking at the number of players UT successfully placed in the NFL, with successful careers, one would think so. Also considering the classes we pulled in, we should have done better in that span. But after the complacency of FHCPF finally became too obvious, UT got rid of a 16 year coach. And it caused a lot of upheaval, plain and simple.

Personally I believe 2012 will be the first year that we can FINALLY say this team isn't still under the influence of that changeover. The roster is repaired, for the most part, with sufficient talent and depth. And we haven't had a coaching change in two years.

I think it's FINALLY time to start working on championships again, WITH Coach Dooley. This is the first year he has a real chance to compete with comparable talent and depth. I believe he will show some folks that they haven't been patient enough, or realistic enough during these past two years.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I must be honest, I don't even read your posts anymore. With that being said, whatever you babbled this time,.......YAWN......

milchkine writes:

If Coach Dooley has been in the dressing room he has read the maxims. They are on the wall. And I seriously doubt GRBR knows anyone in the Letterman's club, or their opinions.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to volfanz:

Then why are you even posting on here?.....If UT is dead, why are you even bothering?

He's a zombie

johnlg00 writes:

Funny how many people seem to be so unimpressed with all the new coaches saying they know and respect UT traditions, when so many of their predecessors, such as the guy now at USCw, were slammed on almost a daily basis for allegedly NOT knowing or caring about UT traditions. I agree that the new guys had better ALSO care about how they can get some wins, and soon, but after all many of us are UT fans because of what WE know about UT traditions. They are the things that keep us hopeful through the rough patches we have been experiencing in recent years.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You lost any little bit of credibility you might have had when you proclaimed that Kiffin was a good recruiter in a previous post. Considering that only 9 of his 22 TN recruits remain, and only 5 of those have made a real contribution, I'd say that you are done here.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to milchkine:

If Coach Dooley has been in the dressing room he has read the maxims. They are on the wall. And I seriously doubt GRBR knows anyone in the Letterman's club, or their opinions.

Oh, he may know some of those guys. It's just that when he launches off on one of his rants and the other guys say, "Yeah, yeah, we know; that's what you keep telling us", he thinks they are agreeing with him.

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to RockyTopUT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Professional Handicapper is NOT a UT fan. He is a Vandy fan who has vicarious enjoyment of UT's troubles at the moment. He likes to come on here and bash Dooley like he is for UT.

DiegoVol writes:

in response to witcherjk10:

You do realize our last conference title was in 1998, right? I agree we should give Dooley time to build the program back up, but 14 years w/o an SEC title is inexcusable given the talent and resources at our disposal. Your reply illustrates NashvillePreds' point

Actually, The point is, Dooley has no control of what he inherited. He inherited a team that was so depleted that no big time Coach even considered coming here. 2012 is the year to see what kind of coaching staff we have.

CroKev writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm a Letterman and I'm pleased for the most part with what he has done in the last 2 years because, unlike you, I know what he had to start with. I also listen to Lettermen like Peyton Manning, who also sing Dooley's praises. Should someone start a list of former lettermen who support Dooley or should we all just ignore you? I think I know the answer to that one...

tree_em_smokey writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I think we all take whats written to literally. I doubt any coach is going to say I am here because this was the best I could do on short notice. Bottom line everyone who is new is happy to have a great paying job and every coach knows that the best way to keep the job is to win. I hope Dooley succeeds but am not sure he will. That said by September I know I will be drinking the koolaid like I always do come the start of the season.

Im with you Ironcity! Stellar post! GBO!!!

martinvol34 writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Yes, Tennessee has great tradition.
Yes, Tennessee has the ability to win it all.
However, I am agitated by the constant reference to the past, given the results of the present.
We haven't won the SEC since I was in high school.
Quit talking about the past, CONSTANTLY, and get it done in the here and now.
I, for one, am not convinced we have the pieces in place to accomplish the goal.
We'll know soon enough...

From one who has the Nashville Predators still in his screen name.....uh, let's forget you exist negative ninny....

rtrchatt writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Considering you won 18 the last 3 yrs...oh well

pingkr62 writes:

in response to witcherjk10:

You do realize our last conference title was in 1998, right? I agree we should give Dooley time to build the program back up, but 14 years w/o an SEC title is inexcusable given the talent and resources at our disposal. Your reply illustrates NashvillePreds' point

14 years? That means Fulmer was there for 11 of those. I wonder why some people think Dooley, or any one else, could turn this team around in 3 years. Just seeing the big picture. G.B.O !!!

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to martinvol34:

From one who has the Nashville Predators still in his screen name.....uh, let's forget you exist negative ninny....

I assume you had a coherent thought in your head when you began typing. However, somewhere between your brain, & the keyboard, the thought was lost in translation.

jrobi124 writes:

Im tired of all you haters. CDD hasnt done everything right but one thing he is doing right is building a solid team with solid talent to fulfill the roster.If you think this was going to be a easy job for any other coach to come in and be more successful than you need to get your lips off the crack pipe. the Kentucky game hurts but our players that needed surgary got it and is able to heal quicker then if we went to some small bowl game. Our new DC will do lot better job then wilcox when you cant win a game against a team that did nothing but run the entire game that says alot. I know people dont want to hear about how young we are, yes team win with young players but not when the entire team is young. THE VOLS WILL WIN MORE GAMES THIS YEAR AND BE IN THE RUNNING FOR THE EAST. GO VOLS

beartn#223846 writes:

My only complaint is that this could have been a a much longer article. I would have liked to see quotes from all the coaches.

tovolny writes:

If anybody out there goes to Neyland Stadium to bask in the past traditions and barely cares how the present game is going, then you must be the jokers that sit around me on the West side (North) 25 yard line. The East side makes about 4 times more noise than the West side, but I am stuck on the scary quite West side. The people around me show up for a social event, talk about their children or politics, and often talk about how great things were when they were in school. They only clap or stand when most others do...and sometimes they don't even stand. I heard one woman ask her husband as we were walking out..."who won ,dear"...I swear this is true. These hotrods should just stay home like I will be doing next year. The tickets are getting so expensive, I can't afford to take my family anymore, so I have just decided to use the TV also. I used to buy two or three scalpers' tickets and give them away to kids hanging out around the stadium, but I just cannot do this anymore. The TIMES, they are a CHANGING.

VolGrad writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You talking about Texas or Utah?

tovolny writes:

in response to beartn#223846:

My only complaint is that this could have been a a much longer article. I would have liked to see quotes from all the coaches.

You are right, man. The headline was filled with promiss and the writer didn't really say anything. Seems like a last minute dead line, get something off,item. We can always go to the Atlanta paper or bleacherreport.com. We in Knoxville have the worst news coverage in the SEC...no wait, the Tennessean is actually worse. If you want to see how a newspaper site should be set up, visit buckeyextra.com of the Columbus Dispatch. Too bad, KNS can't use them as a blueprint. THANKS for your REMARK.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to DiegoVol:

Now that we know your age, I understand where the impatience comes from. Rome wasn't built in a day. Just like most of the youth today, The "I want it and I want it now" Doesn't work in the real world.

You took the words out of my mouth. Can't blame him for wanting to win but lets give them a chance.

Razzle writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SSDD

smokies_old_soul writes:

in response to givehim6:

I think to get back to were UT was this house cleaning neaded to be done. Is one more needed? many think yes, I say I am not a CDD lover but a UT lover If 2012 is the year I can live with the guy if he can learn to win. But if not lets get the guys in to put UT back. I think Hart can do this. GO VOLS!

you might be right on target - and dooley has to get better at being the CEO and leaving the details to the assistants - he has ignored big problems (player attitude) and focused on little things instead. he needs to send Da'rick home to Georgia and maybe Bray as well. bad chemistry kills a program.

it looks like Coach Sunseri has more of an SEC mindset than Wilcox did - this was foreign landscape for Wilcox. maybe he is better suited for the finesse type of defensive philosophy.

i greatly appreciate these coaches'awareness of our Pedigree - we are still the 2nd best program in the SEC over the long haul. that means something.

after all, This is Tennessee.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to volfanz:

Then why are you even posting on here?.....If UT is dead, why are you even bothering?

because MerlNotVol and Red Beans are instigating, pot stirring Vol haters

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Posers and trolls will always hate everything Tennessee.

They have no real life which is why they post their hate every single day.

Their REAL issue is that they're NOT UT fans but are fans of other teams and they know CDD is rebuilding our program the right ways so it's their FEAR of Tennessee returning to greatness and beating the phooey out of their teams most every year that controls them.

When CDD had the courage, that no other coach had, to come to UT our football program was so totally destroyed and lacked many players to even fill the roster that I believed it would take 5 or 6 years to get us back on track and back to a decent recruiting rotation.

I think CDD is a little ahead of the game and the time CDD was here I didn't believe we could win more than 4 or 5 games a year with what little he had to work with.

I knew his 1st coaching staff was thrown together very fast and he was forced to take the best of what small amount of coaches would even come to UT for a 100% total rebuild oif a devastated program.

Now CDD and AD Hart have had some time to talk to some coaches they really wanted and I think this staff is far better than what we had both as teachers/coaches and much better as recruiters.

We're only 2 years in to what I thought would be a 5 to 6 year process and I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I like what CDD is doing and the ways he's doing them and all you losers. trolls, posers and NEG-a-Vols can shut up and support our Tennessee Vols or go elsewhere and be a bandwagon fan of a nobody team.

You people are simply LOSERS and nothing more and always have been.

It's a PROVEN fact from many studies that negative minded people are always LOSERS so perhaps some Psychiatric/motivational help is what you people need to seek as early as tomorrow.

VFL...GBO!!!

TheVolSnake writes:

2012 Schedule and what I think:

09/01/12 vs. North Carolina State Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Ga.) TBA (Should be a Win)

09/08/12 vs. Georgia State Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

09/15/12 vs. Florida * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Toss Up) Gatos are on the way down and Vols on the way Up, edge to Vol’s playing at Home.

09/22/12 vs. Akron Knoxville, Tenn. (Should be a Win)

TBA 09/29/12 at Georgia * Athens, Ga. (Toss Up) for some unknown reason the Bulldogs have problems with the Vols

TBA 10/13/12 at Mississippi State * Starkville, Miss. TBA (Toss Up) By this time of the year we will really be able to see what both teams have but at this time unknown.

10/20/12 vs. Alabama * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Loss, defending champs and pre season #1)

10/27/12 at South Carolina * Columbia, S.C. TBA (Toss Up) By this time of the year we will really be able to see what both teams have but at this time unknown.

11/03/12 vs. Troy Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

11/10/12 vs. Missouri * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

11/17/12 at Vanderbilt * Nashville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

11/24/12 vs. Kentucky * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

End results not counting Bowl game:

7-5 Very Strong possibility even if we have injuries

8-4 very likely

9-3 possible but will need to stay healthy and other teams have issues for once

10-2 Would have to win 3 of the 4 toss ups

11-1 Very unlikely would have to be very lucky and stay completely healthy all year long, the new coaches would have to instill a lot of sound techniques and the Vols will have to play basically mistake free

Vol43 writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's funny. Afraid someone will jump on you? Poor baby.

junkball10 writes:

I've been reading this page for some time now and sometimes just can't believe how many of you folks are just a bunch of sniffling sissies. You don't have any sense of realism. General Neyland, Bear Bryant, nor any other coach would have faired much better the last couple of years. I'm sure you nay sayers were probably #1 in your company or industry the first couple of years on the job. If not, you ought to be fired by your "logic". I've been a Vol fan my entire life and always thought we had more class than fans I've encountered at other schools. I see now that's simply not the case. How's all this hope and change working out for you since Coach Fulmer was run out of town? About like the hope and change promised by Obama I bet. Go Vols!

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

2012 Schedule and what I think:

09/01/12 vs. North Carolina State Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Ga.) TBA (Should be a Win)

09/08/12 vs. Georgia State Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

09/15/12 vs. Florida * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Toss Up) Gatos are on the way down and Vols on the way Up, edge to Vol’s playing at Home.

09/22/12 vs. Akron Knoxville, Tenn. (Should be a Win)

TBA 09/29/12 at Georgia * Athens, Ga. (Toss Up) for some unknown reason the Bulldogs have problems with the Vols

TBA 10/13/12 at Mississippi State * Starkville, Miss. TBA (Toss Up) By this time of the year we will really be able to see what both teams have but at this time unknown.

10/20/12 vs. Alabama * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Loss, defending champs and pre season #1)

10/27/12 at South Carolina * Columbia, S.C. TBA (Toss Up) By this time of the year we will really be able to see what both teams have but at this time unknown.

11/03/12 vs. Troy Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

11/10/12 vs. Missouri * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

11/17/12 at Vanderbilt * Nashville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

11/24/12 vs. Kentucky * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA (Should be a Win)

End results not counting Bowl game:

7-5 Very Strong possibility even if we have injuries

8-4 very likely

9-3 possible but will need to stay healthy and other teams have issues for once

10-2 Would have to win 3 of the 4 toss ups

11-1 Very unlikely would have to be very lucky and stay completely healthy all year long, the new coaches would have to instill a lot of sound techniques and the Vols will have to play basically mistake free

Too much shoulda, coulda, woulda the last several years. True test is 1st game this year against someone other than UT Martin, w.ky or montana. We have not done well against acc teams in a long while so the 1st game will be very telling. Loss to ukitten and OT wins against them and sandy last few years tell the story, not to mention countless blowouts to ua, arky, and lspeeu.

In Dec 11 we were on the bottom looking up at everyone else in the SEC. After bringing in new talent (yes young, inexperienced but that is not going to work for an excuse this year), key injured players back, and hopefully a new attitude from what we saw in the last game, we can do much better and start righting this ship.

If most of the "shouldas" above are losses, seems hope has run its course and we need to bring in a proven winner to get us back to where UT football belongs. Enough excuses legitimate or otherwise, another sub .500 season is unacceptable.

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.

Features