COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Fulmer to Replace Majors at Tennessee
Tennessee named offensive coordinator Phillip Fulmer as its new coach Sunday night, replacing Johnny Majors, whose contract was bought out after 16 seasons.
Fulmer, 42, played at Tennessee for Doug Dickey, now the athletic director, and has been on Majors’ staff since 1980, serving as offensive coordinator since 1989.
Majors, whose contract was bought out on Nov. 13, will remain on the job through the Volunteers’ bowl game, expected to be the Hall of Fame Bowl against Boston College on New Year’s Day.
“Obviously this is an exciting time in my life,” Fulmer said. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing.”
The 17th-ranked Vols (8-3) ended Majors’ last regular season with a victory over intrastate rival Vanderbilt, scoring 22 fourth-quarter points for a 29-25 triumph.
“I want to thank the athletic department staff, the UT faculty and school officials who’ve been so helpful,” Majors said. “And, of course, I want to thank all my assistants, the loyal ones. . . .”
Among Fulmer’s first acts as coach was to deny reports in Sunday’s Knoxville News-Sentinel that he may have orchestrated a coup against Majors.
“I want to make it known to all concerned that at no time have I ever demeaned or conspired against John Majors, or given anyone any sort of ultimatum,” Fulmer said. “I was put in the middle of a situation not of my making. I have put my love, my heart and soul into this program, and that is the reason I’m standing here today.
“I appreciate all that Coach Majors has done for me and I always will wish him well.”
Unless Frank Broyles, athletic director at Arkansas, has a last-minute change of heart, former Clemson Coach Danny Ford is set to be named coach of the Razorbacks (3-7-1) today.
During 11 seasons at Clemson, Ford compiled a 96-29-4 record and the 1981 national title.
Auburn officials searching for a successor to coach Pat Dye received permission to talk to Fisher DeBerry at the Air Force Academy, the Birmingham (Ala.) News reported.
DeBerry guided the Falcons to a 7-4 season and a fourth consecutive Liberty Bowl appearance.
Miami remained No. 1 and Alabama No. 2 in the Associated Press poll, and third-ranked Florida State (10-1) doubled its lead over No. 4 Texas A&M; (12-0).
If Alabama (11-0) beats Florida Saturday to gain the Southeastern Conference championship, the Crimson Tide will meet Miami for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl.
If Miami and Florida State finish 1-2 in the poll, they would be required to meet in the Fiesta Bowl under rules established by the new bowl coalition.
Miami handed Florida State its only loss, 19-16, on Oct. 3.