Tennessee Football History. Tennessee Volunteers football history is a one of the most storied in all of college football . The Vols have a long list of All-American players and coaches and a reputation as one of the winningest college football programs.
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Tennessee Volunteers football history is a one of the most storied in all of college football. The Vols have a long list of All-American players and coaches and a reputation as one of the winningest college football programs.
Tennessee Volunteers football history goes all the way back to 1891 when Tennessee first fielded a competitive football squad. They were not part of any conference at the beginning. However, in 1896, the University of Tennessee became part of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. From 1921 to 1932, Tennessee played in the Southern Conference. Finally, in 1933, the Volunteers joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Neyland is known for winning four National Championships in 1938, 1940, 1950, and 1951. Doug Dickey in 1967 and Phillip Fulmer in 1998 claimed the other two National Championship victories under the Volunteers' belt. In 2003, Doug Dickey was added to the list of all-time best Tennessee Volunteers football coaches.
As for the players, there have been many Tennessee Volunteers football players who have continued on with prosperous professional football careers in the NFL. To date, two former Volunteers have earned the coveted 1st Pick of the NFL Draft – Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts) in 1998 and George Cafego (Cardinals) in 1940.
The Tennessee Volunteers have retired a collection of uniform numbers in honor of former players, including the #16 that Manning wore as quarterback. Sometimes, a number is retired to pay homage to fallen teammates. World War II claimed the lives of three former Volunteers, who received the retired number honor – #32 Bill Nowling (former fullback from 1940 to 1942); #49 Rudy Klarer (former guard from 1941 to 1942); #61 Willis Tucker (former fullback in 1940); and #62 Clyde Fuson (former fullback in 1942).
The school colors associated with the University of Tennessee football team came from Charles Moore, who was a member of the first squad in 1891. He suggested the color scheme of orange and white to complement the many daisies surrounding the Knoxville campus.
The University has a pure hatred for those in the conference that are the best of the best. Among these names that represent the Southeastern Conference so well is Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky. These three teams are Tennessee’s most hated rivals due to the close games and history of the programs