Tag Archives: sports information office

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)