Aug. 16, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In attempt to raise awareness for ALS research, head coach Butch Jones and staff participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Each of the coaches challenged Tennessee legends prior to being frozen out.
Jones accepted his challenge and then challenged three more Tennessee affiliated individuals, including Donnie Tyndall, Jon Gruden and Peyton Manning.
Senior A.J. Johnson was one of the players that participated in pouring the water over coaches' heads and had the distinct pleasure of doing it for Jones.
"It felt real good," Johnson said. "I know the ice dumping was for charity, so we did it for a great cause and it felt good dumping it on coach."
Along with Jones, linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen challenged Al Wilson, one of the greatest linebackers in UT history having played from 1995-98.
Defensive coordinator John Jancek called out three-time Super Bowl Champion Bill Bates who played for the Vols from 1979-83 before playing with the Dallas Cowboys. Bates of course is the dad of freshman Dillon Bates.
Running backs coach Robert Gillespie accepted his challenge only to call out two more people, including current rookie Rajion Neal of the Packers. He also named Baltimore Ravens Hall of Famer Jamal Lewis for the challenge.
Former Vols star quarterback and Heisman runner-up, Heath Shuler, was called out by quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian.
Defensive line coach Steve Stripling challenged Reggie McKenzie, general manager of the Oakland Raiders, and legendary Vols lineman.
With the players fully supporting the cause by pouring the water, they recognize the meaning behind an important cause.
"I think that's awesome," quarterback Justin Worley said. "This whole ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has really taken off. You see all these different teams doing different things and just having all of our coaches involved, calling out some of these awesome VFLs, is a great experience and it opens a lot of eyes."
Here's the list of challenges:
Tommy Thigpen to Al Wilson
Willie Martinez to Eric Berry
Zach Azzanni to Cordarrelle Patterson
John Jancek to Bill Bates
Don Mahoney to Ja'Wuan James
Robert Gillespie to Jamal Lewis, Rajion Neal
Mike Bajakian to Heath Shuler
Steve Stripling to Reggie McKenzie
Dave Lawson to Ben Bartholomew
Mark Elder to Jason Witten