Earlier this month, it was reported that Tennessee and Phillip Fulmer were closing in on a long-term deal. Two weeks later, those reports have come to fruition.
Thursday morning, UT announced that it has reached an agreement on a four-year contract with Fulmer to continue in his role as athletic director. Fulmer was named as acting athletic director on Dec. 1, not long after John Currie was fired from the post. His first big move came less than a week after being tabbed for the role when Jeremy Pruitt was hired as the Volunteers’ new head football coach.
Fulmer’s contract will reportedly average $1 million annually, with the opportunity to earn up to $300,000 in bonuses as well.
“Phillip has been a great partner over the last four months and I commend him for the work he has done with our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” chancellor Beverly Davenport said in a statement. “Phillip has been connected to the University of Tennessee and its athletics program for more than 40 years and he understands the expectations we have for our athletics department.
“He is surrounded by a very knowledgeable staff that is deeply committed to the success of our student-athletes. I look forward to our continued partnership.”
A native of Winchester, Tenn., Fulmer played his college football for the Volunteers in the late sixties. He began his coaching career at UT as a grad assistant from 1972-73, then returned as offensive line coach in 1980. After spending 13 seasons as an assistant, he took over as the Volunteers head coach in 1992 — Johnny Majors has always alleged Fulmer was behind his ouster — and spent 17 seasons leading his alma mater.
In that span, Fulmer went 152-52, winning a pair of SEC titles and the 1998 national championship.
“I am very grateful to Chancellor Davenport for the opportunity to continue to serve our outstanding university and its proud legacy,” Fulmer said. “The positive momentum established by our talented student-athletes, dedicated coaches, excellent staff, our great alumni and fans has united us all. I am excited to work alongside them as we push forward in pursuit of excellence in all sports.”