Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will help restore football as East Tennessee State by serving as special assistant to the athletic director for football.
ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander announced Tuesday that former University of Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer will be joining the Buccaneer program to facilitate planning and help launch the institution’s new gridiron team.
Sander said Fulmer’s official title will be special assistant to the athletic director for football. He will be helping the Bucs restore a program that had an 80-year history before being disbanded following the 2003 season.
“When you have a chance to use the knowledge and skill of a Hall of Fame coach who has won a national championship and is revered as one of the truly great coaches in college football, you have to jump on that opportunity,” Sander said during a press conference inside the D.P. Culp Center. “Phil Fulmer will make a huge contribution to the success of ETSU football.”
Fulmer, who led the Tennessee Volunteers to a national championship in 1998, said he was extremely happy to see ETSU returning to the football field and he’s pleased to do his part.
“It is very exciting to be asked to work with Dr. Noland and Dr. Sander to help them any way I can to launch college football again at ETSU,” Fulmer said. “I am extremely impressed with Dr. Noland’s passion to build upon and enhance the culture of excellence at ETSU. Dr. Noland and Dr. Sander both believe and understand that sports, and in this case football, is important to both the students and the alumni of a university. It can help them enjoy and enhance the college experience, as well as stay connected for years to come.”
Fulmer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December 2012 following a career that included a national championship, two Southeastern Conference titles and seven divisional titles at the Tennessee.
The Winchester native was an offensive guard from 1968-71 at Tennessee, from which he graduated in 1972. After a graduate assistantship at Tennessee, Fulmer coached for five seasons at Wichita State University before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach.
He became head coach of the Volunteers at the end of the 1992 season, when he succeeded Johnny Majors, and continued through 2008, posting a 152-52 record with a 74 percent winning percentage and earning numerous Coach of the Year honors. During his tenure at Tennessee, he coached 18 All-Americans and 92 NFL draft picks, including NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning.
Under Coach Fulmer, the Volunteers won the SEC Championship in 1997 and went on to an undefeated season in 1998, winning a second consecutive SEC Championship and the National Championship in the Fiesta Bowl, which was the very first Bowl Championship Series title game.
Currently, Fulmer is a partner with Northshore Management Co., Knoxville, a holding company for investment strategies and private equity companies. He has also worked as a college football studio analyst with CBS Sports.