As a player, Johnny Majors led the University of Tennessee football team to an undefeated season and nearly won the Heisman Trophy, the college game’s highest individual honor. After a brief career in professional football, he became a college coach and won a national championship at the University of Pittsburgh. He then returned as the head coach at the University of Tennesseee and brought his alma mater back to national prominence.
Mr. Majors celebrates his 78th birthday on Tuesday – and the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) wants to mark the occasion by making Tennesseans aware of the vast collection of materials the library has available for public inspection that document his career.
The John T. Majors Papers cover the period of Mr. Majors’ life from 1952 through 1995. The collection includes newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters to and from fans, notebooks and playbooks, scouting and game reports, photographs and slides, media guides, and audio and video cassettes. The items donated by Mr. Majors provide a unique perspective into his career as a player, coach and athletic director.
TSLA is currently working on an addition to the collection, including Mr. Majors’ personal calendars from 1968 through 1996, which will be ready later this year. With the addition, the entire collection fills more than 50 record storage boxes in the archives.
“I am sure many Tennessee football fans are not aware that the State Library and Archives has these valuable records documenting the life of one of the college’s legendary coaches,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “These are records that are available for anyone to inspect, free of charge. This is just one example of the many interesting historical collections available at the State Library and Archives. I hope all Tennesseans will join me in wishing him a Happy Birthday!”
The collection is available for inspection during TSLA’s normal operating hours, which are 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, with the exception of state holidays.
TSLA’s building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. A limited amount of parking for patrons is available around the building.
A brief synopsis of portions of Majors’ career is available in a TSLA online exhibit at: http://www.tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/majors/exhibit_majors.htm.