Tennessee announced on Tuesday afternoon that Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer had hired former Vol wide receiver C.J. Fayton to serve as the school’s Director of VFL Programming.
Fayton, who played receiver under Fulmer from 2002-05, was previously the Associate Athletics Director at Maryville College. He was also Maryville’s Title IX Deputy Coordinator and was also the sport administrator for football, men’s and women’s basketball, and golf.
According to a release by the university, Fayton’s new role will be to “administer comprehensive career and professional development programming to student-athletes across all 20 sports while also directing the Vol For Life (VFL) program and working to keep former letterwinners engaged and connected to Rocky Top.”
Back in November of 2017, former Vol Antone Davis resigned from his position as VFL Coordinator and cited a “hostile work environment” as his reason for doing so. He would later say that working for Butch Jones was “one of the worst experiences” he ever had professionally. While it’s not explicitly stated that Fayton is effectively taking over Davis’ old title, the description of his job does appear to make that apparent.
Fayton spent four years at Tennessee as a football player and even played a season of basketball for the Vols. He and UT AD Phillip Fulmer formed a relationship during that time, and now the two are reunited.
“I am very excited to have CJ Fayton join our team,” Fulmer said via the release. “He will touch all phases of the student-athlete experience at Tennessee, from recruiting to life after sports. CJ will work under my direction with our letterwinners for all sports, our development efforts, our alumni relations office, our marketing department and the Thornton Center.
“He brings a lot to the table as a former Vol and UT graduate with a law degree and experience in administration. He has excellent communication skills and understands how important this position is to me, as we connect our past to the future.”
Fayton graduated in 2005 with a degree in Sport Management and then earned his Master’s degree in Recreation Administration in 2008. He then earned a Julius Doctorate degree in 2014 from UT as well. He is a current member of the New Jersey Bar and the Knoxville Bar Association. He also served as a private-practice law clerk in 2013.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the Director of VFL Programming for all sports,” Fayton said. “What makes Tennessee a special place is the people. To have an opportunity to work with the current student-athletes, former letterwinners and the whole VFL community is an honor. Tennessee’s traditions were built by a number of great coaches, student-athletes, administrators and fans. I’m thankful that Coach Fulmer has entrusted me with connecting that past tradition and history to our current student-athletes and program.”
On the field, Fayton played four seasons at wide receiver for the Vols. He caught 74 passes for 981 yards and seven touchdowns in his four years with Tennessee. He also coached football after graduating, coaching wide receivers at Norfolk State from 2010-11. He also served as a compliance assistant at Vanderbilt from 2012-13.