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Phillip Fulmer tests positive for COVID-19

Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer has tested positive for COVID-19, Fulmer announced on Twitter on Friday morning.

“Yesterday, I learned that I had returned a positive test for COVID-19,” Fulmer said in a statement he put on Twitter. “I immediately began following our isolation protocol. A second test confirmed the previous positive.

“I remain asymptomatic at this point. I am feeling fine and will continue to work remotely while adhering to CDC and local health department guidelines. I have not been deemed to be a close contact with any of our student-athletes or sport-specific staff members.”

It was reported earlier this week that Fulmer received a two-year contract extension in May that went unreported. According to the report, the extension means Fulmer’s contract runs through Dec. 31, 2023. Fulmer’s salary will remain $900,000 while his annual retention bonus has been increased to $150,000 from $100,000. He is eligible for that annual retention bonus if he remains Tennessee’s AD on Dec. 31 each yeah throughout his contract.

Fulmer’s contract extension increased his buyout. If Tennessee fired Fulmer, it would owe him 50% of the salary remaining on his deal.

Former chancellor Beverly Davenport fired John Currie and appointed Fulmer athletic director on Dec. 1, 2017. Davenport was fired in May 2018 before Plowman took over in June 2019.

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Six days after taking the reins of the athletic department at his alma mater, he finalized a deal to make Jeremy Pruitt the 26th head coach in the storied history of the Tennessee football program.

Fulmer also has hired head coaches for volleyball (Eve Rackham), men’s golf (Brennan Webb) and Tennessee’s storied Lady Vols basketball program (Kellie Harper). He also came to terms on new or extended contracts for several other coaches—including 2019 Naismith National Coach of the Year Rick Barnes.

Tennessee is scheduled to play No. 23 Auburn on Saturday night on The Plains. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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