Monday, November 3, 2008

Sources: Fulmer agrees to step down as Vols coach

Phillip Fulmer, who a decade ago brought Tennessee its first national championship in 47 years, will not return as the Volunteers' coach next year, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

An announcement is being planned for later Monday at Neyland Stadium. Fulmer, who has won 150 games at his alma mater and is the dean of SEC coaches, met with Tennessee officials Monday morning, and they reached a mutual agreement that it would be best for all parties if Fulmer did not return next season.
SEC blog


ESPN.com's Chris Low writes about all things SEC in his conference blog.



The sides also agreed that Fulmer would coach the remainder of the 2008 season.
The Vols (3-6, 1-5 SEC) have lost three of their past four games and are in danger of posting their second losing season in the last four years.

"Anybody that likes Tennessee and cares about what the product looks like on the field is frustrated," Fulmer said Sunday night, according to The Tennessean.

In the story posted on the Nashville newspaper's Web site, Fulmer told his coaches in a Sunday meeting to shield the players from their frustration.

"It's about our energy, the looks in our eyes, our demeanor and how we approach it in meetings and film sessions," Fulmer said about his coaching staff, according to the Tennessean. "We're professionals and we have and we will continue to be looking forward to playing."

There had been increasing scrutiny on Fulmer, who took over full time as head coach in 1993 and has been at his alma mater as a player, assistant coach and head coach for more than 30 years.

The Vols won the national title in 1998 and were one of the top programs in all of college football in the 1990s, but the program hasn't been the same this decade. They've lost 31 games since the end of the 2001 season.

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