The Tennessee head-coaching job is one of several open positions in college and pro football. But, let me make a plea to potential candidates of why this job is the BEST out there right now.
The Tennessee football organization has a long history.
The organization started in 1891. Let’s put this in perspective…. In 1891: There were only 44 States that were part of the United States. Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States; Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago….So it has been a while since the start of this program. Although there was not a coach at the time and there were several “student coaches” the following years, the first official head coach, J.A. Pierce, was named in 1899. Since then, there have been 22 head coaches, the last being Derek Dooley.
The Vols have been part of the SEC since it began in 1932. Tennessee also has the most players in the SEC Hall of Fame and 9th most in all of college football with 22 players.
The Vols obviously have a long and successful history, and there is no reason for that to change in the future!
The Vols have a history of winning.
They have 16 conference titles. They have been to 49 post-season Bowl Games with a record of 25-24.
The entire program itself has a winning percentage of .684.
Of the approximately 115 seasons played at Tennessee, 92 of them have been over a 0.500 winning percentage. That is 80% of Tennessee football. 80 PERCENT. How many other college football programs can say that?
There are very few losing seasons.
A majority of “losing” seasons for Tennessee came before they were even in the SEC or any conference for that matter. The longest “losing” record was from 1903-1906. It was so long ago, let’s not even count that….in recent years, the 3 year stretch from 1962-1964 (head coach: Bowden Wyatt) and 2010-2012 (Derek Dooley).
Tennessee is also one of two teams (Ohio State University) to NEVER lose 8 games in a season.
Obviously, Tennessee isn’t used to losing and therefore is looking for a head coach that can bring them out of the slump and back to glory.
Worried about money? Think again.
Dooley was college football’s 6th highest paid coach at a time when money within the Tennessee Athletics department were all but nonexistent. Yesterday, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced that some academic donations from the Athletic Department would be halted in order to generate enough money to hire a coach. This money would amount to $18 million over the next 3 years.
Also keep in mind that Governor Bill Haslam, a Tennessee Board of Trustees member, recently stated, “money would be no obstacle.” His brother recently became the owner of the Cleveland Browns. These guys have money. They are willing to invest money into the football program. I mean heck, they have paid for several renovations to buildings on campus and have had buildings named after them (Haslam Business Building and the New College of Music Building). — Money really shouldn’t be an issue.
The Tennessee Vols have had Neyland Stadium at their disposal since 1921 and it has been renovated and expanded as recently as 2010. Neyland is the largest stadium in the SEC, 3rd largest non-racing stadium in the United States, and 6th largest non-racing stadium in the world. It IS actually a “world-class” facility.
Neyland can hold over 102,000 people and has had a record attendance of over 109,000 in 2004. It also AVERAGED an attendance of just over 107,500 fans per game in the 2000 football season. In addition, the winning percentage at Neyland is 0.795….the Fans obviously have something to do with it!
The iconic checkerboard endzone was used in earlier years, but re-established in 1989. ….(Check out a video of the checkerboards being painted this year! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ruT9gYquJik&noredirect=1 )
Who wouldn’t want to run onto this field?
The fans actually “Bleed Orange”: Traditions
Alright so the real reason potential candidates should be interested in this job are the fans. Tennessee football is a way of life in Rocky Top. There are several traditions including the checkerboards, the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, the iconic “T” formed on game days, the Vol Walk and who could forget? Singing Rocky Top!
The fans and followers have been calling for change for since the loss in Dooley’s first and ultimately last bowl game back in 2010. Maybe they didn’t give him much of a chance to do anything with the program, but these fans have a tradition of winning. We don’t know any better!
Tennessee football is a way of life. Many of these people grow up all their lives devoted to this program and always want its’ best interest. They are committed to the program, rather than just its’ personnel, proving that the traditions and way of life will continue on for years to come!