KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The University of Tennessee announced Tuesday the hiring of Phillip Fulmer as a special advisor.
The former head football coach will be a special advisor to President Joe DiPietro for community, athletics and university relations. Dipietro says Fulmer will be an ambassador for the University system, support athletic programs at each campus and work with UT government relations and alumni affairs.
That seems to be what Fulmer has already been doing for years. Now he has a title and paycheck to go with it.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life serving UT and this great state and this part-time position allow me to continue to do that and my message will be we all must continue to come together for the greater good of our university, our system, and our athletics program,” said Fulmer during a news conference Tuesday.
Part of Fulmer’s goal of coming together was to address the elephant in the room. It is no secret that Fulmer wanted to the university’s next athletics director. That job went to John Currie.
At a news conference Tuesday, Fulmer said he wanted to address the issue on the front end of the news conference.
“I have absolutely no animosity for not being named the athletic director. I simply felt compelled to try that position because of my love and passion for the university,” said Fulmer. “I went through the proper channels and I appreciate the support I’ve received internally and from the alumni and fans. It was made clear to me from the very beginning that I did not fit the criteria and I had good interviews and everyone heard my thoughts.”
Fulmer graduated from UT-Knoxville in 1972. He was an offensive guard for the Vols and became the assistant football coach in 1980. He became the head coach in 1992 and led the Vols for 17 years. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.