Leading the Vols to the Promised Land of winning football

By Tom Mattingly When push comes to shove for quarterbacks battling for playing time, as is the case this spring and more than likely going into the fall, there are a number of cliches that seem applicable. “The No. 2 quarterback is always the most popular guy in town.” “If you have two quarterbacks, you […]

Not bad for his time

By Tom Mattingly Record-setting performances happen in unexpected places, at unexpected times. It happened in a televised game in the days there were precious few games on the tube. On Nov. 9, in the ninth game of the 1966 season, Tennessee was unranked in AP’s Top 10. The Vols and Kentucky were squaring off at […]

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 […]