Recently in Birthdays Category

Happy Birthday - March 18

On this 18th day of March we're wishing a very happy birthday to former Tennessee linebacker and Philadelphia Eagle Omar Gaither

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Gaither played linebacker for the Vols from 2002-05. He was a two-year starter and recorded 210 total tackles, six sacks, and 23 tackles for loss during his time on Rocky Top. As a senior, he racked up 78 tackles, four sacks, and four forced fumbles as he earned second team All-SEC honors for the second consecutive season. Gaither started his 2005 season on the Butkus Award Watch List and was also a member of the 2002 freshman Academic honor roll.



In 2006, he was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He remained with the franchise until 2010. He turns 31 years old today.

Happy birthday, Omar! 


Happy Birthday - March 17

We've got five Big Orange birthdays to celebrate on this St. Patrick's Day 2015! Today, we're wishing a happy birthday to football linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen as well as VFLs Cordarrelle Patterson and Robert Lee Suffridge. Also, today is the birthday of women's basketball's Bashaara Graves and soccer's Carlyn Baldwin

Coach Thigpen is heading into his third year at linebackers coach at the University of Tennessee. He has played and coached in seven bowl games over his career, including the Vols' 2015 Tax Slayer Bowl victory back in January. He has been considered one of the top recruiters in the country on multiple occasions, named National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com back in 2013. 

Tommy Thigpen

A current wideout for the Minnesota Vikings, Patterson played just one season for Tennessee back in 2012 but made an immediate and memorable impact. In 12 starts, he racked up a school-record 1,858 all-purpose yards and ranked first in the SEC. He notched 10 total touchdowns on the year, doing so in four different ways: receiving, rushing, kick return, and punt return. He was selected as the 29th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. 



Bob Suffridge played football at UT from 1938-40 and collected All-America honors in all three years. A two-way player, "Suff" was dominant on both sides of the ball and helped the Volunteers to a 30-0 record during his time on Rocky Top. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1941, but his professional career was shortened due to his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Suffridge was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1961.

Bob Suffridge

A junior from Clarksville, Tennessee, Graves and her Lady Vol teammates are gearing up for another NCAA Tournament run when they face Boise State at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday. This season, Graves is averaging 10.1 points per game to go along with 6.8 boards per contest. She has seven double-doubles to her  name in 2014-15 and became the 40th Lady Vol to surpass 1,000 career points when she scored 17 in a win over Mississippi State.

Bashaara  Graves

A midfielder from Oakton, Virginia, Baldwin played in 21 games and saw 20 starts as a true freshman in 2014. She scored one goal and notched two assists on the season. Prior to arriving at UT, she traveled with the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup -- one of three incoming college freshmen to be named to the team.

Carlyn Baldwin


Happy Birthday - March 16

On March 16 we're wishing a happy birthday to freshman rower Katherine Pearson

Katherine Pearson

A native of Garden City, New York, Pearson is a member of the novice squad. At Pomfret School, she was a member of the varsity rowing team, squash team, and cross country team. She is majoring in business at UT and turns 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Katherine!


Happy Birthday - March 15

On the heels of this weekend's NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships -- and on the brink of the 2015 outdoor season, which begins on Thursday -- we have a quartet of Tennessee track and field birthdays to report on this day. Today we're celebrating the birthdays of junior thrower Cameron Brown, junior pole vaulter Jake Blankenship, freshman cross country and middle distance runner Drew Kelley, and VFL from the throws Aslynn Halvorson. Today is also the birthday of rowing's Natalie Tavares

Brown is the 2015 SEC Indoor Champion in the men's weight throw after turning in a winning effort of 74 feet, 1.75 inches (22.60 meters) two weeks ago in Lexington. He was just the second Volunteer in the conference's history to win the event. He is also the current school record-holder in the men's weight throw, having broken Garland Porter's 11-year-old record with a throw of 76 feet, 8.50 inches (23.38) back in February. 

Cameron  Brown

Blankenship is blowing out the candles just two days removed from a silver-medal performance in the men's pole vault at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships. He set a new lifetime-best in the event with a vault of 19 feet, 0.25 inches (5.80 meters). That mark is the second-best in program history and also stands as the second-best mark for a runner-up finisher in NCAA history. He has earned indoor first team All-America honors for the second time in his career on Rocky Top. 

Jake  Blankenship

Kelley is in the midst of his first season with the Tennessee track and field program, hailing from Roswell, Georgia. Just two weekend's ago, he set a new personal best in the mile at the 2015 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 4:21.12. 

Drew  Kelley

Halvorson competed in the throws for UT from 2010-14, notching marks in the indoor shot put and weight throw as well as the outdoor shot put, hammer throw, and discus. She ranks seventh all-time at UT in the outdoor shot put (52-5.5/15.99) and is ninth in the discus (169-9/51.75). She owns a degree in kinesiology from Tennessee.

Aslynn Halvorson

A sophomore from Fonthill, Ontario, Tavares has logged two seasons with the varsity rowing squad. This season, she was part of the shell that placed fourth in Women's Cup 8+ at the Head of the Hooch race with a time of 16 minutes, 26.4 seconds. She earned gold during the women's 2- with partner Thomson behind a time of 21 minutes, 20.9 seconds. She is an accounting major at UT.

Natalie Tavares

Happy birthday Cameron, Jake, Aslynn, and Natalie! 


Happy Birthday - March 14

Today we're wishing a happy birthday to soccer's Anna Bialczak and to football VFL Deon Grant!

Born this day in 1996, Bialczak redshirted her first true freshman season in 2014. She is a native of Lutherville, Maryland, and attended McDonough High School, leading it to three IAAM Championships. She was an NSCAA Fall High School Girls All-American in both 2012 and 2013 and in the spring of 2014 she played with the U.S. U-18 Women's National Team in the 10 Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain. 

Anna Bialczak

Grant starred at defensive back on Tennessee's undefeated 1998 national championship squad. A safety from Augusta, Georgia, Grant played at UT from 1997-99. His leaping, one-handed interception in UT's overtime win over Florida proved crucial in the Vols' march to the BCS National Championship in 1998, and in 1999 he earned consensus first team All-America honors. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft and went on to play 12 years in the NFL with stops with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and New York Giants. He was a member of the Giants' Super Bowl XVLI winning squad.

Deon-Grant-vs-Eagles-11-2-08.jpg

Happy birthday, Anna and Deon!


Happy Birthday - March 13

On this Friday the 13th of March we've got five, count 'em, five birthdays to celebrate on Rocky Top. Current student athletes Candace Flemmings (rowing), Molly Hannis (women's swimming and diving), and Gustav Aberg Lejdstrom (men's swimming and diving) will each be blowing out the candles today, as will VFLs Tonya Edwards (women's basketball) and David Martin (football). 

Flemmings is a true freshman from Cary, North Carolina, and is a member of UT's novice squad. She attended Green Hope High School where she played basketball and ran track. She is 19 years old today.

Candace Flemmings

One of the senior leaders on the women's swimming and diving squad, Hannis has qualified for this month's NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. She has clocked a pair of top-three times nationally this season after earning two silver medals at the 2015 SEC Championships in late February. She ranks first in the country in the 100 breaststroke (58.42) after winning the gold medal in Greensboro last December at USA Swimming Winter Nationals and ranks third in the women's 200 breaststroke (2:06.98) after earning second place i the same pool the next night. She has collected 13 SEC medals over her storied career. Hannis is 23 years old today.

Molly Hannis

Aberg Lejdstrom is a junior from Helsinborg, Sweden. During this last season, he picked up a win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:44.24 to open the year at UNCW. At that same meet, he anchored the 200-yard medley relay team to a first-place finish. He earned three A final appearances at the Nike Cup in the 100 free, 200 free, and 100 fly. He turns 23 years old today. 

Gustav  Aberg Lejdstrom

Edwards played basketball for the Lady Vols from 1986-1990 under head coach Pat Summitt. She was a two-time national champion, helping the squad to national title in 1987 and 1989 and scored 1,309 points in her career. After her playing career, she went on to play professionally in Spain, Turkey, and Israel before returning to America to play in the American Basketball League. When the ABL folded, she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the 1999 WNBA draft. She also played with the Charlotte Sting and Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. 

Tonya Edwards

Martin, a football VFL, played wide receiver at Tennessee from 1998-2000 before being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2001 NFL Draft. He would play 11 seasons in the league, including stops with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, and amassed 152 catches for 1,519 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He returned to Knoxville in 2012 to accept his diploma from the University of Tennessee. 



Happy birthday, Candace, Molly, Gustav, Tonya, and David!


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!


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. 




Subscribe and Share