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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
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Johnny Majors – Hall of Fame Class of 1999