A once-familiar face took in Tennessee football practice on Tuesday. Dressed in a shirt and tie like the businessman he now is, Phillip Fulmer observed and chatted with various staff members and a couple of his former players.
It was Fulmer’s first practice since he was fired as coach in 2008. He’s kept a low profile around the program since then, careful not to be misinterpreted as looking over anyone’s shoulder. At current coach Butch Jones’ invitation, Fulmer spoke to the team Tuesday.
“It was a little emotional, being the first time back,’’ Fulmer said in a UT release. (He didn’t talk to the media.) “I’m glad to be here. As I told them, any way I can help.’’
Just being there helped, Jones said.
“He had a great message for them,’’ Jones said. “It’s the pride of who we are. ... To have him back meant a lot to everybody.’’