On June 16 we're wishing a very happy birthday to Vol basketball great Wayne Chism!
A Tennessee native, Chism averaged 11.3 points per game over his four year career on Rocky Top. Chism was the focal point of the Volunteer offense during his senior season, averaging 12.6 points per game to go along with 7.2 boards per contest -- both team highs. He earned first team All-SEC honors that season and led Tennessee to its first-ever Elite Eight appearance.
Since completing his career at UT, Chism has had success playing professionally overseas. He is currently playing in the Philippines.
A sophomore from Los Alamitos, California, Geer has started all 117 games of her collegiate career. Following a true freshman season that saw her earn Freshman All-SEC honors, Geer is batting .320 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in her second season on Rocky Top. Geer and the Lady Vols host Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regionals against Florida State tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET.
Now a wide receiver with the Tennessee Titans, Hunter played wideout for Tennessee from 2010-12, racking up 1,812 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Hunter finished his junior season ranked third in the SEC in receiving yards (1,083) and was named to the All-SEC second team. Hunter also competed for the track and field team while on Rocky Top and currently stands as the No. 7 long jumper in program history.
Bone played guard as a member of Tennessee's 2010 Elite Eight team after transferring from Southern Illinois and logged 12 minutes in UT's historic Sweet Sixteen win over fifth-ranked Ohio State. During his senior year in 2010-11, Bone appeared in 23 games and received the starting nod three times. He averaged 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 17.8 minutes per game that season.
The Big Orange Caravan continued at Atlanta's College Football Hall of Fame last night. Get the latest from Butch Jones and Rick Barnes as they met with the media prior to the event: Vols Take Over College Football Hall.
On April 24 we're sending happy birthday wishes to Tennessee basketball legend, Ernie Grunfeld!
Now the president of the Washington Wizards in the NBA, Grunfeld scored 2,249 points for the Volunteers between 1973-77. That figure ranks second all-time at UT, as does his 22.3 points per game career scoring average. A two-time All-American, Grunfeld had his No. 22 jersey officially retired by UT on March 2, 2008. Following his playing career, Grunfeld played in the NBA for nine seasons before becoming the general manager of the New York Knicks and eventually the Milwaukee Bucks.
Today we're celebrating the birthday of one of Tennessee's basketball legends: Allan Houston!
Houston is UT's all-time leading scorer at 2,801 points in his 128 games over four years on Rocky Top. He trails only Pete Maravich on the SEC's all-time scoring chart. Houston was a two-time All-American and a four-time All-SEC selection, Houston went on to play 12 seasons in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks. In 2011, Tennessee retired his #20 jersey to make him the third UT men's basketball player to have his number retired at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Houston is currently an assistant general manager for the Knicks.
On April 17 we're sending out happy Big Orange birthday wishes to two men's basketball VFLs: Dane Bradshaw and C.J. Watson!
Bradshaw was a point-forward for the Volunteers from 2004-07, boasting a career assist/turnover ratio of 2.14 while helping guide UT to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances over his final two seasons. He was selected as a member of Tennessee's All-Century team in 2009. In October of 2014 it was announced that Bradshaw had accepted a gig with the SEC Network as a basketball analyst for the 2014-15 season. Born this day in 1984, Bradshaw is celebrating his 31st birthday.
Watson played point guard for Tennessee for four seasons, turning in his best campaign during his senior year in 2005-06. That year, he averaged 15.3 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game en route to second team All-SEC accolades. He closed out his Vol career as the program's second all-time leader in career assists (577) and steals (198). Following the conclusion of his college days, Watson played two seasons overseas before joining the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League. On January 8, 2008, Watson signed on with the Golden State Warriors and has remained in the NBA ever since. He has played with the Chicago Bulls, the Brooklyn Nets, and is currently a member of the Indiana Pacers.
The Vol Network's "Vol Calls" Lineup is set for tonight at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT
New Tennessee Basketball Coach Rick Barnes will be on-site with hosts Bob Kesling and Brent Hubbs at Calhoun's On the River, as will former Vol punter Matt Darr. The show will also feature interviews with Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones, tight end Ethan Wolf and linebacker Dillon Bates.
You can tune in on Vol Network stations across the state or listen free online HERE.
Rocky Top has got two birthdays to celebrate on this March 28. We're sending some 'happy birthday' wishes to football's Thomas Edwards and some more to men's basketball VFL Jordan McRae!
After redshirting his true freshman season, Edwards saw his first collegiate action with the Volunteers during the 2014 season. He appeared in two games, making his debut on homecoming against Chattanooga. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Edwards played prep football at Dobyns-Bennett High School where he was named first team All-Big Eight Conference. He is 20 years old today.
A four-year letterwinner for Vol Basketball, McRae donned the Orange and White from 2010-14. As a senior in 2014, he started all 32 games and averaged a career-best 18.7 points per contest. He shot 43.6 percent from the field, including a 35.1 mark from beyond the arc. He closed out his career ranked 16th on Tennessee's all-time scoring list (1,521 points) and seventh on the all-time list for 3-pointers made (179). He was selected in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs and was traded to Philadelphia later that night. After a stint in Australia with Melbourne United, McRae returned to the U.S. after being acquired by the Delaware 87ers of the D-League. Just last week, he recorded career-highs with 39 points and 13 boards against the Oklahoma City Blue.
During his first season with the Tennessee men's tennis program, Jones holds a singles record of 8-7 and a doubles mark of 2-2. The Warner Robins, Georgia, native opened his collegiate career with a ranked victory when he defeated No. 94 Alex Arovin of Tennessee Tech (6-1, 6-2) in the opening round of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. Jones turns 19 years old today.
A five-star wide receiver from Hampton, Georgia, Williams became one of the newest members of Team 119 back on National Signing Day in February. He played his prep career at Lovejoy High School, where he was named first team All-State and earned an invitation to the 2015 Under Armour All-Star Game. He had 43 catches for 916 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior despite missing a portion of the year with a knee injury. Williams is 18 years old today.
From one of our newest Vols to one of our newest VFLs, defensive back Coleman wrapped up his UT career last fall with 157 career tackles and five career interceptions. Coleman was recently invited to the 2015 NFL Combine, where he recorded the fastest 3-cone drill time of any participant (6.61). He was also third among cornerbacks in both the bench press (20 reps) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.21). Today Coleman celebrates his 22nd birthday.
A defensive back for Vol football from 2002-06, Wade also starred on the track and field team, making his mark in the outdoor relays. His 4x100-meter relay team in 2003 recorded the program's second-fastest time in the event all-time. On the football field, he earned All-SEC honors in 2006 after leading Tennessee in pass deflections and interceptions. Wade was the 84th pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, taken by the St. Louis Rams. He is 31 years old today.
One of Tennessee Basketball's all-time greats, Lofton was the 2007 SEC Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring at 20.8 points per game. That year, he led the Volunteers to the Sweet 16 and was named a second team All-American. As a senior in 2007-08, Lofton passed Allan Houston to become UT's career-leader in three-pointers made, and not long after that, passed Pat Bradley of Arkansas to capture the record for most career treys all-time in the SEC. Following his collegiate career, Lofton went on to play professionally in Turkey, Spain, and Russia. He is currently under contract with Besiktas -- a Turkish team based out of Istanbul.
Happy birthday Jess, Preston, Justin, Jonathan, and Chris!