It’s commonplace for new head coaches to change up a program’s uniforms upon taking the job. Without success on the field to point toward, new coaches often use uniforms as a means of generating headlines and excitement in their programs.
But when you’re the head coach at Tennessee, you can’t really add new uniforms. You’re pretty much locked into what you’ve got. The Vols have donned black jerseys before, in the doomed Lane Kiffin season, and added gray jerseys with Butch Jones.
And now they’re going away.
According to a report from Fox Sports Knoxville, Tennessee will drop the gray alternates worn from time to time in the Jones era, sticking simply with the traditional orange jerseys at home, and will wear only black cleats moving forward. Tennessee was 3-3 in its smoky gray alternates; all home games except a 38-24 win over Nebraska in the 2016 Music City Bowl.
Ironically, the death knell for the gray jerseys was also the last straw for the era in which they were born. Tennessee wore gray for a 41-0 beatdown at the hands of Georgia, a loss that all but sealed Jones’s fate in Knoxville. Tennessee would go on to lose all eight of its SEC games for the first time in program history, and the Vols were blown out in all but one game afterward.