Tag Archives: johnny majors.



David Bazzel pictured below:

I have written about my past visits to the Little Rock Touchdown Club many times and I have been amazed at the quality of the speakers. One of my favorite was  Phillip Fulmer, but Frank Broyles was probably my favorite, and  Paul Finebaum, Mike Slive, Willie Roaf,Randy White, Howard Schnellenberger, John Robinson, Mark May, Gene Stallings, Bobby Bowden, Lloyd Carr, Johnny Majors, Pat Summerall, Pat Dye, Vince Dooley , Eric Mangino, and many more were very good too.

If pressed then right behind Frank was  Phillip Fulmer, Howard Schnellenberger, John Robinson, Gene Stallings, Bobby Bowden, Lloyd Carr, Johnny Majors, Pat Summerall, Pat Dye, and Vince Dooley .

The Little Rock Touchdown Club website noted today:

You won’t want to miss a single meeting in 2015! We have another terrific lineup but we can’t be successful without your participation and support.

Our first full meeting will be Monday, August 24th, 2015 at the Little Rock Marriott and will feature Arkansas Razorback Head Football Coach Bret Bielema. Membership in the Little Rock Touchdown Club includes lunch at a reduced rate at all weekly meetings.

(Rex Nelson pictured below)

2015 Speaker Lineup



Rex Nelson impersonates Houston Nutt at LRTC 08 27 12

Published on Oct 2, 2012

Little Rock Touchdown Club has Rex Nelson do the stats for the games played that week. Rex does a lot of impersonations of different people but I like his Houston Nutt the best. Video by Popeye Video – Mrpopeyevideo


Tom Osborne below:


Little Rock Touchdown Club founder David Bazzel announced the club’s new awards and 2013 speakers Tuesday

Frank Broyles below:


Frank Broyles, Barry Switzer, and Bobby Burnett (L-R) (1965 Cotton Bowl)

Bazzel a deserving, easy target for Toast & Roast

David Bazzel is the honoree of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas' 41st annual Toast & Roast banquet Aug. 13 at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.

David Bazzel is the honoree of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas’ 41st annual Toast & Roast banquet Aug. 13 at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.

Going Deep: A sports column by Nate Olson

When I interviewed David Bazzel back in late January, I finally got to ask the question I had wanted to ask him for a long time: “Do you ever sleep?”

Bazzel, a former Arkansas linebacker, told me that the answer — which is especially true during football season — is: “Very little.” Bazzel’s day job is co-host of the morning-drive radio program The Show With No Name on KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz. The show airs weekdays from 6-10 a.m. He says he regularly stays up until midnight working on his other projects that include the Little Rock Touchdown Club, which is now in its 12th year, and the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top college assistant football coaches. He admitted during the interview that he doesn’t profit financially from either endeavor, even though he pours hundred of hours into the events each year. He does those things, as well as originated the The Golden Boot, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Arkansas-LSU game, because he genuinely loves football and promoting the game, Little Rock and the state of Arkansas.

Add to that, attending every University of Arkansas football game as an analyst for The Buzz and KATV, Channel 7 and the numerous speaking engagements, commercials and other business ventures Bazzel somehow manages to do all of those things at a high level. Something I have long admired.

He also squeezes in time to volunteer. While his work ethic is to be admired, it is his humble, genuine personality that shines through. Always friendly, always smiling (his teeth are the whitest I’ve seen) and very approachable. He gets ribbed from time to time because of his attention to his finely coiffed hair, his teeth, muscular physique and flair for fashion (he must own 200 suits and matching pocket squares), but he is well liked by many because, at the core, he is a good, caring person. He is also a devout Christian and shared his testimony with the congregation of Chenal Valley Baptist Church last winter.

Because of those qualities, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas tabbed Bazzel as its 41st annual Toast & Roast honoree. The banquet begins Thursday at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock with a reception at 6 p.m., and the program begins at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $150. The cause is terrific (it is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the organization), and the entertainment will be outstanding. Check out this lineup of roasters: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; former NFL tight end and play-by-play voice for Arkansas football Keith Jackson; former Hog and NBA center Joe Kleine; former Hog, NFL receiver and co-host of Overtime on The Buzz Matt Jones; former Hog guard and The Buzz’s The Zone co-host Pat Bradley; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports editor Wally Hall; KATV sports director Steve Sullivan; KATV co-anchor Beth Hunt; car dealer Frank Fletcher; longtime journalist, broadcaster and Simmons First National Corp Director of Corporate Communications Rex Nelson; Tommy Smith, Bazzel’s co-host on The Show With No Name; Roger Scott, another co-host on The Show With No Name; and Bill Vickery, political consultant and host of The Sunday Buzz on The Buzz.

KATV morning show anchor Chris Kane gets the unenviable task of emceeing this free for all. It could get a tad uncomfortable for ol’ No. 53. No doubt, it will be funny with the cast of characters that have been assembled. Scott and his many impressions could fill the the entire time slot by himself. Most all of the roasters love to hear their own voices, so the biggest challenge of the evening might be wrapping it up by 9 p.m., as I am told is the goal. Good luck with that.

I attended my first Toast & Roast last year with former Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson as the honoree. Bradley, current UA basketball coach Mike Anderson, and former Hogs and NBA standout Todd Day raised a high bar for this year. With some of the stories told and jokes delivered by last year’s emcee — KTHV-TV, Channel 11’s Craig O’Neill — I didn’t quit laughing.

Congratulations to Bazzel. The honor is well deserved, and his presence and the all-star roaster roster should make for a huge crowd and a memorable night for all.

For more information on purchasing tickets, go to bbsca.org. Read Nate’s sports blog atgoingdeep.syncweekly.com.


David Bazzel, Muskie Harris, Ron Calcagni, Lou Holtz of Orlando, Fla., Bert Zinamon, Kelly Lasseigne, and Nancy Monroe at the Little Rock Touchdown Club

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Johnny Majors speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 12)jh80

Uploaded by  on Sep 3, 2010

Johnny Majors from Huntland, TN tried out for the UT Football team weighing 150 pounds. His Father, Shirley Majors his HS Coach,encourage him and then 4 younger brothers all to be Vols. Johnny Majors was the runner-up in 1956 for the Heisman Trophy to Paul Horning, on a loosing Notre Dame team. So much for Northern politics with writers.


Arkansas safety Tramain Thomas intercepts a pass for Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011.   (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Arkansas safety Tramain Thomas intercepts a pass for Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

I got to hear Johnny Majors speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on 11-7-11. I got to hear Frank Broyles speak a couple of years ago. Of course, the most amazing thing was Broyles’ ability to hire top notch assistant coaches that later went on to win national titles and Super Bowls. Johnny Majors did just that (won a national title in 1976). In fact, did you know that as a player Majors lost the Heisman Trophy to Paul Hornung, who starred for Notre Dame. Wikipedia said that year Notre Dame had a losing record (2–8). To date, this is the only time the Heisman Trophy has been awarded to a player on a losing team. Many fans of college football, particularly Tennessee fans, believe that Hornung won the Heisman because he played for Notre Dame which at the time was one of very few college teams that enjoyed the benefit of having nationally televised football games. As a coach Majors did two things that I really respect. He won a national title at Pittsburgh and he returned UT to the top of the SEC by winning SEC titles in 85, 89, and 90.

Tennessee tailback Marlin Lane carries the ball against Arkansas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011.  (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee tailback Marlin Lane carries the ball against Arkansas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Johnny Majors speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 10)jh78

FB: The Best of Johnny Majors at Iowa St

I got to hear Johnny Majors talk on 11-7-11 and he talked about the connection that Arkansas and Tennessee had with their football programs. Two years ago I got to hear Frank Broyles speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club and he said that too. As you know Broyles was probably the best coach since Bear Bryant to produce assistant coaches that later became head coaches. In fact, Arkansas actually went 11-0 in 1964 and won the national championship. Johnny Majors was an assistant on that team with Barry Switzer and both of them later coached national championship teams (Majors in 1976 at Pittsburgh and Switzer had 3 teams at Oklahoma and Switzer also led the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl win). In this article below you will see that Doug Dickey did very well at UT after getting his training at Arkansas under Broyles. However, I never understood why Doug Dickey left the UT job for Florida.From Uncle Everette After the 1963 season, Doug Dickey, then a top assistant
to Frank Broyles at Arkansas,
became the Vols’ head coach,bringing the “T” formation with him to Knoxville.Dickey’s first Tennessee team finished 4-5-1, but hopeswere high as the Vols narrowly lost to Auburn and Alabama,tied Louisiana State at Baton Rouge and upset favoredGeorgia Tech at Grant Field.Middle guard Steve DeLong won the Outland Trophy andDickey’s staff recruited a freshman class which would helplead the Vols out of the wilderness. One of that year’srecruits, wide receiver Richmond Flowers fromMontgomery, Ala., was the first of a number of track-footballathletes who brought a new dimension of speed to theVol program.In 1965, Dickey’s second team finished 8-1-2 and earneda Bluebonnet Bowl bid, UT’s first bowl game since 1957.The season’s pivotal moment came in the aftermath of theAlabama game. The Vols had tied Alabama, 7-7, inBirmingham and spirits were high on the Knoxville campus.Line coach Charley Rash put a note in each of his linemen’smailbox that night after the game: “Play like that everyweek and you’ll go undefeated.”Two days later, Rash, Bill Majors and Bob Jones werekilled in an early morning car-train collision in westKnoxville. Nearly 40 years later, persons connected with theVol program still praise the way Dickey handled the tragedy,pulling everybody together and keeping the Vol programgoing.One of the most memorable moments of that, or anyother season, was the 37-34 “Rosebonnet Bowl” victoryover UCLA at Memorial Stadium in Memphis, so named byVol broadcaster George Mooney because of the post-seasondestinations of the two teams.It was a classic offensive shootout that was finally settledwhen Vol quarterback Dewey Warren ambled aroundleft end for the winning score and Bobby Petrella grabbed alast-ditch Bruin aerial.In 1966, there was an addition of 5,895 seats to thenorth stands, which increased stadium capacity to 58,122.There was also a new scoreboard at the north end, with a“countdown clock,” replacing one that was really a clock,complete with minute and second hands. Tennessee’s 8-3record, including an 18-12 Gator Bowl win over a Syracuseteam which featured running backs Larry Csonka and FloydLittle, presaged what was to come in 1967.The Vols lost their opener to UCLA, a nocturnal affair atthe Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but came back to wintheir remaining nine games and the SEC Championship,earning an Orange Bowl date against Oklahoma. The Volsswept Alabama, Auburn, Louisiana State and Mississippi,defeating the Tide for the first time since 1960 and theRebels for the first time since 1958. The Vols finished No. 2in the final polls and were selected as national championsby Litkenhous. One other note, the Vols’ 41-14 win overVanderbilt in December was the last game played on theNeyland Stadium grass until September 1994.In 1968, artificial turf came to Neyland Stadium. Withthe new turf and the demise of the grass field came a6,307-seat east upper deck and new auxiliary east sidescoreboard. The addition raised capacity to 64,429.In the first game played on Tartan Turf against VinceDooley’s Georgia Bulldogs, Nashville’s Lester McClainbecame Tennessee’s first African-American to play in anSEC varsity football game.The Vols rallied for a 17-17 tie that day in an exciting finishled by quarterback Bubba Wyche. Runner-up in the SECin 1968, Tennessee won the crown again in 1969 with a 9-1 record and played in the Gator Bowl. Linebacker SteveKiner (1967-69) was named to the College Football Hall ofFame in 1999.


Johnny Majors has a lot of respect for Derek Dooley and he hopes the Tennessee adminstration give him time to dig himself out of the hole that inherited.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley watches play against Arkansas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011.  (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley watches play against Arkansas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Johnny Majors - Hall of Fame Class of 1999
View larger Courtesy: Athletics Communications
Johnny Majors – Hall of Fame Class of 1999

Johnny Majors speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 3)

I heard Johnny Majors speak at the November 7, 2011 Little Rock Touchdown Club. He talked about his respect for Frank Broyles and the great coach he was. He also said he saw a lot of those same great qualities in Derek Dooley.

Uploaded by  on Sep 3, 2010

Johnny Majors from Huntland, TN tried out for the UT Football team weighing 150 pounds. His Father, Shirley Majors his HS Coach,encourage him and then 4 younger brothers all to be Vols. Johnny Majors was the runner-up in 1956 for the Heisman Trophy to Paul Horning, on a loosing Notre Dame team. So much for Northern politics with writers.


Majors: Dooley needs time

By Jeff Halpern

LITTLE ROCK — Johnny Majors played and coached at Tennessee and was an assistant at Arkansas. So when he sees the Tennessee Volunteers struggle, he knows what it is going to take for second-year coach Derek Dooley to turn things around.


Majors, 76, is retired and living in Knoxville, Tenn., and he understands where the Volunteers (4-5, 0-5 SEC) are at going into Saturday’s game against BCS No. 8 Arkansas (8-1, 4-1 SEC) in Fayetteville.

“The thing is, Derek Dooley inherited a program that was going downhill,” said Majors, the guest speaker Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club luncheon.

Majors said Tennessee’s slide began under Phil Fulmer. Lane Kiffin was hired to replace Fulmer, but Kiffin stayed for only the 2009 season before bolting for the head coaching job at Southern California.

Majors said he believes Kiffin would have stopped the slide had he stayed, but his sudden departure set the program back even more.

“Derek lost about a half a dozen players who either didn’t pan out or got hurt, and you can’t rebuild a program in a year or two,” Majors said. “It’s going to take at least three to four to be solid.

“So whenever people ask if Tennessee will be patient to give Derek Dooley the time to turn things around, I tell them they don’t have any choice but to give him time.”

Dooley, the son of former Georgia Coach Vince Dooley, is 10-12 overall and 3-10 in SEC games.

“He is intelligent and has a good background,” Majors said. “He worked seven years for Nick Saban at LSU and at the Miami Dolphins, so you know he has to be tough.”

Injuries also have been a problem of late. The Volunteers lost wide receiver Justin Hunter to a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament Sept. 17 in a 33-23 loss at Florida. Quarterback Tyler Bray broke his thumb in a 20-12 loss to Georgia on Oct. 8, leaving Matt Simms and Justin Worley to fill in.

Tennessee has had its moments this season. The Vols went into halftime tied 3-3 with Alabama before eventually losing 37-6. It held LSU scoreless in the first quarter but eventually were defeated 38-7.

“I told Derek after the LSU game that I know what he’s going through and have been there before, and that this, too, shall pass,” Majors said.

Under Majors, Tennessee was becaame of the premier teams in the country.

Tennessee went 116-62-8 from 1977-1992 and won three SEC titles with Majors as coach. Under Fulmer, Tennessee went 152-52-1, won two SEC titles and the 1998 national championship.

However, Tennessee went 29-21 overall and 17-15 in SEC games in Fulmer’s last four seasons, including losing seasons in 2005 (5-6) and 2008 (5-7). The Volunteers went 7-6 in Kiffin’s lone season, and they were 6-7 under Dooley last season.

“The thing I saw was recruiting went down the last few years under Fulmer,” Majors told members of the media after Monday’s luncheon. “I would work as an unpaid consultant for the East-West Shrine Game, and we would have at least 100 scouts and they would tell me that things were going down under Fulmer.

“It didn’t seem like they were doing a good job of evaluating prospects and had many discipline problems on and off the field and were beating themselves.

“You don’t win by accident, and you don’t lose by accident.”

While Majors didn’t mention Fulmer by name during his speech, it is no secret he and Fulmer, his offensive line coach from 1980-1988 and offensive coordinator from 1989-1992, do not get along.

Majors was forced to resign late in the 1992 season after the Volunteers went 2-3 following his return from heart surgery after Fulmer had guided Tennessee to a 3-0 start. Majors felt Fulmer maneuvered to get the head coaching job while he was recovering from surgery and that a promise was broken about a new seven-year contract.

When asked Monday about his relationship with Fulmer, he left little doubt about whether those feelings still lingered.

“I don’t need to go into that,” Majors said.

This article was published today at 5:08 a.m.


Johnny Majors was a great quarterback for Tennessee.

Image Detail


Johnny Majors speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 2) jh71

Johnny Majors broke the streak of Alabama victories over Tennessee with this victory over Bama pictured below.

Image Detail

When Johnny Majors was introduced today at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, it was mentioned that he caused a stir back in 2005 with his previous visit to the Little Rock Touchdown Club. Here is an article from ESPN on that visit:

Updated: November 22, 2005, 9:15 AM ET

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Johnny Majors has made it clear in the past he was not happy with the way he left Tennessee. Majors was fired in 1992, and his assistant, Phillip Fulmer, succeeded him.

On Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, Majors said he still has fond memories of Tennessee, but he drew a laugh from the crowd full of Arkansas fans when a took a small dig at Fulmer.

“I don’t pull against those players up there,” Majors said. “But I don’t have any regard for Judas Brutus, who’s coaching up there.”

Fulmer, the current coach of the Volunteers, was a top assistant to Majors when Majors underwent heart surgery in 1992, and took over the team for three victories while Majors was recovering. He was named head coach following Majors’ dismissal.

A call to the Tennessee sports information office seeking comment from Fulmer was not returned.

Majors spoke for about 45 minutes, entertaining the crowd with stories about his playing days at Tennessee, his years as an assistant to Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, and a head coaching career that spanned almost three decades.

Majors was a star running back at Tennessee during the 1950s, finishing second to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung in the ’56 Heisman Trophy race. He went 184-137-10 as a head coach at Iowa State, Tennessee and Pittsburgh.

He led Pitt to the 1976 national title, then left a few days later to coach Tennessee. He spent 16 seasons there, but missed the first three games in 1992 while he recovered from heart bypass surgery. The Volunteers, coached by Fulmer, got off to a 3-0 start.

Majors unexpectedly returned and Tennessee lost three of its next five games. With three games left, the university said Majors would not return for another season. He later went back to Pitt.

Majors has returned to Tennessee’s campus only a few times since stepping down as coach, but he was there last month for a tribute to his 1985 team that won the Sugar Bowl.

“They’ve been great to me and my family for a long, long time since I went there as a freshman in 1953.” Majors said Monday. “I am not a bitter man, I am not an angry man. I am having too much of a good time living.”

Majors amused the Razorback partisans with his comments about Tennessee, but they appeared just as interested when he talked about his experiences at Arkansas. Majors became an assistant on the Razorbacks’ staff in 1964, the year Arkansas went 11-0 and finished ranked No. 1 by the Football Writers Association of America.

Arkansas shut out its last five regular-season opponents that year before beating Nebraska 10-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

“When they don’t score, it’s pretty hard to lose,” Majors said.

Majors became the coach at Iowa State in 1968, where his assistants included Jimmy Johnson, Jackie Sherrill and Larry Lacewell.

Lacewell, who went on to coach at Arkansas State, was in the audience Monday. Majors took the opportunity to needle him a bit.

“Larry Lacewell, Jimmy Johnson and Jackie Sherrill were on my first staff up there. Man, they had all the answers,” he said with a touch of sarcasm.

Majors went to Pitt in 1973, taking over a team that had won one game the previous season and eventually winning a national title. After a 16-year stay at Tennessee, he went back to coach the Panthers, trying to resurrect the program for a second time. But he went 11-32 in his second stint and retired at the end of the 1996 season.

Majors said he never forgot the lessons he learned from Broyles and the rest of the Arkansas staff, and he still has an obvious soft spot for the school and its supporters.

“There’s none better anywhere in the country than the Arkansas Razorback fans,” he said. “You have a stellar group here.”

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Iowa State Cyclones (Big Eight Conference) (1968–1972)
1968 Iowa State 3–7 1–6 7th      
1969 Iowa State 3–7 1–6 7th      
1970 Iowa State 5–6 1–6 T–6th      
1971 Iowa State 8–4 4–3 4th L Sun 17  
1972 Iowa State 5–6–1 2–4–1 5th L Liberty    
Iowa State: 24–30–1 9–25–1  
Pittsburgh Panthers (Independent) (1973–1976)
1973 Pittsburgh 6–5–1     L Fiesta    
1974 Pittsburgh 7–4          
1975 Pittsburgh 8–4     W Sun 13 15
1976 Pittsburgh 12–0     W Sugar 1 1
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (1977–1992)
1977 Tennessee 4–7 1–5 8th      
1978 Tennessee 5–5–1 3–3 T–4th      
1979 Tennessee 7–5 3–3 T–5th L Bluebonnet    
1980 Tennessee 5–6 3–3 6th      
1981 Tennessee 8–4 3–3 T–4th W Garden State    
1982 Tennessee 6–5–1 3–2–1 5th L Peach    
1983 Tennessee 9–3 4–2 T–3rd W Citrus    
1984 Tennessee 7–4–1 3–3 T–5th L Sun    
1985 Tennessee 9–1–2 5–1 1st W Sugar 4 4
1986 Tennessee 7–5 3–3 6th W Liberty    
1987 Tennessee 10–2–1 4–1–1 3rd W Peach 13 14
1988 Tennessee 5–6 3–4 T–6th      
1989 Tennessee 11–1 6–1 T–1st W Cotton 5 5
1990 Tennessee 9–2–2 5–1–1 1st W Sugar 7 8
1991 Tennessee 9–3 5–2 3rd L Fiesta 15 14
1992 Tennessee 5–3* 3–3* 3rd (East)* * 12* 12*
Tennessee: 116–62–8 57–40–3  
Pittsburgh Panthers (Big East Conference) (1993–1996)
1993 Pittsburgh 3–8 2–5 6th      
1994 Pittsburgh 3–8 2–5 7th      
1995 Pittsburgh 2–9 0–7 8th      
1996 Pittsburgh 4–7 3–4 5th      
Pittsburgh: 45–45–1 7–21 *Three early games and the Bowl game are credited to Phillip Fulmer.
Total: 185–137–10  
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches’ Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Johnny Majors
Majors in 2009
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born May 21, 1935 (age 76)
Place of birth Lynchburg, Tennessee
Playing career
Montreal Alouettes
Position(s) Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Tennessee (GA)
Tennessee (backfield)
Mississippi State (DB)
Arkansas (assistant)
Iowa State
Head coaching record
Overall 185–137–10
Bowls 9–7
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
National (1976)
SEC (1985, 1989–1990)
All-American, 1956
2x SEC MVP (1955–1956)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1973)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1976)
Sporting News College Football COY (1976)
SEC Coach of the Year (1985)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1987 (profile)

Johnny Majors speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 1)jh70

Below is a picture of Lane Kiffin with Johnny Majors.

Image Detail

Today Johnny Majors spoke at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. Majors told several revealing stories about his time at Arkansas from 1964-1968 when he was an assistant coach under Frank Broyles. One of the funniest stories concerned fellow assistant coach Jim MacKenzie who knew how to play Broyles at times according to Majors.

One such occasion the assistant coaches were being pressed into working long hours by Broyles during a time that Broyles thought he needed to see some progress with the team. Earlier the assistant coaches had been allowed to leave at noon and go fishing or play golf when the razorbacks had been winning almost all their games.

It was in July and Majors and some of the other coaches wanted to go play golf. Coach Broyles came into the room and asked how things were going. Coach MacKenzie asked Broyles what were the shots Broyles had on the first hole on Augusta when he got that 72. Broyles went to the chalk board and erased the plays and began to draw the placement of the ball on the first hole as he outlined the birdie he got .

By the time Broyles recalled the first 5 holes, he put down the chalk and said that it appeared we were all caught up around here and we should go play some golf!!!!

Johnny Majors

Over and over today, Majors talked about his respect for Coach Broyles. In this article below Johnny Majors lists the top coaches of all time and he includes Frank Broyles who hired Majors as an assistant.

Former Tennessee star, coach Johnny Majors says new Vols coach Derek Dooley will succeed if given time

Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 7:00 AM

Derek Dooley may not have been the first choice to replace Lane Kiffin as head coach at Tennessee, but he was the right choice, said former Tennessee All-American and coach Johnny Majors.

The son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley “knows how to coach,” Majors said, and he’ll get the job done if given the opportunity.

“I think he’ll do very well,” Majors said before speaking at the Cellular South 1st and 10 Club Monday night at Heron Lakes Country Club. “I think he was a very good pick. I’ve been an advocate of his the last two or three years since I’ve got to know him at a lot of coaching clinics.

“I’ve known him since he was a kid. … He’s got a good background, he’s intelligent, competent and … he’s learned a lot by osmosis, being around his dad and being raised up by his dad.”

The keys for Dooley are getting the time and power to turn around a program in decline, Majors said.

“It’s going to take time,” Majors said. “I think they’re going to have a very challenging struggle this year, very challenging — the most since I took over. It took us five or six years. … He’s got a tough job.

“People ask, ‘Do you think they’ll give him time?’ I tell them, ‘Frankly speaking, they don’t have a choice.’ … It’s been a mess for several years. They’ve had a tough time finding a president. They’ve had three presidents that didn’t last. So they need to learn how to hire the right person and stay with that person.

“They’ve got no choice. They’re going to have to tough it out. If you’ve got a strong back and strong spine and strong-minded, loyal person you’re working for (it’s easier). Its been a mess and they’re going to have to give him a chance to get it straightened out.”

Majors said he believes the Vols were headed in the right direction with Lane Kiffin, who led the program for one year before leaving for Southern Cal.

“Kiffin took over a bad situation,” Majors said. “After me, he took over the job in the worst situation it’s been in. No question about it. It’s been going that way, downhill, for 10 years at least, especially the last three.

“Lane Kiffin would have won there. He stopped the bleeding. He stopped a runaway truck. You don’t want a runaway truck, an 18-wheeler, going down the Sewanee Mountain. He got it braked and turned the cab sideways and was going to turn it back uphill. He would have won there, because they knew how to coach.”

Coaching drove Majors for many years, not only at Tennessee, but also at Iowa State and twice at Pitt, where he won the 1976 national championship. Before that, he was SEC MVP twice and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy his senior year.

“I don’t remember my first spoken word or my first conscious thought, but surely I can’t remember when I didn’t love football,” Majors said. “I think it’s a great game.”

Although it’s a different game than when he played or even coached, the best level of football, in his opinion, is still special.

That’s why he still loves to watch the game, why he loves watching other men coach the game, especially the great ones. One of those coaches is a Dooley mentor for whom he served as an assistant for seven years — Alabama’s Nick Saban.

“There’s no one that can coach ’em up any better than Saban can,” Majors said. “Intensity, focus, discipline, tenacious, clever, keeps his eyes on the bull’s-eye. He’s very demanding of his coaches and they have a great amount of respect for him. … Saban knows how to coach.”

Others on that list would include Frank Broyles, Vince Lombardi, Vince Dooley and Bear Bryant, among others, Majors said.

The College Football Hall of Fame member said he hopes Derek Dooley will make that list by leading Tennessee back to its glory years.

“Watching (Tennessee) practice, he’s made an impression on me,” Majors said. “He can coach. … But they’re going to have to give him a chance.”

McGill-Toolen’s E.J. May (defense) and Mary Montgomery’s Harrison Corley (offense) were recognized at the meeting as the Cellular South student-athletes of the week.

The next 1st and 10 Club meeting is on Sept. 20 with ESPN college football analyst Joe Schad as the guest speaker.

Johnny Majors to speak at Little Rock Touchdown Club: What is connection to Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long?

Former Tennessee Football Coach Johnny Majors is to speak at Little Rock Touchdown Club todayat the Embassy Suites hotel. Majors coached at Iowa State from 1968-1972, Pittsburgh from 1973-1976 and 1993-1996, where he led the Panthers to the 1976 national championship and at Tennessee from 1977-1992, where he won three SEC championships.

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1976 Sugar Bowl National Championship – Pitt vs. Georgia

Did you know that Jeff Long and Johnny Majors have a close connection? Below is a story from the June 12, 2007 edition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Johnny Majors returning to his home again — in Tennessee
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It was 1972. President Nixon made historic trips to Beijing and Moscow. The Oakland A’s made a splashy trip to the World Series.

And a man named Joe Mason (wink) made a little fact-finding trip to Pittsburgh.

Post-Gazette archives
Johnny Majors Former Pitt coach

Except that it was really Joe Majors, brother and confidant of Johnny Majors, an up-and-coming college football coach who was skeptical about pursuing a job with the University of Pittsburgh in a big city.”I would have never come to Pittsburgh if not for Joe,” Johnny Majors said yesterday. “He came in and scouted the area first. He said, ‘John, they’re ready to make a move. The drive from the airport to downtown Pittsburgh in November is not very exciting, but it’s the job for you. They want to get things done, and you’re the guy who can get it done.’ ”

So Majors, who always had preferred small college towns, interviewed with Pitt, took the job and in four seasons guided the Panthers to the 1976 national championship, recruiting Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett along the way.

For Majors, Pittsburgh was love at first fortnight.

“I came here two weeks and I felt at home,” he said. “It was the easiest adjustment I’ve ever made.”

It’s a feeling that persisted, even when he left after that title season to return to his home state of Tennessee and coach at his alma mater, even when he came back to Pitt in 1993 for four rough seasons, and especially in the past decade while remaining in Pittsburgh and on the Pitt athletic staff.

Now, though, Majors and his wife, Mary Lynn, are going home once more.

In the past couple of weeks, they closed on a sale of their Oakland house — the one they bought from Pitt, the one with a wonderfully landscaped corner lot — and found a place in Knoxville, Tenn.

They’ll make the move before the end of July.

This uprooting is all about family.

Joe is gone. He died in January after a battle with cancer and heart problems. But Majors has a sister, Shirley Ann, and a brother, Bob, in Chattanooga and another brother, Larry, near Sewanee.

The Majors’ son, John Ireland Majors, and daughter, Shirley Ann, are in Tennessee, along with seven grandchildren, including Brandon, 20, who is in junior college after being raised in Pittsburgh by Johnny and Mary Lynn.

This is not about giving up on life.

“I’m in the fourth quarter of my life. I’m not ready to make the final play yet,” said Majors, 72, a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1956 and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Although the move makes sense to him, it has caused a great deal of internal conflict.

“People say, ‘Why are you leaving?’ Well, I wonder myself sometimes. I’ve wondered a lot about it,” he said. “Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania are uniquely special. I have so many friends here, I’m talking about really, really great friends. And such a diverse group.”

Majors and his wife are determined to maintain strong ties here. They are considering renting a place so they can make frequent visits for football and basketball games and other events.

He will have to give up his seat on the Pittsburgh Symphony Board, but they’re keeping their symphony tickets. He’ll keep in touch with friends at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Field Club and with those at Calvary Episcopal Church. Mary Lynn no doubt will remain tight with those at the Garden Club of Allegheny County, where she served as president until about six months ago.

And, of course, Pitt will always be close to Majors’ heart.

“The University of Pittsburgh has been great to me twice,” said Majors, who has been a special assistant to the athletic director and chancellor since his coaching career ended after the 1996 season.

“I’m very appreciative and indebted to the University of Pittsburgh. I told [athletic director] Jeff Long, ‘I’m at your beck and call. I’ll do anything I can because this is a great school and a great town.’ ”

That includes what Majors has done best for the athletic department in recent years — shake hands, share a round of golf over some great storytelling and spread goodwill about Pitt.

Some might find it curious that Majors is returning to Knoxville after his bitter departure from Tennessee in 1992 following what many considered a coup by Phil Fulmer, one of his assistants. For several years after he returned to Pitt, Majors was reluctant to utter the word, “Tennessee,” instead calling it “the place I used to work.”

Those feelings have faded. Not that he’s necessarily going to hang around the Volunteers.

“I’m going to play that by ear,” Majors said. “I can say this: The athletic director [Mike Hamilton] wasn’t there when I was there, and he’s been very pleasant to me. I have some friends who still work at the university. I don’t have any animosity.”

Nor does Majors bemoan the state of the Panthers’ football program in the 1990s, when budgetary and other commitments at Pitt Stadium were lacking and he went 12-32.

“I can say I was not at my best,” he said. “But I’ve always said I felt like we — our staff, our families — could be remembered for leaving a program in better shape when we left than when we came, and they were able to go to a bowl game the year after we left.”

Certainly, Pitt was infinitely better, a national powerhouse, when Majors left the first time in the 1970s.

“The first four years I was here, I never had a more exciting time in my life,” Majors said. “They called when I needed them. I needed that opportunity.”

And now he needs to go home.

First published on June 11, 2007 at 11:22 pm
Shelly Anderson can be reached at shanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1721.