Feb 11, 2002
Playing Under Two Head Coaches
I consider myself fortunate to have played football at the University of Tennessee under two different head coaches. Starting at defensive end in 1976 was a dream come true for me.
In 1975 and 1976 coach Bill Battle was the head man. Even though coach Battle was young, he got the best out of his athletes. Just the look in coach Battle's eyes would let you know if your effort on the practice field was sufficient. I often wondered why coach battle never raised his voice.
In 1977 coach Johnny Majors came on board as the head coach for the Big Orange. People often ask me if I was ever in the military. The answer is no. But spending two years under coach Majors and practicing three times a day, running, running, running and running some more, I would have to say I have been to boot camp. Two of the things I learned from these two fine men was discipline and never, never, ever give up.
Most athletes spend four years in college playing under the same head coach. I had the privilege of playing under two different head coaches. With my hard work and discipline on the practice field and in the games, I was selected as a team captain in 1978, and I also received the Bill Majors Award that same year. The Bill Majors Award is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the dedication toward football displayed by Bill Majors, a Tennessee player (1958-60) and coach (1963-65), who died in 1965.
My thanks go out to coach Battle and to coach Majors.
Wolfe currently resides in Knoxville and is an elementary school principal
in the Knox County School system.
"Ray in the Way"
He was known in his day as "Ray in the Way," a title given him Vol broadcaster John Ward. he was one of two Don DeVoe recruits in the 1978-79 campaign and, for four years, he made his presence felt wherever the Vols played.
He earned the title from his uncanny ability to take a charge and general gung-ho attitude on the floor.
He came to the Vols from Collinsville, Ill., just outside of St. Louis, and Vol fans remember him fondly for his competitive spirit.
Ray had quite a rookie season as a Vol. DeVoe's first team caught fire down the stretch and somehow had enough arrows in its quiver to take the SEC Tournament title.
In that season, Tennessee defeated Kentucky three times and Vanderbilt twice. It was quite a debut for DeVoe and for the youngster from Illinois. He came to the rescue when the Vols played at Wisconsin late last December, when the Comcast crew covering the game needed a halftime guest at the last moment.
Ray was attending the game, visiting with his longtime friend, Vol broadcaster Bert Bertelkamp, and was there, right behind the Vol bench.
He jumped into the fray and did quite well on short notice, showing the poise and resiliency he showed as a Vol.
He's now lives in Madison, Wis., and took the time to come over and be with some of his old friends. He is now a computer consultant in that Wisconsin city.
Every team needs a
Steve Ray-type player. The Vols had the real thing in the late 1970s and