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Former Volunteers Coach Phillip Fulmer Blasts Prior Tennessee Athletics Administration


Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer had an unceremonious end to his coaching career - Athletic Director (at the time) Mike Hamilton dismissed the former BCS title-winning head man after a rough 2008 campaign amid growing pressure from fans to make a change.

But Fulmer insists the program's downfall started at the top, according to's Mark Inabinett.

"What happened to us basically was our leadership. We had four presidents in six years. We ended up with an athletic director that wasn't prepared for the job. Not a terrible guy or anything like that. He got twisted like a pretzel by the middle management of the university. We lost a lot of the edges that you have to have. (Current athletic director) Dave Hart's very aware of those, and he's working to change things. We didn't get dumb or lazy all of a sudden. There were obviously some things that were different.

"When you have a great president and a great athletic director and you replace them with substandard people that have no idea, what do you expect is going to happen? And you do that three other times? It's crazy."

These are pretty strong words from Fulmer, who led the Volunteers to the first BCS National Championship and just two losing seasons in his tenure at Knoxville.

Fulmer also expressed his confidence in current Vols coach Butch Jones and Athletic Director Dave Hart, but said he has no desire to return to coaching.