A marvelous sight

By Tom Mattingly “It’s not how many years a man has lived. It’s how many people are glad that he did.” That’s the Bob Campbell storyline when you attempted to sum up a life that spanned 72 years and 19 days, one that ended on Nov. 18, 2017. It was a daunting task, but was […]

A never-to-be-forgotten time

By Tom Mattingly Three events in the mid-1960s helped define the era in Knoxville basketball history and the immediate future of the University of Tennessee basketball program. The protagonists in one specific drama were Bill Justus and Jimmy England, who were playing for Bob Fry at Fulton High School and Carroll Smith at Holston High […]

What the fuss is all about

  By Tom Mattingly There are times in a lifetime of watching and commenting about sports and assessing its impact on otherwise sane and sensible people that the time comes to sit down and rationally consider what the fuss is all about. One dominant recollection from across the years was the team’s Friday afternoon walk-through […]

Back to the way it began

By Tom Mattingly What March 6, 1967, gave to the Tennessee basketball program, March 6, 1978, took away. Both days” belong” to Ray Mears. On March 6, 1967, Mears was in his fifth season at Tennessee. The Vols won the SEC basketball title, first in 24 years, at Starkville, Miss., Tennessee 78, Mississippi State 76, […]

Doc Julian

Doc Julian

  By Tom Mattibgly Three significant hires in the early 1960s had a profound impact on the University of Tennessee athletic program and its history. Dr. W. J. Julian, known best as “Doc” or “Doc Julian,’’ and Haywood Harris came on board in 1961, as director of bands and sports information director, respectively. Doug Dickey […]

A number of memorable occurrences

By Tom Mattingly There was always a special feeling to working in the William B. Stokely Athletics Center with Haywood Harris and Bud Ford. Many, if not most, of us who worked there had walked the rolling hills of campus, had sat in the classrooms, and had a personal investment in the growth and development […]

A lifetime in sports

A lifetime in sports

By Tom Mattingly If you hang around University of Tennessee athletics long enough, there are a number of questions and events that help make life entertaining. Here are some examples.   Is it NEE-land or NAY-land? More than a few years ago, someone called and mentioned knowing “Gen. NAY-land” when each of them served in […]

There’s a flag on the play

  By Tom Mattingly Never was John Majors happier to see a flag dropped. It was Nov. 5, 1988, and the Vols had a one-game winning streak, after a win two weeks earlier at Memphis State. That doesn’t sound like much, but the Vols had dropped six in a row to start the season, so […]

Another Elite Team

By Tom Mattingly When Vol fans discuss the great teams in Tennessee football history, several squads come quickly to mind, e.g., 1928, 1938, 1939, 1950, 1951, 1956, 1967, 1970, 1985, 1989, 1995 and 1998. Here’s one vote for the 1965 team to be included among those elite teams. Doug Dickey was in his second year […]

‘Trees in a Lynchburg Cemetery’

By Tom Mattingly For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s what teachers have told us over the years. In Moore County, if you did or said something Elizabeth Majors might not have liked, you were going to hear about it. That was just a fact of life. John Majors often called […]