Tennessee’s fascinating relationship with coach-turned-athletic director Phillip Fulmer looks like it will be continuing on longer than anybody expected.
Gridiron Now is reporting that the school’s Board of Trustees is close to finalizing a four-year contract with Fulmer to remain as athletics director, with a salary in the $900,000 range per year. He was originally hired in the job back in early December but, while it was ambiguous as to whether he would remain in the big chair for more than a few months at the onset of this Rocky Top reunion, it’s very apparent now that this is a longterm play by the former Vols coach.
The new deal is likely the next step for UT brass after the school finally (and officially) parted ways with former AD John Currie for $2.5 million in March. While that saga dragged on almost as long as the Tennessee football coaching search did — which, in turn, is why Fulmer is in this current job — it appears that the wild past few months of hirings, firings and the like is finally in the rearview mirror in Knoxville and the athletic department can start to look forward to the 2018 season and beyond.
While it used to be somewhat common practice to see successful head coaches eventually take over as athletic director decades ago, Fulmer’s situation certainly is unique given the rather unceremonious exit he made after the 2008 season. If and when this new contract gets approved however, it seems he is proof positive that you can come home after all — with an even better title too.