KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s administrative turnover wouldn’t seem to benefit anyone anytime soon.
But you can bet it will not deter the Vols new athletic director.
In fact, Phillip Fulmer might be the most powerful Tennessee administrator left standing.
Current university president Joe DiPietro is clearly the next to be on the way out. DiPietro’s contract expires in June of 2019, but according to a KnoxNews.com report, he has already moved out of his house.
Fulmer, just one year ago, was planning to hold his “Hall of Fame Football Camp” at Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg.
It wasn’t until June 20 — three days after Fulmer had finished up his camp — that the Vols former football coach was appointed as special advisor to the UT president.
“I want it to be a stabilizing force,” Fulmer said of the position at the time he was hired. “We’ve been through so much around here, unnecessarily, in my biased opinion. We’ve been through so much and this can kind of stabilize everything and get everything going in the right direction.”
Tennessee has dismissed former athletic director John Currie and chancellor Beverly Davenport since then. The only stability has been Fulmer’s growing presence and power since he was hired by Davenport on Dec. 1.
Fulmer has gotten off to a fast start as the athletic director.
Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville went so far as to say that Fulmer gives new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt a winning edge. Pruitt has agreed with that notion.
Fulmer, just five months into the job, will soon have the most seniority among the Tennessee president, chancellor and football coach.
The Vols administration entered into another transition of sorts on Wednesday, when DiPietro dismissed Beverly Davenport from the chancellor position DiPietro penned a harsh termination letter that triggered public reaction.
Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discuss Fulmer’s power, and the highly competitive nature of the Vols’ AD that some people might not fully appreciate.