Vols HOF coach Fulmer recovering after surgery

  • Chris Low, ESPN Elder WriterAug 24, 2023, 01:37 PM ET


    • College football reporter
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2007
    • Graduate of the University of Tennessee

Hall of Popularity Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer went through surgical treatment Thursday at UT Medical Center in Knoxville, and a statement from his family said he was “alert and in great spirits.”

The Fulmer household’s declaration did not define the nature of Fulmer’s health concerns but did say he would remain in the hospital for a few days.

“We are happy for the exceptional care he’s getting, and we also value the prayers and concern of a lot of who have actually reached out. He is eagerly anticipating cheering on the Vols as they begin another interesting season,” the statement said.Fulmer, 72, led the Volunteers to the national championship in 1998, and they won back-to-back SEC titles in 1997 and 1998. He was 152-52 in 17 seasons, making him the second-winningest coach in Tennessee football history. Fulmer likewise acted as an advisor to the Tennessee athletic department before being employed as athletic director on Dec. 1, 2017. He retired on Jan. 21, 2021, the same day Tennessee revealed the firing of football coach Jeremy Pruitt.Fulmer invested more than 40 years of his life at Tennessee as a player, assistant coach, head coach and administrator. He still resides in neighboring Maryville, Tennessee.

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