Coach has been a winner and leader all his life. He credits his parents, community leaders, teachers and coaches in the small middle Tennessee town of Winchester for helping him develop those skills and traits. He learned the principles of family, hard work, dedication to goals, teamwork and using the Christian foundation taught by his parents.
Coach Fulmer’s positive experiences continued into the world of major-college football when he accepted a football scholarship in 1968 to play at the University of Tennessee. His Tennessee teams excelled by going 31-5, and Coach Fulmer served as team co-captain during his senior year of 1971.
Coach stayed on as a Graduate Assistant at UT in charge of the freshman team’s defense and linebackers. During that time, former Vols All-American Player and Legendary Assistant George Cafego taught Coach Fulmer the values and skills needed to scout the opposition. It became a key development to Coach Fulmer’s future success. He then took those experiences away from his comfort zone and coached five seasons at Wichita State and one season at Vanderbilt before returning to Knoxville for 13 years as a Tennessee Assistant – the last four as Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.
Coach Fulmer served as Head Football Coach at Tennessee for 17 years, from 1992-2008. He and his staff built an organization that produced the most successful era in modern Tennessee football history. Coach and his staff were tireless recruiters and mentored some of the top names in college and NFL history. In Coach’s last 11 years, he played in the SEC Championship game five times, winning twice. He also led the Vols to one of the greatest moments in school history, the 1998 National Championship in the very first BCS title game.
In his 17 seasons, his record was 152-52 with a 74 percent winning percentage, he had 92 players make a NFL roster, 18 players earned All-American honors and another 68 players were selected All-SEC. Coach Fulmer is also very proud of the family approach he took to guiding his players to off the field successes as well as on the field successes.
Coach recently found time to spend a few days filming a special movie, The Blind Side, about a young man he had recruited. The story of Michael Oher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and Sandra Bullock won her first Academy Award for Best Actress. In the film, Coach Fulmer played himself and ranks the opportunity as one of his most enjoyable events.