John R. Bender

John R. Bender coached college football, basketball and baseball in the early 1900’s, ending his career as the coach of all three sports at Tennessee from 1916-1920. He coached the football team for three seasons during that time. Bender led the 1916 Volunteers to an undefeated 8-0-1 record, posting his best individual season as a college football coach. After stepping away from football for two years, he returned to the sidelines in 1919 and led Tennessee to an even 3-3-3 record. Bender improved the Vols to 7-2 in 1920 before stepping down as the football coach for good. He was 18-5-4 as Tennessee’s football coach, and remained at Tennessee as the basketball coach until 1921. Bender passed away in 1928 at the age of 46.

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