UT Athletics Honors Bronson, Johnson With Locker Room Dedication

Saturday, August 18, 2007 - by by special report to The Chattanoogan

KNOXVILLE -- The University of Tennessee Athletics Department recognized two former Vol gridiron greats Friday by naming the football locker room inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center in honor of Tommy Bronson and Bill Johnson.

“Tommy and Bill have helped build the foundation that makes Tennessee football what it is today,” head coach Phillip Fulmer said during the midday ceremony. “The Bronson-Johnson Locker Room will serve as an inspiration for the young men that enter this locker room each day. I am honored to have their names forever associated with Tennessee football.”

A large gathering of friends and family, including five shared grandchildren, were on hand along with numerous athletics department employees. Johnson recognized UT staff members and former teammates who have influenced or befriended him over the years, while Bronson challenged the senior football players in attendance to grasp the opportunities presented by playing for the University of Tennessee.

As members of the 1955-57 teams, Bronson and Johnson helped lead Tennessee to a 24-7-1 record, a 3-0 record versus Alabama, two bowl appearances, an SEC championship and a No. 2 ranking in 1956. After their playing days, they have been loyal supporters and leaders of the university and the athletics program.

Bronson, a native of Gainesville, Fla., played fullback and defensive halfback for the Vols, starting 31 games in his career. In addition, Bronson served as the 1958 UT senior class president. He earned his degree in business administration and entered the Army following graduation. Bronson went on to a successful career in the construction materials industry, serving as president and CEO of several major corporations. He continues to demonstrate the Volunteer spirit through his involvement with several state commissions in Florida, his church and leadership support of UT athletics during the STEP UP campaign and Campaign for Neyland Stadium.

Johnson came to UT from Sparta and was a standout at the guard position. His play on the field earned him All-SEC and All-America honors in 1957. He was also named an Academic All-America and is one of only five Vols to have received both honors. Johnson’s leadership of the team earned him the distinction of being named a co-captain in 1957. After graduating with a business degree, Johnson served in the Army and later as president and vice-chairman in a successful banking career. He remains active in community and church activities in his hometown of Sparta. Bill provided leadership to the university as a member of the Board of Trustees, Athletic Board and through his contribution to the Volunteer Athletics and Scholarship Fund.

“As student-athletes and as alumni of the university, they have personified the excellence that all who represent the university strive to achieve,” said Mike Hamilton, men’s athletics director. “Tommy Bronson was a great player, student government leader, served our country, is a successful executive and supporter of many charitable causes including the University of Tennessee. Bill Johnson was an All-SEC and All-America guard, standout student in the classroom, served our country, continues to have a successful career in banking and has been a generous friend to the university and athletics with his time and resources.”

The STEP UP Campaign continued the University of Tennessee’s commitment to offering world-class facilities in which Volunteer student-athletes study, train and compete. More than 870 donors committed $28.61 million towards new, renovated and expanded facilities benefiting nearly all of UT men’s and women’s intercollegiate teams in their quest to compete for SEC and NCAA championships.

Other facilities funded through the STEP UP Campaign include the Wolf-Kaplan Hospitality Center, an expansion of the indoor practice field at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, the construction of the McKenzie-Lawson Athletics Center, the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center, an Intercollegiate Golf Complex, Regal Soccer Stadium and Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium.

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)

Lookouts Make It Three Straight With 5-2 Win Over Montgomery Thursday

Edgar Corcino singled three times, and Ryan Eades allowed just three hits over 5 2/3 innings as the Chattanooga Lookouts defeated the Montgomery Biscuits 5-2 on Thursday. The second place Lookouts are just 1 1/2 games behind the North Division Leading Smokies. Eades (2-1) picked up the win after he walked three while allowing one run. Eades did his best Kohl Stewart impression, ... (click for more)

Hodge Wins SunTrust Tennessee State Open

GALLATIN, Tenn. -- Former UT-Chattanoogan Jonathan Hodge  won the SunTrust Tennessee State Open here Thursday at the Foxland Harbor Golf and Country Club . Hodge shot his second straight 6-under 66 and finished at 204.     69th Annual SunTrust Tennessee State Open Updated: 5/26/2017 9:24 AM EDT Foxland Harbor Golf and Country Club ... (click for more)

Pool Chemical Leak Forces Evacuation Of Sports Barn North

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a reported haz-mat incident at the Sports Barn North on Hamil Road at  6:37  a.m. on Friday. Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said an employee was working with some pool chemicals when some of the liquid leaked out of a container. The employee said he breathed in some of the vapors from the liquid and became ill. When the manager ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Studying Restrictions On ATVs; City Forms Housing Re-Development Authority

The East Ridge City Council is studying an ordinance drafted by City Attorney Mark Litchford to address issues involving property in a residential neighborhood around John Ross Road, where an ATV track has been built. At the past two council meetings, people living in close proximity to the two-acre lot complained to the council that noise and dust created by almost non-stop use ... (click for more)

Scrutinizing Defense And Other Public Spending Is Right Thing To Do

I saw in the news today where U.S. senators were investigating and scrutinizing an Army "debacle," which has already spent $6 billion on a communications system developed by a defense contractor (WIN-T) that is virtually ineffective in use.   This is on top of a recent Navy scandal (Fat Leonard Scandal) where several current and former Navy admirals were sentenced to prison ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Suicide Letter

Two weeks ago there were five suicides and a fatal drug overdose in the same Chattanooga community. That absolutely tears me up inside because I am assured almost every day there is a better answer. I make no secret I struggle with depression and it is real. I want others to see if I can get through the valleys to climb the mountain, they can too. I take medicine every day that ... (click for more)