Tennessee Vols morning report: Kellie Harper introduced

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) /

The Tennessee Vols introducing women’s basketball head coach Kellie Harper leads our Volunteers news for Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Spring football continues, but once again, it’s not the biggest story for the Tennessee Vols to begin this Thursday. Women’s basketball continues to take the lead, and that’s no shock to anybody given the news.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with the Lady Vols introducing their new head coach. The press conference was on Wednesday, and we’ll recap some of it. The big football news is a group of assistants speaking Wednesday ahead of the spring game.

However, a former football player receiving recognition is also on our list of stories along with a men’s basketball assistant being hired. Then we have SEC honors in two sports and a preview of a track and field event. So let’s begin with the women’s basketball press conference.

Kellie Harper introduced as Lady Vols head coach – Maria M. Cornelius, GoVols247

The Tennessee women’s basketball program introduced former Lady Vols Kellie Harper in a press conference Wednesday as their official new head coach. Harper played for Pat Summitt during the 1990s, helping to orchestrate a three-peat, and insisted that she was not in her new role to be Summitt. Here’s a bit of what she said from the press conference.

"“Everyone knows that the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball program is great and historic, but not everyone knows what it is like to be in it, what it is like to put that jersey on and play for something so much bigger than yourself. I do understand the gravity of this position, and I am humbled, honored and I am ready to take on this journey.”"

Football assistants speak before spring game – WBIR

Tennessee Vols football assistant coaches Tracy Rocker, Brian Niedermeyer and Chris Rumph all spoke Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s spring game. They talked about their personnel and working with other coaches.

"The Orange & White game kickoffs this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Neyland Stadium. Gates open at 4:30 p.m."

Chris Weinke talks about Vols – Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com

Tennessee football quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke spoke about working with Brian Maurer and Jarrett Guarantano while also joking about the 1998 national title. Here’s a bit of the praise he had for Guarantano.

"“It’s always tough when you have to learn a new system and I think he has done an outstanding job in terms of his ability to pick this offense up and operate at a high level. He is a cerebral guy and obviously has all the physical tools to be a good one.”"

Rick Barnes hires Kim English as assistant – WVLT

Rick Barnes hired Kim English as his new Tennessee Vols men’s basketball assistant coach, replacing Rob Lanier, who took the head coaching job with the Georgia State Panthers. English is 30 years old and joins the program after two years as an assistant with the Colorado Buffaloes.

"Prior to his time with CU, English replaced current Vols assistant Michael Schwartz, who joined the UT staff in 2016, at Tulsa. English played at Missouri during his college days. Before his professional career overseas, he also played one season for the Detroit Pistons after being selected 44th in the 2012 NBA Draft."

Kyle Phillips named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society – FootballFoundation.org

Former Tennessee football defensive end Kyle Phillips has been named a member of the 2019 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society. The members had to have a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their careers in college.

"An all-time high of 1,661 players from a record 426 schools qualified for membership in the society’s 13th year."

Three Vols earn SEC Swimming and Diving honors – SECSports

Tennessee Swimming and Diving athletes Joey Reilman, Colin Zeng, Alec Connolly, Kyle Decoursey,
Matthew Garcia, Michael Houlie, Braga Verhage and Josh Walsh all earned men’s All-SEC honors, with Reilman and Zeng making All-SEC First Team and the rest making Second Team. Michael Houlie and Matthew Wade were All-SEC Freshmen. Zeng was named male SEC Diver of the Year, Wade was named Male SEC Freshman Diver of the Year, and Dave Parrington was named Men’s Diving Coach of the Year. On the women’s side, Erika Brown, Madeline Banic, Erika Brown, Bailey Grinter, Stanzi Moseley, Nikol Popov, Meghan Small and Tess Cieplucha earned All-SEC honors, with Cieplucha making Second Team and the rest making First Team. Sinclair Larson made women’s Freshman All-SEC. Brown received the Commissioner’s Trophy and was named Co-Female SEC Swimmer of the Year with Sydney Pickrem of the Texas A&M Aggies.

"For the All-SEC Teams, the First Team consists of the top finisher in each event at the SEC Championships, and the Second Team consists of the second- and third-place finishers in each event. The All-Freshman Teams consist of any redshirt or true freshman who finished either in the top eight or is the highest scoring freshman of each event at the SEC Championships, excluding relay events."

Micheala Williams named SEC women’s golfer of the week – SECSports

Tennessee women’s golf junior Micheala Williams shared SEC Women’s Golfer of the Week honors with Julie McCarthy of the Auburn Tigers Wednesday. She was recognized for her performance at the Clemson Invitational.

"Williams finished atop the field that had 16 of the top 100 golfers in the country according the latest Golfstat rankings. (She) had a three-shot lead for the individual title and was 11-under-par for the tournament and 3-under for her third round before the tournament was suspended indefinitely due to weather."

Track and Field to host Tennessee RelaysUTSports

The Tennessee track and field program will host the 52nd Tennessee Relays. They are among 32 schools taking part in the event.

"Action begins Thursday with a limited schedule, as Kiara Rhodes opens the meet for UT in the women’s heptathlon at noon. The men’s javelin is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, followed by the men’s hammer throw to wrap up Day One from Tom Black Track. The bulk of the meet schedule is set for Friday and Saturday with individual running events and relays on those days, respectively, in addition to several field events at Tennessee’s world-class, newly renovated facility."