June 23, 2010
Head coach Derek Dooley took a giant step Wednesday toward his reorganization of the Tennessee brand, naming of former Vols defensive back Andre Lott to the position of Vol for Life (VFL)/Character Education Coordinator.
The newly-created VFL is a comprehensive program for UT's football student-athletes that centers around four areas of personal growth: character education, life skills, career development and spiritual growth.
"Hiring Andre to coordinate our VFL program is one of the many steps we have taken to reshape our culture into one that produces not only great players and great teams, but more importantly, greater men," Dooley said.
A former captain and four-year letterman from 1997-2001, Lott returns to Knoxville from West Tennessee where he was an assistant football coach, head track and field coach and Success Coordinator in the Hardin County school system. As Success Coordinator, Lott taught kids of all age groups real life skills, dealing in Savannah with such issues as broken families, drug use, bullying and teen pregnancy.
"I am excited about this opportunity and feel it is a job I was meant to do," Lott said. "I have a tremendous passion for helping develop young people, and an even greater passion for my alma mater."
Lott's playing days in Knoxville were an exciting time for the Vols, who won 53 games in those five years, played in three BCS bowl games, captured two SEC championships and won the 1998 BCS national championship in Lott's redshirt freshman campaign.
Lott was team captain in 2001 and served as a two-year member of the squad's Unity Council - a liaison group between the football team and coaching staff under Lott's head coach, Phillip Fulmer. The All-SEC defensive back was drafted in the fifth round by the Washington Redskins and played five seasons in the NFL.
"Andre represents everything it means to be a `Vol for Life,'" Dooley said. "He excelled at the highest level on the playing field in the SEC and the NFL, and did so as a man of high character and principles."
Lott, 31, hails from Memphis and is married to a Savannah native, the former Jackie Givens, who will be working in Knoxville as a nurse practitioner at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. The couple has two children: Ella Grace, 4, and Ana Lou, 19 months.