The Tennessee Volunteers and Lady Volunteers are the 20 male and female varsity intercollegiate athletics programs that represent the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Volunteers compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). In December 2017, former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer was introduced as Tennessee's new athletic director. Fulmer gained the position after a tumultuous football coaching search led to the dismissal of then-AD John Currie.
|Tennessee Volunteers and Lady Volunteers|
|University||University of Tennessee|
|Athletic director||Phillip Fulmer|
|Football stadium||Neyland Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Thompson-Boling Arena|
|Baseball stadium||Lindsey Nelson Stadium|
|Softball stadium||Sherri Parker Lee Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Regal Soccer Stadium|
|Fight song||Down the Field (official)|
Rocky Top (unofficial)
Fight Vols, Fight (official)
|Colors||Orange and White|
Men's and women's teams with the exception of women's basketball are called the Volunteers (often shortened to "Vols") The Tennessee women's basketball team is called the Lady Volunteers ("Lady Vols"). These names come from the nickname of Tennessee, The Volunteer State.
Overview of the Volunteers athletic programs
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Swimming & diving||Softball|
|Tennis||Swimming & diving|
|Track and field†||Tennis|
|Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.|
The Tennessee Volunteers have competed in the Southeastern Conference since its inception in 1932 and consistently been at the top. The Vols have adopted a tradition for competing in every sport often resulting in many teams being ranked in the top 25. Tennessee has been known for its football and women's basketball programs that have both featured several famous coaches including Robert Neyland and Pat Summitt. Tennessee's football team won the first ever BCS National Championship Game and also represents the 9th winningest program in the NCAA. Tennessee women's basketball team won the 2007 and 2008 National Championships earning Pat Summit her eighth NCAA national title, which was at the time the most in college basketball. Overall Tennessee has won 147 regular season SEC championships and 23 national championships in women's basketball, football, men's indoor and outdoor track & field, women's indoor and outdoor track & field, and men's swimming & diving. The only Tennessee sport that does not compete in the SEC is women's rowing which competes in Big 12. The rowing team formerly competed in Conference USA. They won the 2010 Conference USA rowing championship.
Many of Tennessee's traditions come from the early 20th century. Tennessee's orange and white colors were selected by Charles Moore, a member of the first football team in 1891. They were later approved by a student body vote. The colors were chosen because of the common American daisy which grew on The Hill, an area of campus surrounding UT's most notable building, Ayres Hall. The orange color is distinct to the school, dubbed "UT Orange", and has been offered by The Home Depot for sale as a paint, licensed by the university. Home games at Neyland Stadium have been described as a "sea of Orange" due to the large number of fans wearing the school color; the moniker Big Orange, as in "Go Big Orange!", derives from the usage of UT Orange. Tennessee adopted the name Volunteers, or more commonly Vols, because of a now-official nickname that Tennessee received during the War of 1812, the Volunteer State. The name became even more prominent in the Mexican War when Governor Aaron V. Brown issued a call for 2,800 men to battle Santa Ana and some 30,000 Tennesseans volunteered. The iconized 'T' that represents the men's Tennessee sports programs was introduced by Doug Dickey and then re-designed by Johnny Majors. The once-separate men and women's programs allowed the women's sports to adopt a separate identity apart from the men's by not only referring to themselves as the Lady Vols but also adopting the color Columbia Blue into their uniforms and adopting a different logo with a different 'T' that represents the Lady Vols. The famous Smokey mascot was introduced in 1953 by Rev. Bill Brooks who entered his prize-winning blue tick coon hound, "Brooks' Blue Smokey," in a contest at halftime of the Mississippi State game that season. The dogs were lined up on the old cheerleaders' ramp at Shields-Watkins Field and each dog was introduced over the loudspeaker and the student body cheered for their favorite, with "Blue Smokey" being the last hound introduced. When his name was called, he barked. The students cheered and Smokey threw his head back and barked again. This kept going until the stadium was in an uproar and UT had found its mascot, Smokey. The widely known and unique tradition of running through the 'T' on game days began in 1965 when Doug Dickey moved the teams' bench to the east side and had the team enter and simply turning around back to their sideline through a giant 'T' performed by the Pride of the Southland Band. Changes came in 1983 and 2010, namely the direction of the team from simply turning around to going right and then left out of the T. From the team's locker room at the north end zone. One of the biggest and most popular trademarks and most recognized sights, other than the running through the T, about Tennessee sports is the orange and white checkerboard end zones that was introduced in the 1960s and reappeared in the 1980s, inspired by the checkerboard design that Ayres Hall features on its outside brick work, and can also be found in the Thompson-Boling Arena on the basketball court. The Hill is another highly memorable aspect about UT because since the 19th century, The Hill has been symbolic of higher education in the state of Tennessee. The university, founded in 1794 as Blount College, moved to "The Hill" in 1828 and quickly grew around it. The main part of UT's old campus stands on this rise above the north shore of the Tennessee River. Neyland Stadium sprawls at the base of The Hill, between it and the River. The Vol Navy is one of the most unusual experiences for a game day at any school because only UT, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Washington are adjacent to major bodies of waters. Today, approximately 200 boats of all shapes and sizes make up this giant floating tailgate party on the river every fall, and boats begin arriving days in advance of home games. The "Pride of the Southland" is one of the most recognizable bands in the country and has represented the state of Tennessee for the last 40 years at eleven Presidential Inaugurations, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama's first inauguration. The band has also made more than 40 bowl appearances, including the Sugar Bowl, Astro Bluebonnet Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Gator Bowl, Hall of Fame Bowl, Garden State Bowl, Sun Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, and the Rose Bowl. One of the most notable college fighting songs in the country is the beloved Rocky Top, the unofficial fighting song for the Vols, which has become a ritual for every sport at UT to play at games.
The University of Tennessee baseball team has predominantly had a fairly successful program reaching the NCAA Tournament nine times and the NCAA College World Series four times (1951, 1995, 2001, and 2005). They have produced players such as Todd Helton, Joe Randa, Chris Burke, and the number one overall pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft, Luke Hochevar. In 2011 Tennessee hired Dave Serrano to replace Todd Raleigh who finished the season with a losing record including one of the worst SEC records in Tennessee history. Serrano, who was an assistant coach at Tennessee from 1995 to 1996, came to UT with a 289–139–1 (.675) in seven seasons as a Division I head coach. Serrano is also one of 11 coaches that have managed to take two different schools to the College World Series. Serrano officially resigned after the 2017 baseball season. Former Athletic director John Currie introduced Tony Vitello as the new head coach on June 7, 2017.
The head coach of the men's basketball program is Rick Barnes. The Volunteers used to be coached by Donnie Tyndall. Tyndall was fired after NCAA violations at his former school. Tyndall was at UT for 1 year where he went 16–16. Before Tyndall, Counzo Martin was head coach of the Volunteers. Martin left to go to Cal after a Sweet 16 season. Earlier in that season there was a petition out to fire him. Before Martin, there was Bruce Pearl who restored the men's program and brought it to national prominence until he was fired in 2011 for multiple violations against the NCAA. Through Pearl's guidance, the men's program was revitalized and claimed the 2005–2006 SEC East Title and closed the season with a 22–8 record and a NCAA Tournament berth. In 2007, the Vols made the NCAA tourney for the second straight year, making it to the Sweet Sixteen. In 2008 the Vols claimed their first outright SEC regular season championship in 41 years. One of the highlights of the 2008 season came when UT knocked off number 1 Memphis, who was then undefeated, to claim the number one ranking in the nation. In men's basketball, the most important rivalries are with Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida and cross-state rival Memphis. In the 2009–2010 season, the Volunteers made their first ever elite eight appearance. Notable Tennessee basketball players who went on to NBA careers include Allan Houston and Bernard King. The Volunteers had two players, Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McCrae selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Tennessee has historically had one of the strongest women's basketball teams at the college level, having won eight NCAA Division I titles (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008), the 2nd most in women's college basketball history (UConn has 11). The Tennessee Volunteers women's basketball are led by Holly Warlick, who succeeded Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, having won 1,098 games—more than any other basketball coach. Coach Summitt boasted a 100 percent graduation rate for all players who finish their career at UT. Former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball star Candace Parker went No. 1 in the WNBA draft. Tennessee and Summitt also have a rivalry with the University of Connecticut in women's basketball. These two schools have consistently fought great games against each other in recent years, occasionally with the national championship on the line. The regular season rivalry games ended in 2007 when Tennessee decided to not sign a contract continuing them, due to a recruiting dispute. The main women's basketball rivals for Tennessee within the conference are Georgia, Vanderbilt, and LSU. The Lady Vols' first-round loss to Ball State in the 2009 NCAA Tournament ended their record of having made the Sweet Sixteen of every NCAA Tournament since its inception in 1982. Coach Summitt was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPYs.
The Tennessee Vols women's cross country team has won five SEC Championships, and is coached by J.J. Clark, who also coaches the men and women's track & field programs. Clark is the architect of an amazing reclamation project with the women's cross country program at Rocky Top. During his time, the women's cross country program benefitted immensely from Clark's tutelage, claiming SEC hardware from 2003 to 2005 and NCAA South Region plaques from 2002 to 2005, and making NCAA Championships appearances from 2002 to 2006. Clark is the all-time winningest cross country coach in UT Women's Athletics. In cross country, Clark has groomed 13 female athletes who have totaled 33 All-South Region awards in nine seasons and 14 who've accumulated 25 total All-SEC honors. In addition to qualifying women's teams for the NCAA Championships from 2002 to 2006, he also had Jackie Areson (2008, 2009, 2010), Sarah Bowman (2008) and Katie Van Horn (2009, 2010) qualify as individuals, with Bowman placing 36th in 2008 to become the first female cross country All-American at Tennessee since Sharon Dickie in 2000.
Tennessee competes in the SEC's Eastern Division, along with Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt, and has longstanding football rivalries with the majority of them. However, the Vols' most intense and bitter traditional rivalry is with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The teams battle every year in the Third Saturday in October, though the game is now usually held on the fourth Saturday in October. The Vols' Super Bowl champions Peyton Manning and Reggie White are among the most famous NFL athletes to start their careers at the University of Tennessee. Todd Helton also played football, in addition to baseball, as a quarterback.
The Tennessee men's golf team has won 3 Southeastern Conference Championships. The current coach for the Vols is Jim Kelson who's steady hand has the Tennessee men's golf program thriving.
The Vols are coming off a 12th-place national finish after advancing to NCAA regional competition for a school-best 10th consecutive season. And already this year, UT has captured the prestigious Carpet Capital Collegiate for the first time in school history and the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate in a scorecard playoff. Kelson was hired in June 1998 and made
almost immediate inroads toward success. The Vols missed the NCAAs that initial season but have been a regular participant ever since, advancing as far as the championship round four times. Kelson has been building this program from the day he arrived on campus. The Vols have won 15 tournament championships in his 11-plus seasons. Five different campaigns produced multiple tourney titles—2001–02 (three), 2004–05 (three), 2006–07 (two), 2007–08 (two). UT also claimed hardware under Kelson in the 1998–99, 2000–01, and 2005–06 seasons. Tennessee's SEC victory that year by two strokes over Alabama led to a plethora of well-deserved postseason awards. Kelson was honored with his first SEC Coach of the Year award, Philip Pettitt earned All-SEC first team honors, while Charlie Ford and Chris Paisley were named to the All-SEC second team. One of the highlights was capturing the 2007 SEC Championship, Tennessee's first league crown in 17 years. At the event, UT finished with three players in the top-10, including two tied for second.
Last season, Kelson guided the Vols to a top-five team finish in seven of their 12 tournaments played for the highest number of top-five showings in his coaching career. Four runner-up finishes—the NCAA Northeast Regional included—two thirds and a fifth-place result were testament to Tennessee's steady play throughout the season. Tennessee then challenged for a spot in the NCAA quarterfinal round of match-play but fell just a few strokes shy.
The women's golf team is led by Judi Pavón. Over the last decade, the Lady Volunteer golf program has been a constant force in the Southeastern Conference and on the national level under the guidance of Judi Pavón, the current National Golf Coaches Association President. Since Pavón became head coach in 2000, the Big Orange has captured 13 tournament titles, competed at seven NCAA Championships, and been a constant presence in top 25 rankings.
Individually, Lady Vols have captured 14 All-America awards, 28 All-SEC nods and 21 NGCA Academic All-America citations under the tutelage of Pavón. In the "decade of success" with Pavón, the Orange and White have continued UT's streak of finishing above .500 in head-to-head matchups and competing at the NCAA Regional Championships every season.
The Volunteers rowing team participates with the Big 12 and is coached by Lisa Glenn. During her 12 years at the helm of the University of Tennessee women's rowing team, Head Coach Lisa Glenn has helped the 14-year-old program mature into a national power. Now in her 13th season, Glenn has led the Vols to seven appearances at the NCAA Championships, including three consecutive full-team selections in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. Glenn helped propel the Lady Vols to new heights in 2008, leading the Orange and White to its first-ever Conference-USA rowing championship. Glenn was also named C-USA Coach of the Year for her efforts in helping Tennessee achieve this historic feat. Under Glenn's tutelage, senior Laura Miller was named the C-USA rower of the year, while three other Lady Vols captured All-Conference honors.
At the 2008 NCAA Championships, the three-time Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association South Region Coach of the Year guided the Orange and White to its first-ever appearance in a grand final, as the second varsity eight took fifth to record UT's best event finish at the NCAA regatta. The team has excelled under Glenn's watch at the sport's largest event, the Head of the Charles Regatta, held every fall in Boston, Mass. Glenn's entries in the Club 8+ race have captured five golds, including three consecutive victories in the event from 2005 to 2007. The Championship 8+ crews have made their mark over the years as well, claiming top-10 finishes three times, and top-15 marks seven times, including a program-best fifth-place finish in 2007. In 2009, the Champ 8+ from Tennessee finished 12th out of 34 overall, placing it in the top eight among universities.
The Tennessee Volunteers women's soccer team competes in the SEC and has won four conference championships. The Vols used to be coached by Angela Kelly, who resigned her job on December 17, 2011, to become head coach at the University of Texas.
Under Kelly's guidance the then-Lady Vols soccer program became quite the Southeastern Conference
powerhouse and a force on the collegiate soccer landscape. Before her promotion to head coach, the Big Orange had never advanced to the NCAA Tournament, claimed an SEC Tournament match, collected any of the league's hardware or been ranked in the final poll of any season. After taking over the program, Kelly took home four consecutive SEC Eastern Division banners, three straight SEC regular-season crowns, and four SEC Tournament titles between 2000 and 2008. The ex-Lady Vol boss also owns three SEC Coach of the Year trophies which she collected each year from 2003 to 2005.
Over the previous nine years, Kelly combined strong recruiting, top talent, excellent leadership and team chemistry to create a Tennessee program that made Lady Vol history and collected numerous accolades, both as a team and individually. Kelly compiled a 127–59–16 overall record since taking over at Rocky Top, leading the team to four SEC Eastern Division titles, three regular season championships and four SEC Tournament crowns. In her nine years at the helm, Kelly's teams reached eight NCAA Tournaments, making five Sweet 16 appearances. Kelly's squads were 10–7–2 in the NCAA Tournament and were nearly unbeatable at home, winning nearly 86 percent of the time in Knoxville.
On January 26, 2012, Dave Hart announced that Brian Pensky would take over as head coach for the University of Tennessee women's soccer program. Pensky had coached at the University of Maryland where he was named the 2010 Soccer America National Coach of the Year for guiding Maryland to the No. 1 overall seed in the 2010 NCAA Soccer Tournament.
In recent years the women's softball team has gained notoriety, reaching the Women's College World Series a total of four times (three consecutive years in a row). They placed third in 2005, 2006, and 2010 and second in 2007. In 2010 the Lady Vols made headlines as they reached the WCWS with a low 15th seed and advanced to 2–2 in the World Series just one victory short of
a berth in the Women's College World Series best-of-three title round, but lost 5–2 to No. 3 Arizona. The four appearances in the Women's College World Series have never resulted in the Lady Vols finishing lower than third place in the WCWS. Former pitcher Monica Abbott is the all-time career NCAA leader in strikeouts (2,440), shutouts (112), wins (189) and innings pitched (1448.0). The Salinas, California, native won the U.S. Softball National Player of the Year award and the Honda Award for Softball in 2007. She was also honored by the Women's Sports Foundation as its Team Sport Player of the Year over such high-profile candidates as Kristine Lilly of the U.S. women's soccer team and Lauren Jackson of the Women's National Basketball Association. In 2011 the Lady Vols returned with a very experienced team that had just been to the WCWS and was one series away from the WCWS championship game. The Lady Vols remained impressive throughout the season staying within the top 10 most of the year and leading the eastern division in the SEC until Florida swept them in the last week of conference play, but the resilient Lady Vols found life in the SEC tournament where they defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 6–5 in the championship game winning the tournament after a five-year drought.
Recent National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Americans from the University of Tennessee include Abbott (2004–07), India Chiles (2007), Lindsay Schutzler (2005–07), Tonya Callahan (2006–07), Kristi Durant (2005–06) and Sarah Fekete (2005–06).
Swimming and diving
The Tennessee Vols swimming & diving team has won 10 Southeastern Conference Championships, and 1 national championship. John Trembley was fired as head coach for embezzlement and inappropriate behavior on university grounds on January 3, 2012. April 12, 2012, Matt Kredich, the current Tennessee Lady Volunteer Swimming and Diving Head Coach, was hired to coach both teams. The University of Tennessee combined the Swimming team, and is prospering.
The Lady Vols swimming & diving team is coached by Matt Kredich. Success has followed Tennessee head women's swimming coach Matt Kredich at every stop of his career, and his five-year tenure on Rocky Top has been no different. After turning around the men's and women's swimming teams at Brown and the women's squad at Richmond, Kredich has led the Lady Vols to unprecedented success. Under Kredich's direction the Lady Vols have broken 18-of-19 Tennessee swimming records, had 19 different athletes garner 120 All-America awards and finished in the top-15 at the NCAA Championships for a UT-record five consecutive seasons.
In 2009–10, six Lady Vols, including five repeat All-Americans, captured 21 All-America certificates in nine events. As a team, the Big Orange brought back its second consecutive 13th-place finish at the NCAA meet back to Rocky Top.
The Tennessee Volunteers men's tennis team has won 9 Southeastern Conference Championships. Sam Winterbotham was named the 10th coach in Tennessee tennis history on October 24, 2006. He and his assistant Chris Woodruff joined forces when Tennessee was ranked No. 48 nationally, but the Vols quickly vaulted up the charts over a four-year span. Tennessee ended 2010 at No. 2 and has finished in the top 10 3 years in a row. Winterbotham managed to bring Tennessee back among the nation's elite tennis programs.
The 2010 season was nothing short of historic for Winterbotham and the Vols. Tennessee returned to the finals of the NCAA Championships for the first time in nine years. The Vols ended the season ranked No. 2 nationally with a 31–2 record, good for the second-most wins in program history. The Vols finished 11–0 in Southeastern Conference play to claim their eighth SEC regular season title and went on to become the first team to capture the SEC Tournament Title courtesy of three 4–0 shutouts.
Three players—John-Patrick Smith, Rhyne Williams and Davey Sandgren—earned All-America honors. For the first time in Tennessee history, five Vols were named All-SEC. Five players also finished the year in the national ITA rankings.
In terms of sheer number of victories, from 2008 to 2010 the team wrapped up their most successful three-year period in program history with a 77–13 record. The Vols had 31 victories in 2010 and won 23 matches in both 2008 and 2009.
The Tennessee Vols women's tennis team is co-coached by Mike Patrick and Sonya Hahn-Patrick. Last year the duo lead the Orange and White on its deepest postseason run in eight years. UT advanced all the way to the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships before falling to No. 5 Notre Dame. Tennessee finished the season ranked 13th in the Campbell's/ITA poll and had four players named to the All-SEC team. Additionally, Mike helped push the doubles team of Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota all the way to the individual doubles finals of the NCAA Championships. For this, the two were named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Co-Head Coaches of the Year.
The winningest coach in Tennessee women's tennis history, Mike has a career record of 449–260 (.633). Before compiling a 393–232 (.629) mark with Tennessee, Patrick put up a record of 47–12 (.797) as Kentucky's head coach, as well a 9–16 (.360) mark as the men's coach at Arkansas in 1986–87.
Since taking over at UT, the two coaches have seen 21 squads reach top-25 national finishes in the rankings. The highest came in 2000–01 when the Orange and White finished sixth in the country and second in the SEC, the highest conference placement in program history. He has also guided multiple players to All-America status, places on All-SEC teams and spots as high as No. 1 in the national rankings.
Track and field – indoor
The Tennessee Volunteers men's indoor track & field team have won 18 SEC Championships as well as 1 national championship. The current team is coached by J.J. Clark. Clark assumed position of the director of the men's track & field team prior to the 2009–2010 team.
The Vols' women's indoor track & field team have won 4 SEC Championships as well as 2 national championships. The architect of an amazing reclamation project with the women's track & field and cross country programs at Rocky Top, J.J. Clark spent seven impressive seasons in Knoxville before assuming control of the entire program. During the track & field portion of the season, he has directed the Lady Vols to NCAA Indoor National Championships in 2005 and 2009, SEC Indoor Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2009, and a NCAA Mideast Regional crown outdoors in 2005.
With Clark at the helm, Tennessee has enjoyed five top-five NCAA women's indoor track & field finishes (1st in 2005 and 2009, 2nd in 2010, 3rd in 2007 and 4th in 2004) and three additional top-10 outings (t8th in 2008) during his stay in Knoxville. UT also has six SEC top-three outcomes since 2003, with runner-up efforts indoors in 2004 and 2008 in addition to the titles won in 2005, 2007 and 2009. He now has begun the climb with the men's team.
Track and field – outdoor
The Tennessee Vols men's outdoor track & field team have won 25 Southeastern Conference Championships as well as 3 national titles.
The Tennessee women's outdoor track & field team have won 4 SEC Championships and 1 national championship. Since J.J. Clark took the position as coach for the Lady Vols he has led them to a top-five NCAA women's outdoor track & field finishes (4th in 2005) and two additional top-10 outings (t7th in 2004, t10th in 2009) during his time in Knoxville. He has also led UT to has two SEC top-three outcomes.
The Volunteers volleyball team have won 4 SEC championships. Two-time National Coach of the Year Rob Patrick has developed a tradition of excellence since coming to Tennessee 13 years ago. Following his arrival at Rocky Top, Patrick has become one of the nation's top coaches and helped the Vols attain levels of success never before reached in Knoxville, as evidenced by NCAA Tournament berths in five of the last six years, including a run to the Final Four in 2005.
With an impressive 24–8 record in 2009, the Big Orange now has won 20 or more matches in six of the last eight campaigns and has done so seven times in a 10-year span. Prior to Patrick's arrival at UT in 1997, the then-Lady Vols last recorded a 20-win season in 1988. His nine-year stretch of winning seasons from 1998 to 2006 marked the longest-such run in program history, topping the previous high of seven, set from 1978 to 1984. The Big Orange finished the 2009 campaign with a school-record 16 wins in SEC action, finishing in a tie for second before earning its fifth bid to the NCAA Tournament in the past six seasons where it reached the second round. Following a tough 2007 season, the Lady Vols regrouped to post the third-largest turnaround in NCAA Division I in 2008. Under Patrick's direction, UT doubled its win total from 11 to 22 and returned to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence. For his efforts, Patrick was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) South Region Coach of the Year, as well as the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, for the second time in his career.
During his 13-year tenure at Rocky Top, Patrick has compiled an impressive 267–143 (.651) record, and he became the program's all-time winningest coach with a 3–0 victory over Auburn on October 3, 2008. Under Patrick's guidance, eight different student-athletes have been named All-Americans on a total of 15 occasions, including Nikki Fowler who claimed honorable mention honors from the AVCA in 2008 before picking up the honors alongside libero Chloe Goldman in 2009. Prior to those awards, the last players to accomplish the feat were Yuliya Stoyanova and Sarah Blum who both picked up AVCA Honorable Mention accolades as well, following the 2006 campaign.
In 2005 the Vols' women's team achieved the program's first ever appearance in the NCAA Final Four and highest year-end ranking in school history. During that memorable year, the Lady Vols fought past some early season obstacles and compiled a stellar 25–9 overall record, finishing sixth in the nation after falling to eventual national champion Washington in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio, Texas. For his efforts, Patrick was named the 2005 NCAA National Coach of the Year by VBall Magazine. The season before its run to the Final Four, Tennessee put together an equally impressive season in which it emerged victorious in a school-record 32 matches, while dropping just three contests all year. The Lady Vols accomplished a number of goals in 2004, including winning an SEC regular-season title for the first time in school history, defeating Florida, 3–2, on the final day of the season to tie the Gators with identical 15–1 marks. Just a mere seven days later, the Orange and White made it two titles in two weeks, topping UF, once again by a 3–2 score, in the SEC Tournament championship match. A couple of weeks following that accomplishment, the Big Orange won a pair of NCAA Tournament matches for the initial time in Tennessee annals and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 20 years. Based on the team's fast rise to prominence, Patrick was awarded both the AVCA South Region and the SEC Coach of the Year awards, as well as CVU.com National Coach of the Year honors. He was also a finalist for the AVCA National Coach of the Year award.
Notable non-varsity sports
Founded in 1970, the Tennessee rugby team plays in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference. Tennessee has been led since 2011 by head coach Marty Bradley.
In the 2011–12 season, Tennessee compiled a 6–0 regular season conference record, defeated Florida in the championship match to win the Southeast Conference title, and defeated Maryland and Florida State to advance to the program's first ever semifinal appearance in the USA Rugby National Championship playoffs. In 2013, Tennessee went 6–0 in conference play, defeated South Carolina in the Conference championship match, before losing to Central Florida in the round of 16 playoffs.
In 2015, Tennessee rode an undefeated record and #1 seed into the conference semifinals, where they defeated Florida 30–13 to advance to the conference championship on Nov 21 at the ACRC Bowl Series in Charlotte. In the final, Tennessee came from behind to defeat South Carolina 23–22 for the SCRC championship. Marty Bradley was named 2015 SCRC Coach of the Year.
Tennessee rugby has also been successful in rugby sevens. Tennessee finished sixth at the 2010 Collegiate Rugby Championship, the highest profile college rugby tournament in the US broadcast live on NBC. Tennessee won the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Sevens Championship in 2010 and 2011.
The Tennessee Volunteers sponsored a varsity wrestling team from 1940 to 1986 when the program was cut because of budget constraints as well as Title 9. In 1985, they finished a program high 8th at the NCAA wrestling championships.
Men's National Championships
- Football (6): 1938 • 1940 • 1950 • 1951 • 1967 • 1998
- Cross Country (1): 1972
- Indoor Track and Field (1): 2002
- Outdoor Track and Field (3): 1974 • 1991 • 2001
- Swimming and Diving (1): 1978
Women's National Championships
- Basketball (8):1987 • 1989 • 1991 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 2007 • 2008
- Indoor Track and Field (2): 2005 • 2009
- Outdoor Track & Field (1): 1981 (AIAW)
The national intercollegiate sports championships listed above were sponsored by the NCAA unless otherwise noted in the footnotes.
Neyland Stadium, home to the football team, seats over 102,000 people and is the fifth-largest stadium in the world. Neyland finished undergoing renovations costing over $100 million. The Volunteers have practiced at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center since 1989, which underwent an expansion in 2006. The Neyland-Thompson Sports Center which features 2 exterior fields, 1 indoor field and provides the University of Tennessee athletes with the finest strength and conditioning, dressing, health care, meeting, and coaching facilities in the country In 2013 Tennessee dedicated the Anderson Training Center and Brenda Lawson Athletic Center; a 145,000 square foot building that includes an amphitheater-style seating room, coaches offices, position meeting rooms, a dining hall, players' lounge, a barber shop, a 7,000 square-foot locker room, a 22,000 square foot, multi-level weight room, a new training room and hydrotherapy area. In 2014, the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio was added on the ground floor of the Brenda Lawson Athletic Center. The studio is a state-of-the-art facility for athletic video content creation such as online video content and coaches' television shows.
The Volunteers and Lady Vols basketball teams play in Thompson-Boling Arena, the largest arena (by capacity) ever built specifically for basketball in the United States. Both basketball programs practice at the Pratt Pavilion, which besides 3 basketball courts, has an athletic training room, a weight room, a film study room, and a place to host recruits. The former home of both basketball teams and the Lady Vols volleyball program, Stokely Athletic Center, was demolished in 2014 to make way for new dormitories.
The Alumni Memorial Gym was another indoor athletic facility. It was built in 1934 during a construction campaign under school president James D. Hoskins, and was replaced by the Stokely Athletics Center in 1967. The facility hosted the Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament in 1936 and 1937 and again in 1939 and 1940. It is now used as a performing arts center and seats 1,000 spectators.
The Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center, completed in 2008, is a $30 million center that features one outdoor 50-meter pool, an indoor 50-meter pool, a new 50-meter competition pool, and a separate competition diving well featuring five platforms and six springboards. It will allow for 2,800 seats. The facility also includes a weight room, a training room, a team-meeting room, several locker rooms for the Vols, Lady Vols, and two visiting teams, seven offices for coaches, a multipurpose room, an elevated timing booth, and a renovated Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame. It was named for businessman Allan Jones of Cleveland, who gave donations for its construction.
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