Tennessee Vols morning report: Phillip Fulmer and Tee Martin speak

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Tennessee Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer and new football assistant Tee Martin both speaking lead our Volunteers news for Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

Happy Monday! It was an insane weekend of sports surrounding the Tennessee Vols, as another spring sport is now in play and football-related news continued to occur in the wake of National Signing Day. Oh, and then there are recaps of numerous other sports, notably basketball.

Our morning update on Rocky Top coming off the weekend leads, though, with two major figures within the program speaking separately. Both are related to football, and they are among the most beloved figures from different roles they played 20 years ago.

We also have recaps of games and quotes from coaches over the weekend to bring you. So let’s go ahead and dive in with a heavy news day, starting with a focus on the comments given by UT’s athletic director and new football assistant coach.

Phillip Fulmer talks about state of the Vols – Patrick Brown, GoVols247

Tennessee Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer said there’s momentum and excitement surrounding the program last week at a National Signing Day celebration. Here’s a bit of what he said related to the football program.

"“I know we have good coaches, and we’re working on getting the roster fixed. As I said, this is our real first shot at it, to have a full year (of recruiting). I think the coaches have done very well.”"

Tee Martin talks about why he chose UT – Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com 

Former Tennessee football quarterback Tee Martin spoke about why he committed to the program back in the 1990s. He spoke about it during the National Signing Day celebration in Nashville.

"Martin mentioned that former Tennessee wide receiver Joey Kent played a role in him choosing the Vols out of high school. “Joey Kent is the reason why I came to Tennessee,” Martin said at the National Signing Day celebration."

Jeremy Pruitt shakes up staff – Jesse Simonton & Austin Price, VolQuest.com

Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt is changing up his defensive staff. The Vols parted ways with cornerbacks coach Terry Fair and are set to replace him with Oakland Raiders defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley, who has experience working in the SEC with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Kentucky Wildcats and even the Vols.

"Ansley, per a source, was the highest-paid defensive backs coach in the NFL and will likely command a co-defensive coordinator title and a three-year contract with the Vols. It will be the veteran assistant’s second-stint in Knoxville after serving as Tennessee’s cornerbacks coach in 2012 under Derek Dooley."

Rick Barnes and an 18-game winning streak – Mike Wilson, Knoxville News Sentinel

The Tennessee Vols basketball team won its 18th straight game on Saturday, completing a sweep of the Florida Gators with a 73-61 win at home. Up next for them is a home-game against the South Carolina Gamecocks and then a trip to Rupp Arena Saturday to face a Top 5 ranked Kentucky Wildcats team. At 22-1 and 10-0 in the conference, this is a historically great UT basketball team, and players and coaches have talked about what Barnes did to turn around the program.

"The Vols coach believes there is another level for Tennessee, which he said is taking their efforts from playing hard to really competing.“He challenged us, but it was moreso of us realizing that winning isn’t what it’s about,” senior forward Admiral Schofield said. “That’s not why we got into playing the game of basketball. Competing is why we got into the game of basketball. That’s what we love about basketball.”"

Lady Vols blown out by Mississippi State – David Staley, WTVC.com

Despite a three-game winning streak and a week off to prepare coming into the game, the Tennessee Lady Vols lost to the No. 6 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs on the road 91-63 Sunday afternoon. They trailed only by six points at halftime but collapsed late in the third and into the fourth. With no Evina Westbrook due to a suspension, the shortcomings were obvious. With the loss, they fall to 15-8 overall and 4-6 in the SEC, while Mississippi State improves to 22-1 overall and 10-0 in the SEC.

"Tennessee was still in the game early in the second half, pulling within three points with 6:09 left in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs rallied to take a 61-49 lead into the fourth. A 13-0 spurt in the first three minutes of the final quarter sealed the victory. The Bulldogs scored 30 points in the final 10 minutes."

Softball dominates Kickin’ Chicken Classic – The Daily Beacon

The No. 8 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols softball team, winning all five games over the weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C. They beat UIC 13-2 on Friday and 11-1 on Saturday, Coastal Carolina 3-1 on Friday, Boston University 4-0 on Saturday, and Rider 18-0 on Sunday to start the season 5-0.

"Caylan Arnold handed out four shutout innings and eight strikeouts to Rider, who only gave three runners throughout the game. She was followed by Morgan who wrapped up the game after facing four batters.The Lady Vols play next in the ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational from February 15 to the 17 where they will face off against Notre Dame, Minnesota, James Madison, Utah, and Florida State."

Women’s tennis splits doubleheader Sunday – UTSports

The No. 24 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols tennis team defeated Presbyterian Sunday but then lost to Old Dominion. Their play moved them to 4-2 on the year.

"“We played Old Dominion last year and I think that they compete really well,” Tennessee head coach Alison Ojeda said. “I think we saw a team in singles that came out and competed in every single spot and we weren’t surprised by that. The thing that’s good about that is it allows our team to figure out what we can work on. If we do those things, we can still be really good this season.”"

Men’s tennis shuts out Duke – Brian Ormiston, USTA National Campus online

The No. 16 ranked Tennessee Vols men’s tennis team shutout the Duke Blue Devils 4-0 on Saturday at the USTA National Campus. With the win, they improved to 6-1 on the season while Duke fell to 3-5.

"“I thought we settled in once we knew we were coming inside,” said Tennessee head coach Chris Woodruff. “Once we came in here, we had some clarity as to what we were going to do. It was a hard-fought match, even though we won 4-0, there were some tough matches.”"

Track and field at Tiger Paw Invite – UTSports

The Tennessee Vols track and field program had six top 5 finishes at the Tiger Paw Invite over the weekend at Clemson. They had six personal records.

"The Vols will turn their attention to postseason competition as Tennessee gears up for the 2019 SEC Indoor Championships. The University of Arkansas will host the meet on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23 at the Randal Tyson Track Center."