Phillip Fulmer Issues New Years Address to Vol Fans

    by -

    Photo credit: Will Boling/RTI

    2017 is officially in the rear view mirror, and Vol fans are glad to see it gone. Very little went right for Tennessee athletics in 2017, and it’s a year Vol fans won’t forget (for better or worse). But now it’s 2018, and there’s hope in the air for Vol fans in just about every sport.

    And that feeling of hope and excitement is evident even in Tennessee’s administration. Specifically with new Tennessee Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer.

    Fulmer has officially been on the job as Tennessee’s AD for a month now, and he helped usher in the new year for Vol athletics by addressing Vol fans in a video that he put out on Twitter. In it, Fulmer discusses the year that was and what’s to come for Tennessee sports.

    “I hope you’re as excited about getting started on 2018 as I am,” Fulmer states at the beginning of the video. “We have much to be proud of and there’s also much work to be done as we move forward into the New Year.”

    From there, Fulmer moves on to address the highlights of 2017. He praises all of UT’s student-athletes who earned a cumulative 3.07 GPA for the fall semester, a record-setting total, and he points out several Vols in particular who are up for awards or who won multiple awards in 2017. He praises athletes like track star Christian Coleman, freshman offensive lineman Trey Smith, and Lady Vol basketball players Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell.

    Fulmer then goes on to praise the work Holly Warlick and the Lady Vols have put in to begin the 2017-18 season with a 13-0 record. He also praises the men’s basketball team and Rick Barnes for their quality start to the 2017-18 season. Fulmer implores Vol fans to support “the outstanding players and coaches” of the basketball teams and says he wants “a total home court advantage” in basketball.

    He then transitions into Tennessee football, and Fulmer has nothing but praise for the Vols’ newest head coach.

    “Coach Pruitt and everyone associated with our football program is working very hard to return the program to where we belong,” Fulmer says. “I know Jeremy will provide the leadership that will get us back to championship football.”

    Fulmer adds that Pruitt already has most of his coaching staff in place and that they’ve all been hitting the recruiting trail hard. National Signing Day for the 2018 recruiting class is on February 7th, and Pruitt is currently preparing for Alabama’s match-up with Clemson in the semifinal of the College Football Playoff.

    Fulmer then moves into more of a “big picture” look of Tennessee’s football program and lays out the foundation of how the Vols’ football team will be built.

    “We will build our team on the cornerstones of trust, communication, warmth, and intensity,” Fulmer states.

    He finishes his address by expressing his gratitude to UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport for allowing him to serve as Tennessee’s AD and asks for Vol fans to do their part to make 2018 a year to remember.

    “I really can’t overstate how honored and appreciative I am to be serving this university,” Fulmer concludes. “I really appreciate Dr. Davenport’s support and leadership. We have much work to do, and we need everyone — including you — to be engaged, to be positive, and to be invested as we charge forward.”

    You can watch all of Fulmer’s address here:

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.