Behind the scenes with Butch Jones and UT's coaches: Jokes, stories and pronunciation work

Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, left, and football coach Butch Jones on the plane during the Football Signing Day Celebration Tour.

Photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics, University of Tennessee Athletics

Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, left, and football coach Butch Jones on the plane during the Football Signing Day Celebration Tour.

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Tennessee's chartered ride is rolling through downtown Nashville on its way to the second stop of the afternoon when coach Butch Jones walks to the back of the bus where most of his assistants are gathered.

He's smiling, but he's also here to deliver a serious message.

"I want everyone to say it with me: 'VAHLS,' " he says, enunciating the "ahhhl" sound carefully. "Pretend there's an 'A' in there."

Two of Jones' assistants are from the Deep South. Most, like Jones, are from the Midwest. Some spit out the word in a way that makes it sound more like, "Vohls."

Jones returns to the front of the bus, lesson complete. Running backs coach Jay Graham and linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, native southerners, are amused.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian, a New Jersey native, breaks the silence: "You know what this means, don't you?"

No one answers.

"I'm never saying Vols again."

The back of the bus breaks into laughter. This is a loose, albeit extremely exhausted group.

After two months of nonstop recruiting, Jones, his nine assistant coaches, UT athletic director Dave Hart and a handful of administrative staff members spent Thursday touring Tennessee, greeting fans at post-National Signing Day "celebrations" in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.

The annual events lapsed two years ago under former coach Derek Dooley. Jones, hired by the Vols in December, agreed to bring them back.

The News Sentinel shadowed Jones and staff throughout the 15-hour journey, from the early morning takeoff to the evening finale at Neyland Stadium.

***

The first UT coaches and staff members start to arrive at the TACAir terminal in Knoxville at about 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Many make a beeline for the coffee machine in the corner of the room. Others pick through a bag of about 20 assorted breakfast sandwiches from McDonald's.

Assistant athletic director Jimmy Delaney hands out manila folders with itineraries for the day, information about each of the stops and details on the boosters, coaches, city officials and other people who might be there.

Jones enters about 10 minutes before takeoff. He looks groggy, but perks up quickly, exchanging warm greetings and handshakes with the first people he sees.

Then Hart hands him a cellphone. It's the donor who is providing the three jets for the trip. Jones talks to him for several minutes, ending with "When you get back into town, let's do lunch."

UT videographers are on hand, as they are for just about every public or semi-public trip that Jones makes. They debate whether to attach a wireless microphone to the coach now, or wait until the plane lands in Memphis.

"I'm sure he wouldn't mind either way," says Jimmy Stanton, the associate AD in charge of communications.

Jones will spend about four hours on stage in front of hundreds of people during Thursday's trip, but even when he steps off the dais, he's not really offstage. The UT cameras are ubiquitous, filming, recording or tweeting every move he makes. So when the coach walks to the back of the bus to banter with his assistants, it's sometimes hard to tell if you've just witnessed a spontaneous and authentic moment of levity or a plot device for the next UT webcast. Such is the nature of the celebrity CEO coach.

On the small plane that will take Jones to Memphis, the coach sits next to Hart. He opens his manila folder, thicker than the one given to the assistants, and starts reading through the notes.

Jones goes over a few names, checking with Hart to ensure he's pronouncing Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell's name correctly. Then Jones reviews his speech and his talking points, scribbling notes on the margins of the page.

Satisfied he's ready for the Memphis meeting, Jones sets the folder at his feet and leans his head back. As the sunrise starts to clear away the early-morning haze, Jones closes his eyes for a few moments of rest.

It's been a long two months, and it's going to be a long day.

***

The chartered bus from Memphis International Airport to the Hilton on the east side of town is escorted by at least a half-dozen sheriff's deputies on motorcycles, which seems excessive but proves to be helpful in battling rush-hour traffic.

The motorcycle escorts also are keeping a brisk pace. "The flight here was a lot safer," remarks one of the pilots, as the bus bounces through an intersection.

Once at the hotel, Jones stops to visit with the officers (two are wearing UT hats; another is puffing a cigarette). Jones' late father was police chief in Saugatuck, Mich., and those small-town roots help him connect with others, including — it turns out — Memphis prospect Jason Carr's dad, who works for the Memphis police.

At the Memphis event, the first of the day, the coaches try out some of their laugh lines. The ones that draw the best reaction will be repeated over and over again.

The clear winner comes when offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian talks about how his wife is expecting a baby and he will soon have three children younger than 3 years old.

"He's got too much time on his hands!" Jones shouts as Bajakian tells the story, drawing huge laughs from the crowd. The joke was a winner in Nashville and Knoxville, too.

Later, when Bajakian rambles, Jones interrupts, "Just remember that we have eight other coaches who need to speak!"

***

When the coaches climb back onto the bus, linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen is no longer the only staff member lacking orange in his wardrobe.

"Thig talked himself into a tie," said another assistant shaking his head. "Someone just gave it to him."

As always, Jones sits at the front of the bus, while the assistants shoot the breeze in the back. The stories quickly turn to recruiting.

On his first recruiting trip to New Jersey, defensive backs coach Willie Martinez didn't know state law required an attendant to pump gas. Martinez was in a rush to catch a flight and was baffled by the man who insisted that he get back in his car when he tried to fill his own tank.

Bajakian nods his head knowingly as other coaches tease him about his home state, including its notoriously rude toll-takers.

The conversation swings to toll-road stories. Graham says he was recruiting in Florida when he realized he didn't have exact change, as required. Rather than just drive through the toll, he hopped out of his car and started asking people behind him for a quarter.

"I was holding the entire line hostage until I got that quarter," he says with a laugh.

Martinez, a baseball fan, turns the conversation to baseball. Greatest baseball brawl? Everyone agrees it was when Robin Ventura charged the mound on Nolan Ryan.

Talk of tough players turns to Pete Rose, and Martinez starts to tell the story of meeting Rose on a golf course while he was coaching the Boca Raton High School girls golf team in the late 1980s. Before he can continue, he's interrupted — "Wait, you coached girls golf?"

"Sure," replied Martinez, a former defensive back at Miami (Fla.) who even now, at 49, looks athletic enough to chase down a running back. "You just organize everything. In golf, they all have their own coach, anyway."

Martinez hasn't finished his Pete Rose story, but the bus has arrived at the airport, and it's time to go to Nashville.

***

At every spare moment, the coaches' cellphones come out, and fingers glide down the glass screens, checking for new messages or tweets or Facebook updates. But while texting is routine for even the most old-school coach, using Twitter is a newer development.

Receivers coach Zach Azzanni is one of the program's most prolific tweeters, making more than 1,000 updates on his account. Defensive line coach Steve Stripling, seated beside him on the plane to Nashville, has only five tweets.

But Stripling wants to learn more, and much of the conversation on this leg of the trip is about Twitter.

Azzanni shows him how to find college football and recruiting news to follow, and Stripling adds ESPN and Sports Illustrated to his list.

Then Stripling types out a message and hands his phone over to Azzanni. "It's OK to tweet about a signee, right?" he asks.

"Absolutely," Azzanni replies. "This looks good."

"What do I put at the end of it — a hash-mark?"

Azzanni adds a hashtag symbol (#) and then hands the phone back to Stripling, who hits send: "Great stop in Memphis this am. Everyone proud of local Vol signee Jason Carr. #VFL"

Then Azzanni turns to tight ends coach Mark Elder seated in front of him. Elder's account has just over 10,000 followers. Azzanni's has just under 10,000.

"We're going to change this," Azzanni says.

"@UTCoachElder just went over 10k followers help me catch up vol nation!" he writes.

(He hits the 10,000 mark a few hours later).

Meanwhile, Elder is downing an energy drink, as the midpoint of the daylong tour approaches.

"Nothing like a lukewarm Monster," someone jokes.

Jones has talked about his need for caffeine in the past, but on the flight he chooses a bottled water. If he downs shots of Red Bull or Five-Hour Energy during the day, he does so discretely.

Other coaches find sustenance where they can get it, as there was little time to grab food in Memphis. Graham munches on M&M's that were in the refreshment stand in the plane.

"Do you know how long those have been there?" one of the coaches asks.

"Nope," Graham replies, popping another candy in his mouth.

***

The fans in Memphis and Nashville are almost unanimously enthusiastic, but there are a few exceptions.

When offensive line coach Don Mahoney extends his hand to greet a fan in Nashville, the fan instead responds a curt demand — better tackling on defense.

One man in Memphis, seemingly incapable of whispering, had loud and sarcastic interjections after several of Jones' lines.

When Jones introduced Hart, as he did on all three stops, as the "best director of athletics in the nation," the man commented loudly just as the applause was dying down, "'IT NEVER HURTS TO SUCK UP TO YOUR BOSS, DOES IT?"

Then there was the fan who emailed several UT development officials and local media members on Friday morning. Among his list of angry complaints? Coaches who pronounced Vols like "Voles."

Thigpen, who speaks in a rich Southern drawl, couldn't help but tease his new colleagues.

Turning to Jones, he said, "I'm ALL VOL, Coach."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at http://twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 48

papavol writes:

There seems to be a lot of chemistry with this staff. Hopefully it carries over to the team because this is something UT football has lacked for a while now. And how can you not like CBJ?? The verdict is still out as to whether he can turn this team around but I can tell you that, with his track record, I wouldn't put my money against him.

Sir_Spanky writes:

"The annual events lapsed two years ago under former coach Derek Dooley. Jones, hired by the Vols in December, agreed to bring them back".

Come to think of it, what exactly did Derek Dooley and the person who was allowed by Jimmy Cheek to enable him, Mike Hamilton, do to earn what they were, and still are, being paid by this University? And also, why is Jimmy Cheek still here? Why is no one being held accountable for this?

eVOLved writes:

The practicing Southern speech opening, "such is the nature of the celebrity CEO coach" line, and the ending?

Wow--all I can say is wow. Look at my comments from the past few years--complaining about Adams's "rile the fanbase" schtick. I almost hate to say it but these commentaries are incredible. I would read a John Adams novel if it was written like this.

tovolny writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

"The annual events lapsed two years ago under former coach Derek Dooley. Jones, hired by the Vols in December, agreed to bring them back".

Come to think of it, what exactly did Derek Dooley and the person who was allowed by Jimmy Cheek to enable him, Mike Hamilton, do to earn what they were, and still are, being paid by this University? And also, why is Jimmy Cheek still here? Why is no one being held accountable for this?

The Haslams makes all the decisions, ask them. I think UT has a president, but you hear very little out of his side of the big offices. I think a lot of people are trying to get the University of Tennessee in the top 25 academically, but we hear very little about that also. I do hear that UT spent a lot of money on a football practice facility, but you don't hear much about that AND you don't see any good videos of what's inside. I heard that they were not showing much because not much is there. It seems they are afraid that the UT fans will go berserk when they discover that 40 million dollars was spent on a workout room and cheap offices. The SHIP will soon hit the SAND, or something that sounds like that.

VolGrad writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lighten up, Francis.

sstirrer writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

"The annual events lapsed two years ago under former coach Derek Dooley. Jones, hired by the Vols in December, agreed to bring them back".

Come to think of it, what exactly did Derek Dooley and the person who was allowed by Jimmy Cheek to enable him, Mike Hamilton, do to earn what they were, and still are, being paid by this University? And also, why is Jimmy Cheek still here? Why is no one being held accountable for this?

Actually, it was halted by the west coast guy who's name I hate to utter.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to tovolny:

The Haslams makes all the decisions, ask them. I think UT has a president, but you hear very little out of his side of the big offices. I think a lot of people are trying to get the University of Tennessee in the top 25 academically, but we hear very little about that also. I do hear that UT spent a lot of money on a football practice facility, but you don't hear much about that AND you don't see any good videos of what's inside. I heard that they were not showing much because not much is there. It seems they are afraid that the UT fans will go berserk when they discover that 40 million dollars was spent on a workout room and cheap offices. The SHIP will soon hit the SAND, or something that sounds like that.

"I do hear that UT spent a lot of money on a football practice facility, but you don't hear much about that AND you don't see any good videos of what's inside. I heard that they were not showing much because not much is there. It seems they are afraid that the UT fans will go berserk when they discover that 40 million dollars was spent on a workout room and cheap offices."

There is a virtual tour of the new facility at UTSports.com. Try checking it out and stop spouting nonsense.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to sstirrer:

Actually, it was halted by the west coast guy who's name I hate to utter.

Actually, there was a recruiting celebration tour the one year he was here.
I attended the one in Memphis and met coach Wilcox and got his autograph.
Don't believe the "west coast guy" had much to do with it after he left.

BolivrBob writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What a marroon

tennrich1 writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WARNING WARNING WARNING...SETUP ALERT...DO NOT RESPOND!!!! IDIOT AHEAD....

imw8n4u writes:

in response to MooseandSquirrelVol:

"I do hear that UT spent a lot of money on a football practice facility, but you don't hear much about that AND you don't see any good videos of what's inside. I heard that they were not showing much because not much is there. It seems they are afraid that the UT fans will go berserk when they discover that 40 million dollars was spent on a workout room and cheap offices."

There is a virtual tour of the new facility at UTSports.com. Try checking it out and stop spouting nonsense.

This would have been a better reply:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw4OdU...

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Fun to read. Seems like all they have to realize to pronounce Vols is that it's short for Volunteers. No one says Vole-unteers. But it did seriously remind me of when I asked my dad what a Vol was when I was in elementary school. Can't believe I can remember that.

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As in many things in life, it is laugh or cry.

Give 'em a chance. Jiminy Cricket.

This is a vole:

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/im...

FIGHT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT FOR THE ORANGE AND WHITE!!!

Walt

UT '81

dvols writes:

Go Big Orange!

Best thing about honey boo boobers, walt, bammers, anti-fulmerites,....etc...

they just dont know why we laugh at them...'

dvols writes:

no doubt! University of AL has earned the last few BCS nat'l championships.. congrats to saban and the team

what funny is.....every other moronn thats puts on a crimson shirt is ..a window licken dueche bag, tickler......

ha bammers fans, wear dey shirts n hats...

TN laughs cause you don't know why....

truth

dvols writes:

great article, go Peyton and haslem!!

2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pingkr62 writes:

in response to eVOLved:

The practicing Southern speech opening, "such is the nature of the celebrity CEO coach" line, and the ending?

Wow--all I can say is wow. Look at my comments from the past few years--complaining about Adams's "rile the fanbase" schtick. I almost hate to say it but these commentaries are incredible. I would read a John Adams novel if it was written like this.

I thought this WAS a novel. :) G.B.O.!!!

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

This would have been a better reply:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw4OdU...

It is 38D-24-36 jaw droppin' beautiful, isn't it?
I didn't attach the link because I figured any Vol fan that prefers to whine instead of having enough incentive to do a little research for themselves didn't deserve to see it.

tovolny writes:

in response to MooseandSquirrelVol:

It is 38D-24-36 jaw droppin' beautiful, isn't it?
I didn't attach the link because I figured any Vol fan that prefers to whine instead of having enough incentive to do a little research for themselves didn't deserve to see it.

The LINK is about a year old from UTSPORTS. IT IS NOT A VIDEO and it is NOT real pictures. It is a series of architectural renderings. It would have been nice if it had been built as shown. The equipment in the workout room is nothing like what the renderings show. The actual heating and ventilation in the ACTUAL facilities don't work properly. The actual offices are smaller than the virtual show. The whole facility is a messed up piece of cut backs and things that got AXED. Go look for yourself...OR SHOW ME A NEW LINK with ACTUAL videos and ACTUAL PHOTOS. Believe it or not, the FPF just went to H E L L in a handbasket. This really is all HAT and no CATTLE baloney...just go and look at it in person. Because, they are not going to show on-line REAL videos of this white elephant.

sctnvol writes:

in response to tennrich1:

WARNING WARNING WARNING...SETUP ALERT...DO NOT RESPOND!!!! IDIOT AHEAD....

I love it! Cracked me up! The guy must think people don't have a right to relax after two months of non stop recruiting.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to tovolny:

The LINK is about a year old from UTSPORTS. IT IS NOT A VIDEO and it is NOT real pictures. It is a series of architectural renderings. It would have been nice if it had been built as shown. The equipment in the workout room is nothing like what the renderings show. The actual heating and ventilation in the ACTUAL facilities don't work properly. The actual offices are smaller than the virtual show. The whole facility is a messed up piece of cut backs and things that got AXED. Go look for yourself...OR SHOW ME A NEW LINK with ACTUAL videos and ACTUAL PHOTOS. Believe it or not, the FPF just went to H E L L in a handbasket. This really is all HAT and no CATTLE baloney...just go and look at it in person. Because, they are not going to show on-line REAL videos of this white elephant.

You are of course entitled to your opinion.
However, your's is the only negative opinion of the facilities I've encountered.
Everyone else seems quite impressed.
Although I haven't visited it myself, I do know that the few pictures I've seen during interviews and such showed a much different picture than you paint.
For example, the video of coach Jones' first meeting with the team showed (the meeting room at least) EXACTLY as depicted.

chbradshaw writes:

I wonder if Jim Haslam would have been able to go to UT today or would he have been denied admission because he didn't fit with Jimmy Cheek's "Top 25" academic goal?

How many other distinguished alumni who have made a difference on a local, regional, national and worldwide stage would not fit into Jimmy Cheek's UT today.

I'm no sure how we in Tennessee who actually fund what is supposed to be a teaching institution benefit by bringing in a bunch of Chinese math wizards and Russian language scholars to raise out academic standing to "Top 25."

SevenT writes:

Is this a scene from the movie "Dumb and Dumber"

volaholic45 writes:

Can someone forward this article to Bob Kesling, whose "Vol(s)" rhymes with "bowl(s)" about half the time?

And while we're on speech, has anyone else noticed that Jones sounds just like Les Miles? Same caricatured coach-speak; same aggressive, clipped, staccato delivery.

iowavol writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

What a marroon

uh, oops.

volfan1202 writes:

I don't give a Krap how Jones and his yankee coaching staff pronounce Vols.

All I care about is how they recruit and if they can win. So far... their recruiting has proven to be very underwhelming. Doesn't look good for this fall.

The best coaching staff in the country should have been able to do much better.

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Is this a scene from the movie "Dumb and Dumber"

Yea and we are trying to figure out are you Dumb or Dumber.

PHAT_VOL writes:

In about seven months we will see what we got. Sept 14 when we are in Oregon.
Seeing will be beliving!

GO VOLS!!

laraccoon writes:

in response to KnoxVegas88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

in the shape of a football .

Ayres_Hall writes:

Our fanbase has regressed into a bunch of crybaby chicken littles. If things are so bad then please leave and follow Vandy.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Our fanbase has regressed into a bunch of crybaby chicken littles. If things are so bad then please leave and follow Vandy.

Are you saying things aren't bad??? We supposed to blindly support a poor administration???

It's actually "OK" to say that the program has been chit for quite some time now. It's actually "OK" to complain about the decisions made on and off the field.

Doesn't mean we are all "chicken littles". We are just calling a spade a spade. You don't like it??? Then leave and go follow the flavor of the week.

Pompey writes:

....Butch Jones is all that stands between UT and Mid-Major status.....might want to support him whether or not you like him....!

UTvols33 writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL!!! That is almost the exact same comment you wrote on the article about the running backs. Dude, how about a little creativity when you spew your hatorade. "Get ready for 5-7 or 4-8, delusional." Ha ha ha, oh my, I'm almost crying I'm laughing so hard. Go root for someone else if you are not having fun anymore. This should be fun, it's sports. You suck.

lstbodeanvol writes:

How did they talk Hart into wearing an orange tie? seems like everyone knows that crimson and orange dont go together....

tennezz writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Lighten up, Francis.

Is that Francis the talking mule?

tennezz writes:

in response to cyclonevol87:

Yea and we are trying to figure out are you Dumb or Dumber.

+10

5bleedorange writes:

in response to volfan1202:

I don't give a Krap how Jones and his yankee coaching staff pronounce Vols.

All I care about is how they recruit and if they can win. So far... their recruiting has proven to be very underwhelming. Doesn't look good for this fall.

The best coaching staff in the country should have been able to do much better.

Hey genius maybe bUTch should have let u recruit we would have top 5 class I guess.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Question: Did the Newspaper pay for the travel, or were they along for the ride, on UT's dime?

If the latter, there is no way for objectivity in any sports reporting from this point forward, and it violates almost every principle taught in J-Schools...and supposedly practiced by professional journalists.

If the paper actually paid its own way, wonderful. It shows a commitment to doing news that readers can trust not to be pandering, or written by people who would pimp journalism in exchange for content at zero cost---

and is proof that the paper is not trying to take readers for a ride. Obviously since the question ahs been raised several times, and this article/1stInAseries is being published;

either the paper has done the honorable thing, or is immature enough to show a reader that it does not care enough about its credibility, the way the old-time reporters were made to walk out...

brokendownoldvol writes:

Hope they understand how to pronounce "win".

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

100% of trolls like you are scumbags

VolGrad writes:

in response to tennezz:

Is that Francis the talking mule?

Actually, it is from the movie, Stripes, with Bill Murray.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OnpkD...

VolGrad writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

Are you saying things aren't bad??? We supposed to blindly support a poor administration???

It's actually "OK" to say that the program has been chit for quite some time now. It's actually "OK" to complain about the decisions made on and off the field.

Doesn't mean we are all "chicken littles". We are just calling a spade a spade. You don't like it??? Then leave and go follow the flavor of the week.

No, but negative is ALL some of you have to say. It is far beyond spelling out the obvious to finding the cloud in every silver lining.

Nag, nag, nag. It's like a continual dripping in a bucket.

IndyVolFan writes:

in response to tovolny:

The LINK is about a year old from UTSPORTS. IT IS NOT A VIDEO and it is NOT real pictures. It is a series of architectural renderings. It would have been nice if it had been built as shown. The equipment in the workout room is nothing like what the renderings show. The actual heating and ventilation in the ACTUAL facilities don't work properly. The actual offices are smaller than the virtual show. The whole facility is a messed up piece of cut backs and things that got AXED. Go look for yourself...OR SHOW ME A NEW LINK with ACTUAL videos and ACTUAL PHOTOS. Believe it or not, the FPF just went to H E L L in a handbasket. This really is all HAT and no CATTLE baloney...just go and look at it in person. Because, they are not going to show on-line REAL videos of this white elephant.

Here you go, Jackwagon...REAL pictures.

http://www.utsports.com/view.gal?id=1...

mikethehistorystudent writes:

Bama fans are stupid, but some of our fans aren't much better.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to pj_ladyvolnMI:

Fun to read. Seems like all they have to realize to pronounce Vols is that it's short for Volunteers. No one says Vole-unteers. But it did seriously remind me of when I asked my dad what a Vol was when I was in elementary school. Can't believe I can remember that.

Years ago when I was tutoring UT athletes, I had a female tennis player from England ask me just what a "Vol" was. The only similar term she had heard was "vole", which is a small field mouse! She felt a lot better about the team nickname when I explained the origin of the "Volunteer" moniker.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

This would have been a better reply:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw4OdU...

WOW! Thanks for the link. That surely looked like $40mil worth to me. I just sort of took it for granted that UT had great facilities, but if any other program can match that center, I would surely like to see it.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Our fanbase has regressed into a bunch of crybaby chicken littles. If things are so bad then please leave and follow Vandy.

Yeah, it seems that some of the people who post on here were some of the visitors at the "show and tell" events. Nobody will know until we see the team on the field whether these guys know what they are doing, but they surely do talk a good game in all respects. That is all we can possibly know about them right now, but even that is a pretty good step ahead of what we have had in the public relations department.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to IndyVolFan:

Here you go, Jackwagon...REAL pictures.

http://www.utsports.com/view.gal?id=1...

Thanks to you as well. I can see some differences between the "artist's conception" and the real thing, but it is pretty impressive nevertheless.

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