New Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer: 'Let's go have fun winning championships'
Former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer has taken over as the Volunteers’ new athletic director.
It’s just what Tennessee needs after a wild week that culminated with AD John Currie’s firing on Friday morning.
Fulmer was introduced at a press conference on Friday afternoon by University of Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport.
He said it’s time for UT to pull together.
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“Our football program has the history, the facilities, the tradition and the resources to play with anyone, anytime,” Fulmer said at the presser. “And that’s what we’re going to do again … This is an important time in our history. We all agree on the objective. We all agree on the urgency of achieving our objective. It’s time that we all pull together to be part of the solution. There is much work to be done.”
Fulmer realizes it is now his job to turn around the football program. He said it will require quite a bit of teamwork, as well. He commended Tennessee fans for their passion.
“Our football teams in recent years have struggle for a variety of reasons, but through it all, we have been supported by the most passionate fan base in the country,” Fulmer said. “These great fans deserve teams that make them proud. It will not be easy, and it will take some time, but we will succeed.
“I have been a part of the University of Tennessee athletic program when it was at its best,” he added. “I have seen what honest communication, trust and hard work achieve. It is my mission to lead our entire athletic department in a way that honors our university’s legacy and insists on excellence.
“Let’s go have fun winning championships.”
Fulmer said he hasn’t established a time table for the coaching search to this point, “because this has all happened so fast.”
He noted, too, that he hopes to be a stabilizing and unifying force for UT at this time.
When asked about what kind of coach he will be looking for, Fulmer didn’t rule out coordinators.
“I’ve been charged to find the right coach for these circumstances — head coach, assistant coach, coordinator,” he said. “I wasn’t a head coach when I started, and I’ve had some success. More times than not, you like experience — somebody who has been a head coach to come in. We’ll see where that goes.”
Fulmer also noted that he will be communicating with committed recruits, as well as potential prospects who may be interested in Tennessee, while the search is ongoing.