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    Phillip Fulmer     
     
      Phillip Fulmer
Position:
Head Football Coach

Record:
152-52

The dean of Southeastern Conference coaches, Fulmer has claimed a national championship, two conference titles and seven divisional crowns while winning better than three-quarters of his games. He also retains his rank atop the winning percentage list for coaches with at least 10 years experience in major college football.

a-fulmer1639-250.jpg
VOLS UNDER FULMER
  • Selection as National and SEC coach of the year in 1998.
  • The first Tennessee team to post 13 victories in a single season, a record in 1998 that included an SEC championship and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl win for the national title.
  • Back-to-back SEC titles in 1997-98 and five Eastern Division crowns in the last 10 years. The Vols have won or tied for the division title seven times under Fulmer.
  • A record of 45-5 from 1995-98, the most victories over a four-year span in school history.
  • Six seasons finishing in the top 10 nationally and 13 seasons ranked in the top 25.
  • Seventeen Tennessee players have earned first-team All-America honors, including offensive tackle Arron Sears and wide receiver Robert Meachem in 2006 and placekicker Daniel Lincoln in 2007.
  • Sixteen first-round NFL selections since 1993 and a total of 90 players selected overall. The team's five first-day 2007 NFL Draft picks were the most of any school and UT has led the SEC with the most players on opening-day NFL rosters each of the last two seasons.
  • Fifteen bowl games have welcomed the Vols, including 12 January bowl invitations.
  • In two of the last three seasons, Tennessee football has led the SEC in Academic Honor Roll recipients.
  • Fulmer was the only coach to coach two William V. Cambell Academic Award winners.

Yet Fulmer's most cherished responsibility centers around the teaching and guidance of young student-athletes. He has built Tennessee football on a platform of "Family First" - something UT's players and coaches say is this program's greatest attribute.

And while his on-field accomplishments - like advancing the Vols to the 2007 SEC Championship Game and claiming 10 wins for the ninth time in 15 full seasons - have obvious allure, it's the personal relationships that register most sincerely for Tennessee's native son.

Now suddenly and - as is his nature - without fanfare, Fulmer finds himself within reach of a coaching milestone that stands near and dear to the hearts of all Volunteers.

Gen. Robert R. Neyland finished a hall of fame career in 1952 with 173 coaching victories. Fulmer enters the 2008 campaign with 147 coaching victories. Twenty-seven more wins breaks the gold standard in Big Orange Country.

Fulmer and his relentless Vols played in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta last season for the fifth time in 11 years.

"The 2007 team was one of my most pleasurable to coach," Fulmer says. "The pride of the players, their focus and consistent improvement through the year -- it all culminated in our winning the Eastern Division championship and Outback Bowl."

Fulmer also joined an elite coaching list last season when his career record improved to 100 games over the .500 mark. Currently 147-45, Fulmer joins Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Jim Tressel, Steve Spurrier, Chris Ault and Frank Beamer as the only active coaches in that fraternity.

And Fulmer's 16 seasons of coaching are the fewest of the seven owning that distinction. Nine Fulmer-coached teams have eclipsed the 10-win mark and two others just missed with nine victories. The highlight came in 1998 when Tennessee capped a perfect 13-0 season with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Florida State.

The Volunteers under their native son have 147 triumphs against only 45 defeats for a winning percentage of .766. No active coach with at least a decade in Division I-A has such a lofty victory rate.

And speaking of the last 10 years, Tennessee under Fulmer is 93-34 during that span.

There is nothing to suggest Fulmer is in any danger of letting up. He is averaging nearly 9 1/2 wins a season for the last decade, with five SEC Eastern Division titles during that span and two overall league crowns.

The Winchester native joined former Nebraska legend Tom Osborne as the only coaches to lead a team to a bowl game in their first 13 years of coaching.

Since Fulmer took over, more than 10 million fans have passed through the Neyland Stadium turnstiles.

In 1998, Fulmer rewarded those supporters by guiding Tennessee to its sixth national championship with a perfect 13-0 record and a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl victory over Florida State.

An accepted measure of a program's success, Tennessee's position in the national polls also has been a testimonial to Fulmer's sure hand at the helm. Under Fulmer, the Vols had a streak of 54 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10.

UT has been in the national polls at game time for 168 of Fulmer's 191 games as head coach.

Fulmer's record becomes all the more remarkable because of the rugged gauntlet of opponents faced by the Vols. Tennessee's schedule is regularly among the toughest in the nation. In addition to the demanding SEC slate, the Vols stray far from home to meet such traditional national powerhouses as UCLA, Notre Dame, California, Miami and Syracuse.

Tennessee has gone 44-33 against ranked competition under Fulmer.

The former Vols offensive lineman served 13 years as a Vols assistant beginning in 1980 before becoming the 20th head football coach at Tennessee. The decision to elevate Fulmer occurred five seasons after he was appointed assistant head coach and three seasons after he became offensive coordinator.

During Fulmer's tenure as offensive coordinator, the Vols set school records for total offensive yardage three years in a row (1989-91). Records have fallen with even greater frequency since he became head coach.

Year after year with Fulmer as head coach, Tennessee continues to stand in the top ranks of college football for graduating players who go on to careers in the professional game.

The 2007 NFL Draft saw six UT players drafted, including a nation's-best five on the first day. Standouts Justin Harrell and Robert Meachem were first-round selections of the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, respectively.

Fulmer is the national spokesperson for the Jason Foundation Inc., and considers such experiences essential to the education process of UT football players. He recently was named the first recipient of the "Grant Teaff Breaking the Silence Award," presented jointly by the AFCA and the Jason Foundation.

He also has served on such boards of directors as Boys and Girls Clubs, American Football Coaches Association, Team Focus and Child and Family Services.

Fulmer is married to the former Vicky Morey and has four children: Phillip Jr., Courtney, Brittany and Allison.

Personal Data
BORN: Sept. 1, 1950 in Winchester, Tenn.
HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION: Franklin County High, Winchester, Tenn.
COLLEGE EDUCATION: University of Tennessee 1972
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Offensive Guard, Tennessee 1968-71
COACHING CAREER: Tennessee 1972-73; Wichita State 1974-78; Vanderbilt 1979; Tennessee 1980-1991; Head Coach 1992-Present
COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS: National Coach of the Year 1998 (FWAA, AFCA, The Sporting News, Maxwell Football Club); Regional Coach of the Year 1993 (AFCA Region 2); Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year 1998 (Coaches, Associated Press); State Farm Eddie Robinson National Coach of Distinction Award 1999; Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame 2001
WIFE: Victoria (Vicky) Morey Fulmer
CHILDREN: Phillip Jr. (3/25/70), Courtney (1/25/83), Brittany (4/22/85), Allison (9/13/86)

FULMER'S HEAD COACHING RECORD
Season
School
Won
Lost
Pct.
Bowl
1992
Tennessee
4
0
1.000
Hall of Fame
1993
Tennessee
10
2
.833
CompUSA Citrus
1994
Tennessee
8
4
.667
Outback Gator
1995
Tennessee
11
1
.916
CompUSA Citrus
1996
Tennessee
10
2
.833
CompUSA Citrus
1997
Tennessee
11
2
.846
FedEx Orange
1998
Tennessee
13
0
1.000
Tostitos Fiesta
1999
Tennessee
9
3
.750
Tostitos Fiesta
2000
Tennessee
8
4
.667
SW Bell Cotton
2001
Tennessee
11
2
.833
Capital One Citrus
2002
Tennessee
8
5
.615
Chick-fil-A Peach
2003
Tennessee
10
3
.724
Chick-fil-A Peach
2004
Tennessee
10
3
.724
SBC Cotton Bowl
2005
Tennessee
5
6
.455
2006
Tennessee
9
4
.692
Outback Bowl
2007
Tennessee
10
4
.714
Outback Bowl
Totals
147
45
.766
(16 Years)

FULMER'S MILESTONE VICTORIES
WIN
DATE
SITE
OPPONENT
SCORE
1
Sept. 5, 1992
Knoxville
SW Louisiana
38-3
25
Sept. 23, 1994
Knoxville
Mississippi St.
52-14
50
Nov. 8, 1997
Knoxville
Southern Miss
44-20
75
Nov. 20, 1999
Lexington
Kentucky
56-21
100
Nov. 2, 2002
Columbia
South Carolina
18-10
125
Sept. 26, 2005
Baton Rouge
LSU
30-27 OT
Fifth-fastest coach in NCAA history to reach 100 victories
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