On this Friday the 13th, here are the most unlucky breaks for the Tennessee Vols between firing Phillip Fulmer and bringing him back as Volunteers A.D.
It couldn’t come at a better time. July marks the start of the first full year with Phillip Fulmer as Tennessee Vols athletic director, and Friday the 13th occurs this month. Sure, there was one back in April too, but this one stands out more.
Tennessee enters this athletic year with Fulmer running the show and approaching a decade since he was fired. And let’s face it. Rocky Top had a brutal period without Fulmer in an authoritative position. So it’s crucial that he’s back.
When UT fired Fulmer as head coach in 2008, the decision wasn’t necessarily a bad one. But everything that transpired after was. So clearly he belonged with the university, and that’s why it was important to bring him back.
Anybody who doesn’t believe the program was cursed without Fulmer should just look at last year. UT passed over him for athletic director initially. Then they had the worst football season in school history. The minute he stepped in and became A.D., the men’s basketball program, meanwhile, began a run to the SEC regular season championship.
Simply put, the curse of Fulmer was real for the Tennessee Vols. And on this Friday the 13th, we’re going to take a look at the 13 unluckiest breaks that hit Rocky Top between the time that they fired him and then brought him back as athletic director.
To be clear, the breaks had to happen during that time. For instance, Tennessee basketball’s unlucky loss to Loyola-Chicago in the 2018 NCAA Tournament doesn’t count. However, anything that happened during his time in that ridiculous special adviser position to John Currie last year does count. It wasn’t a real role, so the curse still lived.
As we rank these incidents, we’ll go in the order of which they happened. Some of these moments were more painful than others. Others dragged out over a long period of time. But when you break everything down, it’s clear that a black cat had been running around East Tennessee. So let’s show you how. These are the 13 most unlucky breaks that hit the Tennessee Vols between firing Fulmer as head coach and hiring him as athletic director.