I know I’m stepping into the muck and mire here with this news link. But since this is a community post, I thought I’d take a shot.
I was at UT as a student when Fulmer came on board. I remember how people just hated him then. And then after his first of many wins, he was a hometown [nay, statewide] hero. I grew up in Knoxville. In fact, Ray Mears’ wife was my 2nd grade teacher. And when he left, he was vilified [I know he was a basketball coach, but I'm trying to make a point]. And as a little girl, we also attended church with Johnny Majors, another former UT coach who was again vilified on his way out. I remember the Sunday after Majors was basically pushed out of his coaching job at UT. He sat in his church pew, which his huge national championship ring on as usual, with his head hung low in prayer. I know we love our football, and we love winning even more. But I just want to thank Phillip Fulmer for being brave enough to coach many years with much love and gusto. And this Sunday, I’m going to say a prayer of thanks for all the fun that he brought into our lives through a fantastic sport.