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Knoxville Named America's #2 Most Affordable City By Forbes

2. Knoxville, Tenn.

According to Forbes, Knoxville has been named the #2 most affordable city to live in. 

Check out what makes Knoxville special: #2 Knoxville

Happy Birthday - March 12

On March 12 we're celebrating the birthday of senior track and field athlete Julia Petree and new men's golf assistant coach Matt Henderson

A native of nearby Maryville, Tennessee, Petree is gearing up for her senior outdoor track and field season. She has had a busy year thus far, competing in both cross country in the fall and indoor track and field during the winter months. Petree set a new personal-best in the indoor 600 meters during the Hokie Invitational with a time of 1:40.80. During her freshman season in 2012, she won the Indoor Lady Vol Freshman of the Year Award. She turns 22 years old today.

Julia Petree

Henderson recently joined the men's golf staff as the Director of Instruction/Player Development. A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, he earned his degree in golf management at UNLV and arrived on Rocky Top as one of the most sought after instructors in the state of Nevada. He was previously the head instructor at TPC Las Vegas Tour Academy.

Matt Henderson

Happy birthday, Julia and Coach Henderson!


Williams Signs With Oakland Raiders

NFL Vol Dan Williams was recently signed with the Oakland Raiders. He joins VFLs Mychal Rivera and Denarius Moore. Williams spent five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals at the nose tackles position. In 70 games played with the Cardinals, he started in 40 of them and recorded 109 total tackles, eight pass deflections and an interception for a touchdown. 



Check out what local and national media is saying about the addition of Williams to Oakland:





When Beth Alford-Sulliavn was hired this summer as Tennessee's director of track and field/cross country, she became the SEC's first female coach over a men's program. As the UT Daily Beacon's Shane Switzer writes, that barrier was just one of many broken by Sullivan on her way to taking the reins on Rocky Top. With six Volunteers, including four from the 14th-ranked men's squad, set to take on the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend, get a glimpse on the career journey Tennessee's newest head coach has taken toward rebuilding this storied program.



Happy Birthday - March 11

March 11 brings us a trio of birthdays on Rocky Top -- two belonging to a pair of longtime VFLs and another for a young man whose Volunteer career is just about to begin. Today we celebrate the birthdays of Tennessee football VFL Eric Westmoreland, baseball standout Chris Burke, and incoming freshman Eli Wolf.

Westmoreland was a linebacker for the Vols from 1997-2000, playing an integral role in UT's run to the BCS National Championship in 1998. He was named a captain in 2000 and went on to lead the squad in tackles with 83, earning All-SEC honors from the league's coaches. For his career, Westmoreland logged 253 total tackles, including 34 for loss. He was a third round pick in the 2001 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and played three seasons before signing on with the Cleveland Browns in 2004. He played three more seasons with the Browns.



A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Burke played baseball at UT from 1999-2001. He was named to three All-America teams during his time in Knoxville, including a Freshman Second Team All-America pick at second base in 1999. In 2000, he was named third team All American and picked up All-SEC honors. He moved to shortstop in 2001 and helped the Volunteers to an appearance in the College World Series. That season he hit .435 with 20 home runs and 49 stolen bases. He was named to the CWS all-tournament team and was the unanimous choice as the 2001 SEC Player of the Year. He went 10th in the 2001 MLB draft to the Houston Astros and made his major league debut with the club in 2004. Other big league stops included the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Diego Padres, and the Atlanta Braves.



An incoming freshman tight end from Minster, Ohio, Wolf set new records at Minster High School in career receptions (124), receiving yards (2,234), and receiving touchdowns (27) over his three varsity seasons. He helped the Wildcats to the 2014 Ohio State Division VI championship, catching nine passes for 145 yards and three TDs in the title game. He is the younger brother of current Vol tight end Ethan Wolf and turns 18 years old today. 



Happy Birthday - March 10

We have a pair of Big Orange birthdays to celebrate today on Rocky Top, both coming from the "football" persuasion. Sophomore defensive lineman Dimarya Mixon turns 20 years old today while fellow sophomore Meghan Flynn, of Tennessee "futbol" (soccer) is 19. 

Mixon appeared in 12 games for the Vols during his freshman campaign. He logged four tackles on the year, three of which came in an early September win over Arkansas State. He was one of 21 true freshman to make their Orange and White debut in the season-opener against Utah State. 

Dimarya  Mixon

Flynn arrived on Rocky Top from Arlington, Virginia, for the 2014 season after capping her prep career with a third consecutive national district title at Yorktown High School. She had 30 goals and 18 assists during her junior season at YHS, earning National District Player of the Year honors. 

Meghan Flynn

Happy birthday, Dimarya and Meghan!


Happy Birthday - March 9

It's birthday time in Tennessee and we've got three of them to celebrate on this second Monday in March. Football's Pig Howard turns 22 years old today and will be celebrating his birthday alongside two Tennessee legends: Rudy Klarer and Ron Widby. 

Howard recently wrapped up his junior season for the Vols, appearing in all 13 games and making nine starts at the wideout position. He led the team in receptions (54) and in receiving yards (618) and scored three touchdowns -- two rushing and one receiving. He owns a current streak of 33 consecutive games with a catch and his 111 career catches rank 13th all-time at UT. 

Pig  Howard

One of Tennessee football's eight retired jerseys belong to the legendary Klarer, who played guard at UT in 1941-42. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Klarer lost his life fighting for the United States in World War II. His number, alongside those of Bill Nowling, Willis Tucker, and Ron Fuson -- other Vols who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country during WWII -- was officially retired in 2006. 



Tennessee legend Ron Widby turns 70 years old today. He is the last four-sport letterman in UT history, earning All-American status in both football and basketball as well as one letter in baseball and golf. During his senior year in 1966-67, Widby led nation in punting average at 43.8 yards per kick and went on to average 22.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in basketball to help lead the Vols to a conference title. He was first team All-America in both sports and picked up an SEC Player of the Year award in basketball. 




Happy Birthday - Feb. 7

We have a trio of birthdays to celebrate on Rocky Top today: volleyball teammates Taylor Johnson and Bridgette Villano are blowing out the candles, as is swimming and diving's Amy Lubawy

A setter from Temecula, California, Johnson recently completed her first season with Tennessee volleyball after transferring to UT from Long Beach State. She appeared in 22 matches on the year, logging 225 assists at an average of 4.09 per set. She also notched two double-doubles on the year, including a career-best 34-assist, 11-dig performance at Mississippi State. Johnson is 20 years old today.

Taylor Johnson

Also celebrating her 20th birthday is teammate and UT volleyball defensive specialist Bridgette Villano. A native of Davie, Florida, Villano appeared in all 32 matches for the Lady Vols last season and saw significant time at the libero position. She led the team in total digs with 328, ranked second in digs per set 3.01, and had 15 matches of 10 or more digs on the year. 

Bridgette  Villano

Lubawy just concluded her freshman season on Rocky Top after arriving at UT as the No. 1 recruit in the state of Nevada. The Las Vegas native swims freestyle and butterfly and posted career-bests at UNC Wilmington to open the year. At that meet she finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (24.76) and was runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly (57.52). 

Amy Lubawy

Happy birthday Taylor, Bridgette, and Amy!



Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/6/15)


Vols' offensive coordinator Mike DeBord is the subject of several stories in the media on Friday, get the inside scoop on DeBord's offensive style: 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: DeBord back on the coaching bicycle

DeBord will also be on the radio circuit on Friday afternoon. He will be on Sports Radio WNML at 5 p.m., and The Zone 104.5 in Nashville at 5:15 ET/4:15 CT. 

Also from the Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols' O-line 'lot more confident' this offseason and the Maryville Daily News: Vols' Kerbyson finding comfort on, off the field

Happy Birthday - March 6

On March 6 we're wishing a happy Big Orange birthday to football's Coleman Thomas!

Coleman  Thomas

A sophomore on the offensive line from Max Meadows, Virginia, Thomas appeared in 11 games for Tennessee last season, getting five starts along the way. He got his first career start at No. 4 Oklahoma in September and went on to earn honorable mention All-America honors from Campus Insiders in the postseason. 

Happy birthday, Coleman!

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