Jim McDonald: 5-5 (3-5)
No postseason accomplishments
The year before Doug Dickey took over as Tennessee football’s head coach, the Vols had an odd transition period. It was almost similar to what happened with Lane Kiffin in 2009, but it wasn’t breathing new life into the program.
On the heels of missing five straight bowl games, Jim McDonald took over for Bowden Wyatt in 1963 after he went 4-6 in 1962. McDonald, however, was a Wyatt assistant, which makes this a bit odd.
Anyway, the Ohio State Buckeyes graduate did not perform that well his one season on Rocky Top. After getting to an 0-4 start in 1962, the Vols had a 1-4 start in 1963. They won their first game over Richmond and then lost to the Auburn Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Alabama Crimson Tide.
To be fair, Auburn and MSU were both one-score losses, and they would finish in the top three in the conference along with Alabama. Both Alabama schools would finish in the top 10. So the Vols did take advantage of an easier road to close out the year, beating Chattanooga and the Tulane Green Wave along with the Kentucky Wildcats and Vanderbilt Commodores.
But between Tulane and Kentucky, UT had to play the third SEC team to finish in the top 10 that year and the top team in the conference, the Ole Miss Rebels, meaning they played the top four teams in the conference. They lost to the eventual SEC champions 20-0, resulting in them finishing 5-5 and missing a sixth straight bowl game. McDonald only lasted one year.