Tennessee Vols morning report: Holly Warlick out, Purdue preview

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) /
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The Tennessee Vols’ Sweet 16 preview and the Lady Vols firing Holly Warlick lead our Volunteers news for Thursday, March 28, 2019.

Well this is one of the biggest days of Tennessee Vols basketball news we’ve ever had to cover. What should have led with a major men’s game now starts off with an unprecedented move related to the women’s basketball program.

The lead story in our morning update on Rocky Top is a major change at the top for women’s basketball. But don’t forget that there’s a huge men’s basketball game to cover at the same time. It makes for a bittersweet way for Vol Nation to start off the day.

We also have news of a former football Vol getting hired in another capacity. It’s crazy when football is down to No. 3, but that’s where this stands. Finally, we have a preview of another postseason sport to bring you. But let’s start with the major women’s basketball news.

Tennessee Lady Vols fire Holly Warlick – UTSports

After seven seasons and seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the Tennessee women’s basketball team has parted ways with longtime Vol Holly Warlick. Despite having her jersey retired, playing for Pat Summitt, and being a loyal assistant through all eight national championships, the program has slowly regressed under Warlick. This year, her team backed into the NCAA Tournament when it didn’t belong and lost in the first round. So, for the first time ever, there will be a search for a new Lady Vols head coach. Phillip Fulmer announced the decision Wednesday.

"“Holly has dedicated most of her adult life to the University of Tennessee and the Lady Vols program. She loves Tennessee, and Tennessee needs to always love her back. She was front and center as this program developed into the model for women’s intercollegiate excellence. While it certainly stings to make this decision, I am charged with doing what I believe is best for this storied program. It’s important to all of us that Lady Vols basketball maintains its status among the elite.”"

Rick Barnes, players speak on facing Purdue – Grant Ramey, GoVols247

The No. 2 seed Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team will take on the No. 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet 16 Thursday night. Whichever team wins will face the winner between the No. 12 seed Oregon Ducks and the No. 1 seed Virginia Cavaliers in the Elite Eight. All three games will be played in Louisville. Tipoff between Tennessee and Purdue is set for 7:29 p.m. E.T., and it will be televised on TBS. Kyle Alexander, Grant Williams, Jordan Bone, Lamonte Turner and Admiral Schofield all spoke to the media. You can read players’ quotes here. But below is a look at part of what Rick Barnes said about the game.

"“It’s obviously great to be here. Again, we understand the opponent we’re going up against tomorrow in Purdue. We last faced them and both teams are pretty familiar with each other over in the Bahamas a year ago. Overtime game.”"

Jerod Mayo joins Patriots coaching staff – Grant Gordon, NFL.com

Former Tennessee Vols football linebacker and eight-year New England Patriots star Jerod Mayo is now rejoining the Pats’ coaching staff. Mayo will likely be coaching on the defensive side of the ball, ironically working under new defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, whom Vol Nation obviously ran off.

"Long regarded as a team leader and coach on the field, Mayo’s transition to coaching appears to be a natural one. His career was spent learning under Belichick and he can lean back on the experience of an NFL career that saw 103 games and 808 tackles — highlighted by an All-Pro campaign in 2010 in which he led the NFL with 175 tackles."

Swimming and diving begins NCAAs – NCAA.com

The Tennessee Vols men’s swimming and diving team will begin competing in the NCAA championships Thursday afternoon. Events began Wednesday, but they did not compete in them. Six swimmers and three divers have qualified to compete in the championships, which will run through Saturday at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.

"In total, 270 student-athletes (235 swimmers; 35 divers) will compete this year. Swimmers qualified for the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered. Divers were determined by performances at the Zone Diving meets on March 11-16."