Barack Obama is One of the Worst Presidents Ever So Far…For Tennessee Vols Athletics

Jan 12, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; President Barack Obama after delivering the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Network
Jan 12, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; President Barack Obama after delivering the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Network /
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Aug 26, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Former president George W Bush watches the game between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Former president George W Bush watches the game between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

4. George W. Bush, 2001-2009

If it weren’t for football, George W. Bush would be far and away No. 1 on this list. The other athletic programs all reached their highest levels of success or at least close to them under him.

Let’s start with the positives. Men’s Basketball suffered under him during the tumultuous 2000-2001 season of Jerry Green and then four bad years of Buzz Peterson. But the Vols did make the NCAA Tournament in 2001, and then came the final three years of his presidency, when the Vols were led by Bruce Pearl.

During that time, they made three NCAA Tournaments, had three straight Top 25 finishes for the first time in school history, made back-to-back Sweet 16’s for the first time in school history, and reached their first No. 1 ranking and first 30-plus win season for the first time in school history in 2007-2008. That alone is a huge plus.

In women’s basketball, the Lady Vols made it to six Final Fours, four national championship games, and won two national championships. That at least makes Bush the second best president ever for the Lady Vols, and very close to No. 1.

In baseball, the Vols made three NCAA Tournaments in 2001, 2004, and 2005, and they had two College World Series appearances in 2001 and 2005. They only had two in history before Bush.

And in softball, the program reached new heights by making three appearances in the Women’s College World Series and one pitch short of the national championship.

Add in four Track & Field championships, Men’s Outdoor in 2001, Men’s Indoor in 2002, and Women’s Indoor in 2005 and 2009, and Bush is far and away the greatest president for Vols athletics if you leave football out. It’s also enough to move him to No. 4. But football cannot be left out.

While the football program was more successful than it was under JFK, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, or Barack Obama, it still had no SEC Championships. The program also suffered two losing seasons and missed out on a Top 25 finish three times. That’s not a good track record, and it’s enough to drop him from No. 1 to No. 4.

Next: #3: Harry Truman