John Majors

Honoree, 1966 - 1969 Inductees, Tennessean of the Year
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University of Tennessee, Iowa State, Pittsburg


The University of Tennessee and Johnny Majors were described as a “perfect fit” ‘ a school with a rich tradition of quality football and a great athlete and coach with his roots planted firmly in the mountains and valleys of the Volunteer State. Perhaps the best of the legendary Majors family athletes, John began playing football at Huntland High School under his father, Shirley. A skinny tailback who could run, pass, punt, and block, John scored a remarkable 565 points before heading on to play for Bowden Wyatt’s Tennessee Volunteers. Twice MVP of the SEC, John in his senior year led UT to an undefeated season, was a consensus All-American, and finished second in Heisman Trophy balloting. His glorious playing days over, John eventually landed his first head coaching job at Iowa State, before moving on to Pittsburgh, where he guided the Panthers to a national championship in 1976, while twice being named the top coach in the nation. In 1977 John Majors came back to Knoxville ‘ this time as head coach ‘ where he led the Vols to SEC titles in 1985, 1989, and 1990. In 1993 he returned to Pittsburgh as head coach before finally retiring in 1996, ending an illustrious twenty-nine-year coaching career. A National Football Foundation Hall of Fame inductee and member of the All-SEC Quarter Century Team, John Majors also finds time to contribute to numerous charities. But such character is really no surprise from the son of Shirley and Elizabeth Majors, the first family of Tennessee football.

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University of Tennessee Athletics Department

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