KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A hallmark of any strong football program is a good relationship between the administration and the coaching staff. That certainly seems to be the case at Tennessee and was even more evident at the end of this season.
Athletics Director Dave Hart has been a frequent visitor to Butch Jones’ sidelines and the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville was no different. Hart got an up close look at what his head coach is building and it’s safe to say he likes it.
“It’s a validation for this staff and these players for all the hard work and a reward for the players who haven’t had the opportunity to experience postseason football. This is what it’s all about. It will be a springboard for tremendous momentum as we move into the spring,” said Hart.
The Big Orange faithful transformed Everbank Stadium into Neyland south. Total attendance was just under 60,000, but you’d have been hard pressed to find the Iowa fans in the sea of orange, a sea that everyone involved with the team credited with helping win the game.
“I want to applaud, again, we have the most passionate fanbase in all of college athletics, maybe in all of sports. And our fans make a difference. It felt like and looked like a home game and I want to applaud all of our fans for everything they mean to the growth of this program and they’re being rewarded and they deserve it,” said Hart.
The Vols won the game Friday 45 to 28 over Iowa.