The Volunteer Creed has been the motto of The University of Tennessee students since the Torchbearer Statue was erected on campus in 1968. At the base of the statue engraved on a plaque, the creed states, "One that beareth a torch, shadoweth oneself to give light to others." No one embodies this motto more than assistant Tennessee swimming coach Joe Hendee.
Hendee has been a tireless supporter and advocate for the UT aquatics program since his arrival as a student assistant coach in 1978. Hired as Tennessee's first full-time paid assistant coach, Hendee has been the heart of Tennessee swimming for more than 30 years. His tenure began under legendary Vols' head man Ray Bussard and has continued into the Trembley era.
Under Hendee's careful eye, the Big Orange have earned a 177-32 (.847) dual-meet record, three SEC crowns and a national title. Tennessee has produced 92 individual SEC champions, 15 individual NCAA champions, three gold medalists and more than 100 All-America selections.
When not coaching the Vols, Hendee has dutifully served the United States as an international coach and mentor. Shortly after joining Bussard's staff, Hendee worked as the facilities coordinator for the 1982 USSR-USA dual-meet held in UT's Student Aquatic Center. He was also assisted Coach Bussard during his stint as a 1984 U.S. Olympic coach. In 1986, Hendee served USA Swimming as a coach at the Elite Training Camp in Chapel Hill, N.C. Hendee also coached at the 1989 and 1993 U.S. Olympic Festivals and worked as a facilities coordinator at UT's Student Aquatic Center prior to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. At the same time, Hendee was preparing UT's Jeremy Linn and Ricky Busquets for the Olympiad.
In addition to coaching, Hendee's responsibilities include working with the dry-land and strength program, coordinating recruiting efforts, managing the scheduling process and team travel, supervising support staff and serving as a liaison for the program and the Timettes organization. Hendee has also worked closely with the Tennessee Swimming Hall of Fame since its founding in 1982.
Hendee's coaching abilities have been called upon before as he has served three times on the staff at the U.S. Junior Nationals. He has also traveled to Athens for the 2000 Short Course World Championships and Barcelona for the 2003 Long Course World Championships.
Because of his dedication and service to The University of Tennessee, Hendee was inducted into the Tennessee Swimming Hall of Fame in 2003. The Hall of Fame's motto, "Honoring those who have served in true Volunteer Tradition," seems to embody Hendee's career perfectly.
Joe and his wife, Shelli, have two daughters, Claire and Caroline. The Hendee family attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Knoxville, Tenn.
|The Hendee File|
|Born:||July 17, 1960 in Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|Education:|| Notre Dame High School
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1983)
|Coaching Career:||The University of Tennessee
(Undergradute Assistant) 1978-1981
(Graduate Assistant) 1981-1983
(Assistant Coach) 1983-Present
|Wife:||Shelli Lutker Hendee|
|Children:||Claire and Caroline|