ATLANTA — Tennessee football legend Phillip Fulmer has made himself right at home at the athletic directors’ table in the SEC.
Fulmer took over as the Volunteers athletic director on Dec. 1, and he already has taken part in league meetings with other ADs and commissioner Greg Sankey. There’s a partnership at the athletic director level in the SEC that Fulmer said doesn’t necessarily always exist between the coaches.
“It’s different than the coaches. [That is] like sitting with the Russians — at least it used to be. No one wanted to agree on anything,” Fulmer said, referencing the Cold War Era.
“In the athletic directors’ meetings, everybody has their reasons for doing things or voting how they vote. But there’s also some feeling of cooperation for the conference’s sake, and I’ve enjoyed that.”
Fulmer and Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt will appear at the SEC Spring Meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday in Destin, Fla.
Fulmer said he’s looking forward to the event and sharing more ideas with his peers and Sankey.
“I think I learn something every time I go,” said Fulmer, referring to the monthly AD meetings Sankey conducts, some by teleconference.
“We have three former coaches now that are in there now [as athletic directors], so that’s maybe given them another perspective on things a little bit more.”
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner and Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen are both former baseball coaches.
Both are successful, but neither has achieved at the level of Fulmer.
Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has predicted Fulmer will have a presence like Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez does.
Fulmer chuckled when asked about the comparison to Alvarez, who is considered one of the most powerful and influential figures in college football.
“I’ve only done this for six months so I’ve got a long way to prove I’m a Barry Alvarez,” Fulmer said. “But I hope we can help impact the conference, and in our case, certainly the University of Tennessee, so check back with me in  years. That’s about how long [Alvarez] has been doing this.”
Big Orange Caravan headlines
- Jeremy Pruitt expects QB transfer Keller Chryst to provide lift
- Tennessee coaches and athletic department consider Atlanta ‘in state’
- Phillip Fulmer weighs in on Pruitt-Nick Saban debate
- Pruitt and Fulmer highlight different scheduling points
- Pruitt and Fulmer tired of hearing win total expectation questions
- Memphis or Nashville? Pruitt reveals 2019 recruiting preference
- Fulmer calls for timeout to review Neyland Stadium renovation plan
- Pruitt not backing down to Saban on transfer issue
- Pruitt expressing confidence in secondary
- Vols basketball coach Rick Barnes addressing missed NCAA tourney opportunity
- Fulmer brushes off Alabama, Georgia comparisons
- Vague answers from Pruitt fuel speculation on transfers, starters
- Pruitt reveals what he misses about recruiting
- Fulmer not allowing administrative turmoil to disrupt Tennessee athletics
- Pruitt learning that he and Fulmer ‘see a lot of things the same way’
- Fulmer leads Pruitt on caravan stop