Tennessee football has scored some big wins to get momentum going for a new head coach. Here are the Volunteers 10 greatest games with a first year leader.
Jeremy Pruitt wants to win now in Knoxville, and to do that, he’ll need a signature victory. With 25 head coaches to coach at least one game for Tennessee football throughout the school’s history, there have been a lot of ups and downs for the Vols. And when it comes to the first year for UT head coaches, there can be numerous mixed results.
Generally, when a new head coach takes over a program, the expectation is for it to be a rebuilding year. After all, why else would there be a coaching change in the first place unless that coach left of his own accord? This is clearly the case with Pruitt.
Anyway, in an inaugural rebuilding year, coaches like to have that signature victory to set the program off in the right direction. It gives momentum to the fans and everybody involved and helps with recruiting.
Derek Dooley, for instance, never got on the right track, and that was partially due to no signature victory for Tennessee football his first year in 2010. Of course, they should have had two against the LSU Tigers and North Carolina Tar Heels. But that’s a different story.
With the Vols about to enter a new season under a first-year head coach, we question what Pruitt’s signature win will be. Could it be a big upset against one of his former schools, the Alabama Crimson Tide or Georgia Bulldogs? Could it come against the Auburn Tigers? Or will it be a more feasible upset like against the Florida Gators or West Virginia Mountaineer? Heck, will he get one at all?
Well, let’s look to the past to see what could happen to Pruitt. In this post, we’re going to go back and look at the most memorable wins first-year head coaches enjoyed with the Vols. They can be important because of what they meant to the season and the simple magnitude of the win.
Almost all of these wins were upsets when they happened. And you can go way back in the history books for quite a few of them as well. So if you’re a history buff, that makes this a very fun post for you to read.
A few of these coaches, by the way, didn’t work out either. But they had great first-year wins which sometimes led to great first seasons. So let’s break down who they were. These are the top 10 memorable Tennessee football wins with first-year head coaches.