Phillip Fulmer says administrative leadership at root of Tennessee's football fall

Former Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer signs autographs at the Tennessee Theatre Friday, August 9, 2013 in a 15th anniversary celebration of 1998 Fiesta Bowl National Championship and fundraiser to benefit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young

Former Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer signs autographs at the Tennessee Theatre Friday, August 9, 2013 in a 15th anniversary celebration of 1998 Fiesta Bowl National Championship and fundraiser to benefit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

GULF SHORES, Alabama - For the first time since 1906, the Tennessee football program could endure a fourth consecutive losing season if the Volunteers don't make it to at least .500 in the 2013 campaign. Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer is hoping Butch Jones' first season as the Vols' coach is a good one.

"I'm hopeful that we're better," Fulmer said. "I like Butch Jones a lot."

Conitnue reading at al.com.

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Comments » 53

volnsc writes:

Although I understand how things work, it is still hard to see the current Vols and not also see CPF on the sidelines. He is a good man that brought UT many glorious moments. The whole change could have been handled much better with a credible administration. I think he is spot on in many of his points.

Rock_E_Topp88 writes:

"But don't put all the blame for Tennessee's slide on his successors", Fulmer said.

Really Phil? Throw everyone under the bus and not take any of the heat. By your own admission you became complacent. You let the inmates run the asylum. (Kelly Washington ring a bell?) Sure some of the blame goes to Hamilton. But the downfall started under your watch, Phil. Urban Meyer owned you just like Spurrier did. When Coach Cut left, who was it that hired Dave Clawson? (the ClawFense...ahhhhhh) Man up Fulmer and shoulder some of the blame. Of course, we know its easier to throw others under the bus!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say Phil approves the way Harts fixing the AD dept. "Competing among themselves"
Witch Doctor say there you go Fulmerites. get on board the Hart and Butch Jones train you have no excuses anymore.
Bones never lie.

jawbreaker writes:

Just as Johnny Majors could never see, much less acknowledge, his failings and faults, so it goes with Fulmer.

SevenT writes:

Fulmer tells it like it is, but I question why he would state the obvious in public forums unless the press pushed him to say something negative about the school he loves.

Even the worst sort of Fulmer haters can not deny the fact that from the moment he was fired the UT program has sunk to the bottom of the SEC.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to Rock_E_Topp88:

"But don't put all the blame for Tennessee's slide on his successors", Fulmer said.

Really Phil? Throw everyone under the bus and not take any of the heat. By your own admission you became complacent. You let the inmates run the asylum. (Kelly Washington ring a bell?) Sure some of the blame goes to Hamilton. But the downfall started under your watch, Phil. Urban Meyer owned you just like Spurrier did. When Coach Cut left, who was it that hired Dave Clawson? (the ClawFense...ahhhhhh) Man up Fulmer and shoulder some of the blame. Of course, we know its easier to throw others under the bus!

Excellent post. Hamilton and the presidents didn't coach or recruit. CPF and his staff did. I watched LSU with a second string QB and RB carve up a team that should have gone on to play for a second NC. But the team was not motivated and lost the opportunity. CPF had a great record at UT. But the whole staff got complacent and it caught up with them. But to blame people who had nothing to do with the team performance is a poor reflection on Fulmer.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to Rock_E_Topp88:

"But don't put all the blame for Tennessee's slide on his successors", Fulmer said.

Really Phil? Throw everyone under the bus and not take any of the heat. By your own admission you became complacent. You let the inmates run the asylum. (Kelly Washington ring a bell?) Sure some of the blame goes to Hamilton. But the downfall started under your watch, Phil. Urban Meyer owned you just like Spurrier did. When Coach Cut left, who was it that hired Dave Clawson? (the ClawFense...ahhhhhh) Man up Fulmer and shoulder some of the blame. Of course, we know its easier to throw others under the bus!

Kelly Washington? You mean the guy that only stayed two years (only played the first), and had over 1000 yards receiving six years before Fulmer got fired?

Urban Meyer has owned everyone, everywhere he has been. If your list of qualifications for a coach includes out coaching Spurrier or Meyer at Florida, then your list of qualified candidates doesn't exist.

I would also remind you that the fan base was desperately calling for change when Cut left. They were sick of the "three yards and a cloud of dust" philosophy. Dave Clawsen had success before he came to UT, and he has had success since he left. Perhaps when he was hired it should have been expected there would be a transition period while shifting offenses. Or maybe we could look at Crompton who routinely missed WIDE OPEN receivers running 15 yard routes against UCLA which represents the only time I've ever thought a quarterback single handedly lost a game. Tajh Boyd has worked out pretty well for Clemson... think he could have been more effective than Crompton and Nick Stephens?

Fulmer has routinely acknowledged the things he feels he should have done better over the second half of his tenure. Acknowledging administrative turmoil is hardly throwing anyone under the bus. Fact of the matter is, roster attrition from coaching change and repeated poor hiring decisions are more to blame for where the program is than Fulmer ever was.

When Fulmer got fired he was one year removed from the SEC championship game and SEC coach of the year. UT was ABSOLUTELY NO WORSE THAN MIDDLE OF THE PACK at the point when he got fired. Now they have the dubious distinction, along with Kentucky, of recruiting well with a new coach expected to have a losing season...

You can argue all you want over if Fulmer SHOULD have been fired at the time. What you can't argue about is that hindsight shows that it has damaged the program.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

Kelly Washington? You mean the guy that only stayed two years (only played the first), and had over 1000 yards receiving six years before Fulmer got fired?

Urban Meyer has owned everyone, everywhere he has been. If your list of qualifications for a coach includes out coaching Spurrier or Meyer at Florida, then your list of qualified candidates doesn't exist.

I would also remind you that the fan base was desperately calling for change when Cut left. They were sick of the "three yards and a cloud of dust" philosophy. Dave Clawsen had success before he came to UT, and he has had success since he left. Perhaps when he was hired it should have been expected there would be a transition period while shifting offenses. Or maybe we could look at Crompton who routinely missed WIDE OPEN receivers running 15 yard routes against UCLA which represents the only time I've ever thought a quarterback single handedly lost a game. Tajh Boyd has worked out pretty well for Clemson... think he could have been more effective than Crompton and Nick Stephens?

Fulmer has routinely acknowledged the things he feels he should have done better over the second half of his tenure. Acknowledging administrative turmoil is hardly throwing anyone under the bus. Fact of the matter is, roster attrition from coaching change and repeated poor hiring decisions are more to blame for where the program is than Fulmer ever was.

When Fulmer got fired he was one year removed from the SEC championship game and SEC coach of the year. UT was ABSOLUTELY NO WORSE THAN MIDDLE OF THE PACK at the point when he got fired. Now they have the dubious distinction, along with Kentucky, of recruiting well with a new coach expected to have a losing season...

You can argue all you want over if Fulmer SHOULD have been fired at the time. What you can't argue about is that hindsight shows that it has damaged the program.

There is no argument that the decisions that were made after the firing have hurt the program. But the tenure of the article was that CPF was fired because of the administration changes. He was fired for his performance.

Caspian writes:

Fulmer says he didn't "chase another head coaching position". That's not the way I remember it.

volsmith writes:

What happened to Jimmy Cheek? I always thought he was at least part of the problem. I still think Dave Hart is also part of the problem. Fulmer was a good coach, but he could not recruit as well toward the end as he did in his first few years, and the program was sliding.
I think the administration at UT is hurting all our sports programs(especially track and probably swimming), not just football.

utvolspride writes:

in response to volnsc:

Although I understand how things work, it is still hard to see the current Vols and not also see CPF on the sidelines. He is a good man that brought UT many glorious moments. The whole change could have been handled much better with a credible administration. I think he is spot on in many of his points.

+10 !!

GOJO writes:

in response to budd#207344:

There is no argument that the decisions that were made after the firing have hurt the program. But the tenure of the article was that CPF was fired because of the administration changes. He was fired for his performance.

Yep, just recently removed from SEC champion & coach of the year. Now that's poor performance.
He would have fixed the problem a lot quicker than the time we have been wandering in the wilderness since then.
At least he was all VOL as a player & coach. He has earned the right to express his opinion.
Now can we get on with the show & shut up about the consequences of that unfortunate action?

utvolspride writes:

in response to SevenT:

Fulmer tells it like it is, but I question why he would state the obvious in public forums unless the press pushed him to say something negative about the school he loves.

Even the worst sort of Fulmer haters can not deny the fact that from the moment he was fired the UT program has sunk to the bottom of the SEC.

You are so true. It will be a long hard climb to get back to where we were. Not sure if this is the year, don't really think so. Hope I am wrong. We had a great coach and they decided to throw everything out to start over, and I do mean start over.

GO BIG ORANGE !!! Give it ALL ya got.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say Phil approves the way Harts fixing the AD dept. "Competing among themselves"
Witch Doctor say there you go Fulmerites. get on board the Hart and Butch Jones train you have no excuses anymore.
Bones never lie.

Hey Witchy, don't you know he "has to say that". Yeah, right. It's amazing how these people that defend Fulmer's every move, find fault in EVERY other UT administrator or coach. How is it possible for Hart to have made any decisions that are bad for the UTAD. NONE of his decisions have had a chance to come to fruition. Just negative Neybob's of Fulmer worship.

I am proud of coach Fulmer's time at UT. He slipped, he was let go. It's THAT SIMPLE! There is plenty of blame to go around for UT not winning more games with the talent we had from 95' to 2005. Some will say, "yeah but he had a .750 winning percentage". Well yeah, but during his last 5 years he was only 47% against top 25 teams. We had more talent than that on those teams. Some would say enough talent for him to be closer to .800. THAT is the reason for his being fired. PERIOD!

tn10 writes:

Good article. Coach Fulmer is spot on. The administrative mess our Board of Trustees created 10 years ago has caused more problems than just those of the Athletic Department.

dvol writes:

Will you guys quit writing about this has been. Move on and write about current issues. Fulmer is old news and we seen and read way to much from this mad x employee.

edee writes:

Fulmer is helping bring back football at ETSU, even helped pick the coach....and Got paid since he needed the money so badly...so I hear....students are paying a new fee to bring football program back there and Fulmer charged to help..Go VOLS

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to dvol:

Will you guys quit writing about this has been. Move on and write about current issues. Fulmer is old news and we seen and read way to much from this mad x employee.

Fulmer will cease to be relevant to the program when they have multiple successful seasons in a row. Until they do that, the current doldrums are directly traceable to either Fulmer's performance or firing depending on which side of the issue you sit on.

Fact of the matter is that the last time Tennessee was a solid program was when Fulmer was here. All the things that have held Tennessee back since then would not have occurred without that initial coaching change.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say Phil approves the way Harts fixing the AD dept. "Competing among themselves"
Witch Doctor say there you go Fulmerites. get on board the Hart and Butch Jones train you have no excuses anymore.
Bones never lie.

Great point, but logic and reasoning have nothing to do with it..lol

volistic writes:

I get such an education reading these comments. I just learned that Fulmer couldn't recruit. You need to inform Rivals of this, because they seem to be under the impression that he was recruiting top classes. In 2007 (the year before he was fired) he recruited the no. 3 ranked class, with 5 5-star recruits and 11 4-star recruits. That class had a much higher average star rating than Butch Jones' current #1 ranked class. In 2005 he had the #4 ranked class, with 1 5-star and 16 4-star recruits, again with a higher star rating than the current #1 ranked class.

Come on people, I'm not a big Fulmer supporter, but you've got to come up with something better than he couldn't recruit. We may never again have recruiting classes ranked as high as the ones Fulmer recruited. Fulmer had difficulty handling the players once they got here, but he did bring in top players from all over the country.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to volistic:

I get such an education reading these comments. I just learned that Fulmer couldn't recruit. You need to inform Rivals of this, because they seem to be under the impression that he was recruiting top classes. In 2007 (the year before he was fired) he recruited the no. 3 ranked class, with 5 5-star recruits and 11 4-star recruits. That class had a much higher average star rating than Butch Jones' current #1 ranked class. In 2005 he had the #4 ranked class, with 1 5-star and 16 4-star recruits, again with a higher star rating than the current #1 ranked class.

Come on people, I'm not a big Fulmer supporter, but you've got to come up with something better than he couldn't recruit. We may never again have recruiting classes ranked as high as the ones Fulmer recruited. Fulmer had difficulty handling the players once they got here, but he did bring in top players from all over the country.

What you say is true, however, Fulmer's biggest problem was evaluating talent for his program. It seemed like many of the athletes you mentioned never panned out and transferred to other programs. He was a good recruiter, but not a good developer of talent.

bUTch_please writes:

...and here I was foolish enough to think that the '98 celebration with Bowden was the perfect circle to put CPF career to bed on a high note.

Didn't count on the ongoing hate-fest continuing to muddy the water. Majors goes high profile by showing up at a bunch of practices and donating some memorabilia to a library. Fulmer sees his charity event as a coronation not a celebration and goes on the offensive to take back the spin by Majors.

Spoiled brats, both of 'em.

For.

Gods.

Sake.

Just.

Let.

It.

Go.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to volistic:

I get such an education reading these comments. I just learned that Fulmer couldn't recruit. You need to inform Rivals of this, because they seem to be under the impression that he was recruiting top classes. In 2007 (the year before he was fired) he recruited the no. 3 ranked class, with 5 5-star recruits and 11 4-star recruits. That class had a much higher average star rating than Butch Jones' current #1 ranked class. In 2005 he had the #4 ranked class, with 1 5-star and 16 4-star recruits, again with a higher star rating than the current #1 ranked class.

Come on people, I'm not a big Fulmer supporter, but you've got to come up with something better than he couldn't recruit. We may never again have recruiting classes ranked as high as the ones Fulmer recruited. Fulmer had difficulty handling the players once they got here, but he did bring in top players from all over the country.

The discussion has lost all realism. There are people that cite the SEC championship game against LSU as a reason he should have been fired...

The program undeniably wasn't the dominant force it was in the 90s, but we were hardly cellar dwellers.

Hopefully Jones can get things turned around, but UT has gotten what it arguably deserved for firing the second most successful coach it has ever had. Keep in mind the SEC will probably never again have an era like the late nineties where it was just UT and UF. You can have a top 20 program and not even be in the top half of the SEC now.

Point being, you could probably justify firing Fulmer if you had something better lined up. Fact is, they didn't and are now paying the price for a poor decision.

kazoo writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

Kelly Washington? You mean the guy that only stayed two years (only played the first), and had over 1000 yards receiving six years before Fulmer got fired?

Urban Meyer has owned everyone, everywhere he has been. If your list of qualifications for a coach includes out coaching Spurrier or Meyer at Florida, then your list of qualified candidates doesn't exist.

I would also remind you that the fan base was desperately calling for change when Cut left. They were sick of the "three yards and a cloud of dust" philosophy. Dave Clawsen had success before he came to UT, and he has had success since he left. Perhaps when he was hired it should have been expected there would be a transition period while shifting offenses. Or maybe we could look at Crompton who routinely missed WIDE OPEN receivers running 15 yard routes against UCLA which represents the only time I've ever thought a quarterback single handedly lost a game. Tajh Boyd has worked out pretty well for Clemson... think he could have been more effective than Crompton and Nick Stephens?

Fulmer has routinely acknowledged the things he feels he should have done better over the second half of his tenure. Acknowledging administrative turmoil is hardly throwing anyone under the bus. Fact of the matter is, roster attrition from coaching change and repeated poor hiring decisions are more to blame for where the program is than Fulmer ever was.

When Fulmer got fired he was one year removed from the SEC championship game and SEC coach of the year. UT was ABSOLUTELY NO WORSE THAN MIDDLE OF THE PACK at the point when he got fired. Now they have the dubious distinction, along with Kentucky, of recruiting well with a new coach expected to have a losing season...

You can argue all you want over if Fulmer SHOULD have been fired at the time. What you can't argue about is that hindsight shows that it has damaged the program.

You are delusional, man. The fan base was "desperately calling for an [oc] change when Cut left--they were sick of the three-yards and cloud of dust." Perhaps you missed about 15 years of UT football. Cutcliffe was the best OC we've had in 30 years--and his strength is //throwing the football.// He alone turned Ainge into a productive QB. Nobody wanted him to leave--that's a crazy-stupid idea.

Fulmer tries to blame everyone but the obvious culprit--himself! He got stale, the staff got stale, the recruiting fell off. He made a TERRIBLE decision to promote Sanders--that was an absolute disaster and started the program's slide. Clawsen was another terrible hire.

Fulmer's comments about Hamilton are total BS as well. Of course he hates Hamilton because the guy sacked him--and he should have been sacked, make no mistake. Hamilton was a good AD. Pearl was a brilliant hire--and Kiffin would have been a brilliant hire, too; we simply got very unlucky when Carroll suddenly decided to flee Southern Cal and when Southern Cal decided to hire Kiffin, which was their mistake. UT was in a long slide when Fulmer got sacked--his best years were far behind him--and his comments blaming everyone else are tacky and incorrect.

kazoo writes:

Fulmer is totally FOS. His comments totally lack class. He was by far the biggest reason for the program's deterioration--and now he tries to pretend that that wasn't the case. It's the administration's fault! Please--man up, dude. This was his problem in his last several years as head coach--always making excuses and sidestepping the blame. I've come to dislike the man.

It is always a risk to fire someone in the SEC, even a poor or mediocre coach, because the conference is so good and you never quite know what you're getting with the new guy. Kiffin would have quickly turned the program around--we just got very unlucky when Carroll suddenly resigned. I won't say that Dooley was a good coach, or might have been--but when he took over the SEC was probably the toughest it has been in 40 years. bama, florida and georgia were all top 10 teams--auburn won a national title; even kentucky, miss. state and vandy were much improved. When Fulmer took over, the SEC was not nearly as strong--florida was the only great team; georgia was decent but not exceptional, and all of the SEC west teams were in a trough==not good. I'm sorry Fulmer is so delusional--but I've come to expect it from Mr. Excuse Maker.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to kazoo:

You are delusional, man. The fan base was "desperately calling for an [oc] change when Cut left--they were sick of the three-yards and cloud of dust." Perhaps you missed about 15 years of UT football. Cutcliffe was the best OC we've had in 30 years--and his strength is //throwing the football.// He alone turned Ainge into a productive QB. Nobody wanted him to leave--that's a crazy-stupid idea.

Fulmer tries to blame everyone but the obvious culprit--himself! He got stale, the staff got stale, the recruiting fell off. He made a TERRIBLE decision to promote Sanders--that was an absolute disaster and started the program's slide. Clawsen was another terrible hire.

Fulmer's comments about Hamilton are total BS as well. Of course he hates Hamilton because the guy sacked him--and he should have been sacked, make no mistake. Hamilton was a good AD. Pearl was a brilliant hire--and Kiffin would have been a brilliant hire, too; we simply got very unlucky when Carroll suddenly decided to flee Southern Cal and when Southern Cal decided to hire Kiffin, which was their mistake. UT was in a long slide when Fulmer got sacked--his best years were far behind him--and his comments blaming everyone else are tacky and incorrect.

They were calling for a change in philosophy. And yeah, there were two groups. The ones that thought Cut throwing as much as he did was the reason for all evils, and the group that wanted an "innovative" offense.

The Clawsen hire was clearly to satisfy that second group that was loudly calling for a new direction. I don't know how you can realistically call it a bad hire when he was only given a year to implement an entirely new system... and he has been successful everywhere he has been.

And yeah, any criticism Fulmer has of Hamilton needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as he surely isn't objective on that front. But you know what? His criticisms pretty closely mirror what the entire fan base was saying. If Hamilton was such a great AD, why did we fire him?

If I were a coach I wouldn't want to work at UT today. The fan base is fickle even with proven winners, and the answer to all problems seems to be firing people at this point.

I mean, there is a very vocal group wanting to fire the chancellor of the university over football. Hate to break it to you, but ultimately Cheek's job should have very little to do with athletics, as that is not the primary mission of the university.

ArmyDad writes:

in response to tn10:

Good article. Coach Fulmer is spot on. The administrative mess our Board of Trustees created 10 years ago has caused more problems than just those of the Athletic Department.

Agree with both you and Fulmer. The UT Administration did screw up with the Fulmer firing. They should have fired him after the 2005 season.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to kazoo:

You are delusional, man. The fan base was "desperately calling for an [oc] change when Cut left--they were sick of the three-yards and cloud of dust." Perhaps you missed about 15 years of UT football. Cutcliffe was the best OC we've had in 30 years--and his strength is //throwing the football.// He alone turned Ainge into a productive QB. Nobody wanted him to leave--that's a crazy-stupid idea.

Fulmer tries to blame everyone but the obvious culprit--himself! He got stale, the staff got stale, the recruiting fell off. He made a TERRIBLE decision to promote Sanders--that was an absolute disaster and started the program's slide. Clawsen was another terrible hire.

Fulmer's comments about Hamilton are total BS as well. Of course he hates Hamilton because the guy sacked him--and he should have been sacked, make no mistake. Hamilton was a good AD. Pearl was a brilliant hire--and Kiffin would have been a brilliant hire, too; we simply got very unlucky when Carroll suddenly decided to flee Southern Cal and when Southern Cal decided to hire Kiffin, which was their mistake. UT was in a long slide when Fulmer got sacked--his best years were far behind him--and his comments blaming everyone else are tacky and incorrect.

Actually Walt Harris was a better OC that Cutcliffe. Under Harris UT's offense usually not only led the SEC, but was highly ranked nationally.

shulessjo writes:

Fulmer is a Tennessee icon.
However, disparaging/controversial remarks at this point seem to offer little value for a school and a program that is attempting to be restored. At this point there is no time to discuss who was or is at fault.

There is a time when those of us in leadership must know when to release our involvement in order to allow someone the same opportunity to succeed we were once given:
From: A retired businessman/Tennessee fan that is the same age as PF.

murrayvol writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

...and here I was foolish enough to think that the '98 celebration with Bowden was the perfect circle to put CPF career to bed on a high note.

Didn't count on the ongoing hate-fest continuing to muddy the water. Majors goes high profile by showing up at a bunch of practices and donating some memorabilia to a library. Fulmer sees his charity event as a coronation not a celebration and goes on the offensive to take back the spin by Majors.

Spoiled brats, both of 'em.

For.

Gods.

Sake.

Just.

Let.

It.

Go.

Once you've driven a Ferrari, it's hard to accept a Pinto.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Ah Shucks and Gosh Darn.

If I'd recruited better "kids" during my latter years, our record wouldn't have started sliding. I had so many Outback Bowl sweater vests there was no more room in the closet. As to "Hammie" well he's been replaced by the hords of "Albamie" who are just as bad. Management is always the problem, and if anybody should be thrown under the bus, then it's them.

(wait was I considered Management too being the Head Coach)??

bUTch_please writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Once you've driven a Ferrari, it's hard to accept a Pinto.

Well.....then FHCPF should've invested his 6 mill buyout better.

ChadsFordVolunteer writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

Hey Witchy, don't you know he "has to say that". Yeah, right. It's amazing how these people that defend Fulmer's every move, find fault in EVERY other UT administrator or coach. How is it possible for Hart to have made any decisions that are bad for the UTAD. NONE of his decisions have had a chance to come to fruition. Just negative Neybob's of Fulmer worship.

I am proud of coach Fulmer's time at UT. He slipped, he was let go. It's THAT SIMPLE! There is plenty of blame to go around for UT not winning more games with the talent we had from 95' to 2005. Some will say, "yeah but he had a .750 winning percentage". Well yeah, but during his last 5 years he was only 47% against top 25 teams. We had more talent than that on those teams. Some would say enough talent for him to be closer to .800. THAT is the reason for his being fired. PERIOD!

You are undoubtedly the biggest stooge ever to confront a keyboard! Fulmer only won 47% of his games against top 25 teams in his last 5 years? How many do you think we've won since; with Kiffin, who you called the best coach in America; and Dooley, who 99.9% of you on here bowed and scraped in front of every waking moment - you being the biggest Dooley toady of them all!

bUTch_please writes:

The NC was 15 years ago.

Coach Fulmer lost 14 out of 20 games to ranked teams his last two years and was fired. Justified or not that was 6 long years ago.

He and Majors can prance around butt-hurt and toss classless prawns to the Legion of the Miserable all they wish!

I'm on the train of the THIRD coach AFTER that mess...
AND the team that DESERVES BETTER!
OUR TEAM, just in case anyone has forgot.

beartn#223846 writes:

<<But don't put all the blame for Tennessee's slide on his successors", Fulmer said.

Really Phil? Throw everyone under the bus and not take any of the heat. By your own admission you became complacent. You let the inmates run the asylum. (Kelly Washington ring a bell?) Sure some of the blame goes to Hamilton. But the downfall started under your watch, Phil. Urban Meyer owned you just like Spurrier did. When Coach Cut left, who was it that hired Dave Clawson? (the ClawFense...ahhhhhh) Man up Fulmer and shoulder some of the blame. Of course, we know its easier to throw others under the bus!
...>>

This totally misses the point Fulmer made. He said don't blame Kiffin and Dooley soley for the current state of Tennessee football. Does anyone here think that Hamilton was anything other than horrible as an AD (I think Hamilton is an incredibly good person, but he was a bad AD)? My bigger concern than our athletic program is our university. With our parade of presidents, our academic rankings have slipped. We need good leadership pronto.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to ChadsFordVolunteer:

You are undoubtedly the biggest stooge ever to confront a keyboard! Fulmer only won 47% of his games against top 25 teams in his last 5 years? How many do you think we've won since; with Kiffin, who you called the best coach in America; and Dooley, who 99.9% of you on here bowed and scraped in front of every waking moment - you being the biggest Dooley toady of them all!

He's the biggest stooge?? That's a laugh, the irony..Anyway, regardless which side you're on (pro Fulmer or ousting Fulmer) he's not ever coming back, and constantly looking in the review mirror means you're going to miss obstacles approaching in the windshield. In case you missed it, we have a new coach that has led a charge of enthusiasm into our dysfunctional fb program. Get on board or get the heck out, Jeff.

MR_VOL writes:

It seems each time I read an article about Fulmer the more respect I lose for the man. If someone would have told me back in January 1999, after winning the National Championship, that Fulmer would be saying the things he has I would have not believe it. For a man to have as much respect and devotion to an institution being the University of Tennessee, each time he gets media attention he dismantles all the credibility and achievements he has built at said institution.

I agree with most in that his dismissal could have been handled much better, but whether you like him or not, he is no longer the coach. I know there are still several Vol fans that miss Fulmer and enjoyed his coaching but time has come to let him go and support the current coach and staff. Fulmer was blessed in that he got to coach at his Alma Mater for many years with good success. Unfortunately, it was the only coaching job he could get. I guess I over estimated the amount of respect he has for himself as it is pitiful to see him throw his name out for potential coaching positions only to not have his phone ring. And if that was not bad enough, it is much more disheartening to see him transfer blame to others when he was the head coach.

As for all you fans that believe the football program is in worse shape today than when Fulmer was coach, you are wrong. Comparing wins/loses, remember in Fulmer's last season, he was 5 – 7. Kiffin topped that with a 6 – 6 and Dooley equaled with a 5 – 7.

Mr. Fulmer, everyone has seen what hate and anger can do to a person (Johnny Majors), I suggest you look at your actions and accept responsibility when due. Once you do that your phone may just happen to ring because wins and loses, as you well know, are not the only criteria for a head coach.

The only positive I can see is the somewhat supportive words towards Coach Jones.

GOJO writes:

in response to kazoo:

You are delusional, man. The fan base was "desperately calling for an [oc] change when Cut left--they were sick of the three-yards and cloud of dust." Perhaps you missed about 15 years of UT football. Cutcliffe was the best OC we've had in 30 years--and his strength is //throwing the football.// He alone turned Ainge into a productive QB. Nobody wanted him to leave--that's a crazy-stupid idea.

Fulmer tries to blame everyone but the obvious culprit--himself! He got stale, the staff got stale, the recruiting fell off. He made a TERRIBLE decision to promote Sanders--that was an absolute disaster and started the program's slide. Clawsen was another terrible hire.

Fulmer's comments about Hamilton are total BS as well. Of course he hates Hamilton because the guy sacked him--and he should have been sacked, make no mistake. Hamilton was a good AD. Pearl was a brilliant hire--and Kiffin would have been a brilliant hire, too; we simply got very unlucky when Carroll suddenly decided to flee Southern Cal and when Southern Cal decided to hire Kiffin, which was their mistake. UT was in a long slide when Fulmer got sacked--his best years were far behind him--and his comments blaming everyone else are tacky and incorrect.

***************************

"and Kiffin would have been a brilliant hire, too; we simply got very unlucky when Carroll suddenly decided to flee Southern Cal and when Southern Cal decided to hire Kiffin, which was their mistake."
So he was a brilliant hire for Tennessee but was a mistake for Southern Cal? Now that takes some explaining. He was a butthole, no matter where you put him. By now we would be on probation if not worse.

taylorsvolfan writes:

in response to SevenT:

Fulmer tells it like it is, but I question why he would state the obvious in public forums unless the press pushed him to say something negative about the school he loves.

Even the worst sort of Fulmer haters can not deny the fact that from the moment he was fired the UT program has sunk to the bottom of the SEC.

Very good post. And very true.

taylorsvolfan writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say Phil approves the way Harts fixing the AD dept. "Competing among themselves"
Witch Doctor say there you go Fulmerites. get on board the Hart and Butch Jones train you have no excuses anymore.
Bones never lie.

This "witch doctor" and "bones never lie" phooey was stupid from the get go and still is today.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to taylorsvolfan:

This "witch doctor" and "bones never lie" phooey was stupid from the get go and still is today.

Witch Doctor say thanks for letting me know it hurts your feelings. Witch Doctor has lectured you before you dont have to read it..guess you like whinings...girl.
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say its on record for the world to read. lol. Thank you Phil!
Bones never lie.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

Fulmer, don't go away mad..Fulmer just go away.

5 years later and still unaccountable for anything.

jaydubuc writes:

It's now less than two weeks till kickoff. My mind is fully focused on what lies ahead. I could care less who, what, why. I'm like a kid counting down the days till Christmas. Fulmer's demise nor the last two coaching failures are going to plague my thoughts of the excitement coming our way. Go Vols!

GloryDays writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

Hey Witchy, don't you know he "has to say that". Yeah, right. It's amazing how these people that defend Fulmer's every move, find fault in EVERY other UT administrator or coach. How is it possible for Hart to have made any decisions that are bad for the UTAD. NONE of his decisions have had a chance to come to fruition. Just negative Neybob's of Fulmer worship.

I am proud of coach Fulmer's time at UT. He slipped, he was let go. It's THAT SIMPLE! There is plenty of blame to go around for UT not winning more games with the talent we had from 95' to 2005. Some will say, "yeah but he had a .750 winning percentage". Well yeah, but during his last 5 years he was only 47% against top 25 teams. We had more talent than that on those teams. Some would say enough talent for him to be closer to .800. THAT is the reason for his being fired. PERIOD!

It's not that simple. Really complicated. I don't have time to go over it again, but the administration undercut Fulmer and the football program. Higher standards cut the fringe student recruits, administration stole money from the football team. Other stuff went on, long sad story. Things are looking up and I think Butch Jones will make the Orange and White proud!

tmcretired writes:

He was a great coach but he lost the team his last three years. I think he thinks he was screwed that was not the case part of the blame is on him. Also Phil get behind the team or shut up. GO VOLS

calvol writes:

Here we go again. The hate comes out in force every time Coach CPF is in the news. Why can't people be more respectful of our HOF coach? Was anything he said in the article untrue? Was he not supporting the current AD and new coach? Has he not already owned up to his own mistakes? Is there anybody with a pulse and 20/20 hindsight that thinks we wouldn't have been better off keeping him than what we suffered the last few years? Let's all hope CBJ can turn things around, and let's all lay of CPF- he didn't create this problem.

GBO!

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to GloryDays:

It's not that simple. Really complicated. I don't have time to go over it again, but the administration undercut Fulmer and the football program. Higher standards cut the fringe student recruits, administration stole money from the football team. Other stuff went on, long sad story. Things are looking up and I think Butch Jones will make the Orange and White proud!

Most of these "administrative" problems with higher admittance standards can be traced back to Cheek, who became chancellor in 2009.

Fulmer was fired in 2008.

Nice job of revisionist history by Phil once again but he has no one to blame but himself.

Lousy personnel decisions in Sanders and Clawson along with a complete disregard in recruiting his last 5 years or so led to his demise.

He thought he was bulletproof and found out he wasn't. He has also found out he wasn't the in demand coach he claimed to be over the years. Instead of being humbled by it, he turns on the spin machine once again.

It really is that simple.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to ChadsFordVolunteer:

You are undoubtedly the biggest stooge ever to confront a keyboard! Fulmer only won 47% of his games against top 25 teams in his last 5 years? How many do you think we've won since; with Kiffin, who you called the best coach in America; and Dooley, who 99.9% of you on here bowed and scraped in front of every waking moment - you being the biggest Dooley toady of them all!

Everything I said is true, ANYTHING you say is based in BS. You calling ANYBODY else a stooge is comical to say the least.

DavidShepherd writes:

Coach Fulmer lead the Vols to a National Championship and recognition as one of the top programs in the country. Every coach has down years, but some institutions show more loyalty than we did for Coach Fulmer. I suggest he knows the situation he was under with instability of leadership at the university level better than any of us and it had to hurt the program. Do you really think our last four years have been better without Coach Fulmer?

Coach Fulmer has always been a true UT supporter and a wonderful ambassador for our university. Why continue to write negative things about him? Instead, let's applaud him for taking us to a National Championship and look forward to a new positive beginning with Coach Jones.

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