Happy Birthday - May 21: Hall of Famer Johnny Majors

On May 21, we wish Happy Birthday to Vols legend and College Football Hall of Famer Johnny Majors, born on May 21, 1935. 

Few who have followed college football over the years will soon forget the gridiron magic created by a skinny tailback who weighed at most, 168 pounds. His name is Johnny Majors. Even the name had a special ring to it. It wasn't Jones or Smith or Thompson. It was Majors. Playing for Bowden Wyatt's Volunteers, Majors was a do-everything back who was MVP of the Southeastern Conference in both his junior and senior years. In his senior year, Johnny Majors led Tennessee to an undefeated season, was a consensus All- American, finished second to Paul Hornung in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was named by UPI as Back of the Year. And why not? He ran, passed, punted, and even blocked. He was one of college football's best punters. After that, Majors sought a career as a college football coach. He got his first experience as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and Arkansas. He landed his first head coaching job at Iowa State in 1968. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1973. His 1973 team was the first Pitt team in 17 years to get a bowl bid, and Majors was named Coach of the Year. His 1976 team went 12-0, was national champion and Majors again was named Coach of the Year. He moved to his alma mater, Tennessee, for the period 1977 and 1990. Majors returned to Pittsburgh and coached there again from 1993-96, completing 29 years as a head coach. He was part of a very famous football family. His father, Shirley Majors, coached high school football 13 years and was head coach at Sewanee 21 years. He had five sons who played college football--John, Bill and Bob at Tennessee, Joe at Florida State, and Larry at Sewanee. John scored 565 points in his high school career, playing for his father at Huntland, Tennessee.


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