Tennessee football: Vols 5 worst seasons with second-year head coach

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 12: Head Coach Derek Dooley of the Tennessee Volunteers signals to the sidelines during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Volunteers 49 to 7. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 12: Head Coach Derek Dooley of the Tennessee Volunteers signals to the sidelines during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Volunteers 49 to 7. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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1. James DePree

Year: 1906

Record: 1-6-2 (0-4-1)

This is one of Tennessee football’s worst seasons. And it was Rock Bottom for a program that had suffered dating back to that 1903 Hubert Fisher season we brought up earlier. It was a downward trend from there despite nearly a 10-year period before then, only interrupted by the Spanish American War, in which the Vols would not suffer losing seasons.

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After Fisher’s 4-5 season, Sax Crawford took over and went 3-5-1 for one year. James DePree then came in to replace Crawford, and he also went 3-5-1, although his included a winless SIAA record in 1905.

So 1906 came, and at least some improvement could be expected. It didn’t happen. DePree went 1-6-2. By the way, this was a year he was able to avoid the Vanderbilt Commodores, the top team at the time, and he still had no success.

He lost 11-0 to Maryville, 6-0 to Centre College, 17-0 to Sewanee, 21-0 to Kentucky State College (now the Kentucky Wildcats), 16-0 to the Clemson Tigers and 51-0 to the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was just a massive failure. The school’s only win would come against American Temperance in the opener, a university that would close down two years later.

Next. Projecting the Vols' 2019 2-deep depth chart. dark

As we said, the first decade of the 20th century was a brutal struggle for Tennessee football, and DePree was part of that struggle. George LeVene would restore success the next year, but he would have another one-win season his third year. So things were rocky on Rocky Top for a while in the early years.