Many Vols fans are feeling optimistic today. With newly named Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer taking over the search for the next head football coach, fans say the program will get back on track. Friday, UT named Phillip Fulmer, the school's second-winningest football coach, as the new athletic director.
"I think he's the right guy for the situation," said Eric Westmoreland, who played on UT's football team under Fulmer from 1996 to 2000.
Westmoreland says Fulmer, who also played for Big Orange, has the background to recruit a solid head coach.
"He's a Tennessee guy," said Westmoreland. "He knows Tennessee. He's coached at Tennessee and I think he knows what the players need and what they deserve."
After a handful of head coach prospects turned down offers, UT placed the old athletic director John Currie on paid leave.
"Philip Fulmer is the only guy who can get us out of this mess," said Allan Jones, UT fan and contributor. "This is the worst mess in college football history"
Jones says Fulmer will lead a much more discreet and productive search than Currie.
"There's going to be a lot of people who will talk to us who wouldn't talk to us before," said Jones. "I guarantee you that. "He will be very tight lipped and he won't let anything leak like it's leaked in the past."
We asked Fulmer's daughter Brittany Fulmer Ennen, who lives in the Chattanooga area, how her dad is handling his new position and all the fan support.
"We're really excited for him," said Brittany Fulmer Ennen.
She spent the day with her dad in Knoxville yesterday.
"It's mostly for support," said Fulmer Ennen. "We really don't talk about details of his profession. This morning he gave me a big kiss and hug before he left the house and he said, 'It's gonna be ok.'"
Fulmer Ennen says she doesn't know anyone who loves UT as much as her father.