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Posts Tagged ‘vols’

A musical “good riddance” to Lane Kiffin

Posted by Richard on January 15, 2010

Knoxville's most entertaining attorney (and probably one of the most entertaining in the country), Anne McKinney, offered up this musical sendoff for former/temporary Vols coach Lane Kiffin, who slunk off to USC:

[YouTube link]

Goodbye, Lane. We hardly knew you (and didn't much like what we learned during your tumultuous one-year stay). I hope you do for the Trojans what you did for the Raiders and the Vols.

HT: Instapundit

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Fullmer’s swan song

Posted by Richard on November 30, 2008

It was a pretty sorry season for the Vols. They finished 5-7, matching the most losses in 112 years of Tennessee football. Although they had one of the best defenses in Division I football (ranked 6th), their offense was virtually nonexistent (ranked something like 106th).

But today was fired coach Phil Fulmer's last game. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a coach whose players love him more. So today, the defense played up to their usual and the offense sucked it up and played one decent half. Tennessee 28, Kentucky 10.

Then they carried Fulmer off the field on their shoulders as if he'd just led them to a championship. It was pretty moving. 

In his 16 years at the helm, Fulmer won more than 75% of his games. Among Tennessee coaches, his 152 wins are second only to the legendary Gen. Robert R. Neyland (who racked up four national championships, back-to-back undefeated seasons, and an entire regular season without being scored upon). This was only Fulmer's second losing season.

But the standards are high in Knoxville. A 10-4 record isn't good enough if it includes losses to Florida, Alabama, and LSU. I wonder if that young whippersnapper, Lane Kiffin (the fired Raiders coach rumored to be Fulmer's replacement) knows what he's in for at Tennessee.

(One sports columnist's not very flattering look at Kiffin is here.)

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Lady Vols repeat!

Posted by Richard on April 9, 2008

Offensive powerhouse Stanford scored 90 in each of the last two games, and most people thought they'd easily beat a Tennessee team that squeaked by LSU on a last-second shot, whose star player was still recovering from two shoulder dislocations. But not Coach Pat Summit. Not Candace Parker and her teammates. They told themselves they'd hold Stanford to 50 points and win.

Final score: 64-48.

How did the Lady Vols win back-to-back titles and a record 8th national championship? Defense, defense, defense.

Well, it also helps to have tremendous team discipline, great ball-handling, and the ability to make free throws (which is purely a matter of practice).

This was Coach Summit's 987th win (175 of those were in the AIAW, before there was women's NCAA basketball). I've expressed my admiration for her before, calling her "one of the greatest coaches of any sport, men's or women's, ever." If next year's record is remotely close to this year's (36-2), by mid-season she'll reach 1000 total (825 NCAA) wins. I believe Bobby Knight has 880. 

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Vols come back, Rockies don’t

Posted by Richard on October 28, 2007

I admit it — I gave up on the Rockies trailing 6-0 and switched to the Tennessee – South Carolina game. I'm glad I did. The Vols led 21-0 at halftime, but completely collapsed in the second half, giving up 24 unanswered points. Trailing by 3 with a minute and change to play, they sucked it up, got within field goal range (barely), and freshman kicker Dan Lincoln tied the game from 48 yards out. In overtime, they scored another field goal from 27, and then held the Gamecocks. The 40-yard field goal to tie was wide, and the Vols had a critical win to keep their conference hopes alive.

Back to the Rockies. It looked hopeful when they made it 6-5, but once again the pitching just wasn't up to the job. Seeing the hand writing on the wall, I started drinking heavily in the 8th. Rum and Fresca, my low-cal fave.

Sox win 10-5, take 3-0 lead. Details are in your morning paper. Bummer. Time for a nightcap. Or two. Buffalo Trace, a damn fine bourbon:

Light bronze in color with streaks of gold, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bears a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Its taste is pleasantly sweet and contains notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak and leather. The long and dry finish has significant depth. When enjoyed with water, flavors of toffee, dark fruit and anise are revealed.

How 'bout them Vols?

UPDATE: Line of the night, from a hometown fan at a local watering hole: "Even if they [Rockies] lose, we still get to live here, and they have to live in Boston." I'll drink to that. 

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How ’bout them Vols!?

Posted by Richard on April 5, 2007

Belated congratulations to the Lady Volunteers for winning their seventh NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship Tuesday evening, beating Rutgers 59-46. It was a long time coming. Although they're perennially one of the top women's basketball programs in the country, their last championship was last century — 1998, to be precise.

Of course, 1998 was their third in a row, so they can be forgiven for taking a breather. And it's not like they went into a real slump — they've been in the Final Four six of the last nine years. 

Coach Pat Head Summitt is one of the greatest coaches of any sport, men's or women's, ever. She's been coaching at Tennessee for 33 years. When she began, she was just Pat Head, and women didn't play in the NCAA. They had their own Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, an underfunded pale imitation.

Times have changed. This year, Tennessee fans worried that 6'4" Candace Parker might turn pro (she's staying at UT). And the Lady Vols have had a huge fan base for many years. Some are wealthy and generous, as demonstrated at the welcome home celebration attended by 3500 Wednesday night:

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt had a big surprise for her three assistant coaches at the Lady Vols' victory celebration Wednesday.

Holly Warlick and Nikki Caldwell, both former players, and fellow assistant Dean Lockwood were each presented a Mercedes SLK 280 roadster by a local dealership.

The three looked stunned and the players cheered in excitement and ran to the cars that were driven inside the city's convention center, used for the event because Thompson-Boling Arena is undergoing renovations.

I'm in Knoxville for a few days, visiting family and friends, and there are so many people wearing orange, it looks like football season. I swung by the University Center, and the Lady Vols merchandise is flying off the shelves in the bookstore. I may have to pick up a championship T-shirt myself, although I'll be hard-pressed to squeeze it into my suitcase.




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