Fall Letter From Tennessee AD Phil Fulmer

Friday, August 23, 2019

 

Hello, Vol Nation. We're nearing the end of August—one of the most exciting times of the year.

As we prepare to embark on a new academic and athletic year—celebrating UT's 225th anniversary—it's my hope that all of our teams aim to build on the positive momentum generated by our top-25 finish in the Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup this past year.

That's a credit to our incredible student-athletes and our outstanding roster of head coaches and their respective staffs. But every single day you either get better or you get worse—you never stay the same.

I'm thrilled to be working closely with our new Chancellor, Donde Plowman, an outstanding leader who is already impacting our campus in significant ways. I'm also excited to help welcome a new freshman class to the university this week. Members of this year's freshman class represent 26 countries, 46 states and 88 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. More than 20 percent of the class are first-generation college students. I look forward to seeing great—and loud—student crowds at our various athletic events throughout the coming year.

The pads are popping on the football practice field, Neyland Stadium is set to host eight games this fall, our soccer program earned its highest-ever preseason ranking at No. 10, volleyball is ranked in the top 20 and the Doug Dickey Hall of Fame Plaza is nearing completion. There is a heck of a lot of optimism here on Rocky Top.

Football season kicks off next Saturday, Sept. 1, when we host Georgia State at Neyland Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET. As was recently announced, we'll implement alcohol sales at football beginning with the BYU game on Sept. 7. I'm confident this new fan experience enhancement will not detract from the safe, positive and family-friendly atmosphere that Neyland Stadium has long been known for.

There is a lot happening the weekend we host Georgia. Not only will we dedicate the Dickey Plaza that Friday, Oct. 4, but we'll be hosting Coach Dickey's 1969 SEC Championship team that weekend as well.

Sales of our new "Vol Pass" ticket option for football season continue to go well, and a limited number remain available at AllVols.com.

Our soccer team opened its regular season with a 3-1 win over Fordham last night. That was be the first of 10 home matches at Regal Soccer Stadium this fall. It's our hope that the sport's surge in popularity from the recent Women's World Cup carries over to the collegiate season and results in some great crowds to see our women's soccer team in action.

After an incredible debut season under head coach Eve Rackham, volleyball looks to build on its second-place SEC finish this year. Single-game and season tickets are available now at 
AllVols.com. The squad has a home exhibition vs. High Point on Saturday, Aug. 24, before opening the season against Illinois at Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday, Aug. 30. That sounds like a great night to set a new attendance record!

Fall is also an important time for our cross country, rowing, golf and tennis squads. They host a very limited number of home events this fall. Below is a complete list so you can make plans to attend:

Cross Country | Tennessee Triangular | Aug. 30 at Cherokee Farm Cross Country Course
Women's Golf | Mercedes-Benz Collegiate | Sept. 16-17 at Cherokee Country Club
Rowing | Secret City Head Race | Oct. 20 in Oak Ridge
Swimming & Diving | Orange & White Intrasquad Meet | Sept. 20 at Allan Jones Aquatic Center
Women's Tennis | Tennessee Fall Invite | Oct. 26-28 at Goodfriend Tennis Center
 
The swimming & diving team also hosts four additional home events in November, including dual meets against Purdue, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.

After much anticipation, our golf programs have moved into the beautiful new Blackburn-Furrow Clubhouse at the Mack and Jonnie Day Golf Practice Facility. We'll be dedicating the clubhouse during a special ceremony on Friday, Sept. 13.

Our men's golf team has put together a fantastic schedule of tournaments for this year. Two of their first three events provide opportunities for the squad to defend championships from a season ago. Women's golf, meanwhile, has impressively bolstered an already talented roster that advanced all the way to the NCAA Championships last spring.

And of course, the rest of our winter and spring sports are hard at work and wasting no time preparing for their own successful seasons.

Beginning today, Big Orange Fridays are back. You can receive special discounts all around town just by wearing your orange. Visit 
BigOrangeFriday.com for a list of participating sponsors and discounts.

Looking back on the past several months, our "Summer of Smokey" outreach tour made it to all 95 counties throughout the state of Tennessee, covering more than 7,000 miles and interacting with more than 18,900 Big Orange fans along the way. It was a fun and unique way to deliver the Rocky Top experience to the entire state. Kudos to our Fan Experience staff for their execution of this successful initiative.  

I mentioned earlier the optimism and excitement that is in the air. I want to invite each and every one of you to come experience that on Rocky Top this fall. Check out the changes and progress around campus and support our teams. If you've never been to a soccer or volleyball match, give it a try. We can't be the type of athletic program we aspire to be without you.

Thank you for all you do, and let's have a great semester!

 


SEC Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

SOCON Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

UTC Women Host Mercer In Cancer Awareness Game Thursday


Southeastern Conference Basketball Standings as of games of: February 17, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: ... (click for more)

Southern Conference Basketball Standings a s of games of: February 15, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: ... (click for more)

While the forecast may call for a possibility of wintry weather in the morning, the day will warm up and the Mocs will hit the floor to host Mercer in a crucial Southern Conference matchup Thursday ... (click for more)


Sports

SEC Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

Southeastern Conference Basketball Standings as of games of: February 17, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: Kentucky 10-2 20-5 Auburn 9-2 22-2 LSU 9-3 18-7 South Carolina 8-4 ... (click for more)

SOCON Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

Southern Conference Basketball Standings a s of games of: February 15, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: ETSU 12-2 23-4 Furman 12-2 22-5 UNCG 11-3 21-6 Western Carolina 8-6 16-9 ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Human Remains Found In Walker County

Human skeletal remains were found in Walker County in a wooded area about 500 yards off the roadway, east of the 4000 block of South Highway 27, Lafayette, by a man and his son while they were hunting Monday morning, according to Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson. The remains are believed to be those of a Walker County man missing since Sept. 30. Robert “Robbie” Sisson III, ... (click for more)

Body Of Attorney Who Jumped From Market Street Bridge Found Near Guntersville Dam; Wife Recounts Last Contact With Him; Funeral Is Saturday

The body of a prominent Chattanooga attorney who jumped from the Market Street Bridge has been found 122 river miles away and 19 days later near Guntersville Dam in Alabama. It was identified as that of George Edward Koontz, 66, of Chattanooga. Authorities said several people saw a man jump from the bridge on Jan. 29. The family of attorney Koontz reported him missing that ... (click for more)

Opinion

School Board Needs More Leaders, Not Followers

It is disappointing that Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson’s contract is being prematurely extended and that the amount of his compensation package has been significantly increased based on hopes of performance improvements. The disfunction of the School Board’s discussion Monday night is reason enough for Thursday night’s vote to be reconsidered or delayed. Dr. Johnson is the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Fret The Coronavirus

It has been famously said, “The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable,” so let’s clear up this one right now: You ain’t gonna’ get the coronavirus. Yes, it has been declared an “emergency” in the United States, and yesterday the number of confirmed cases topped 75,000. But that’s 75,000 in a world of 7.8 billion people. Right now there have been 15 cases in the United ... (click for more)