List of Tennessee Volunteers head football coaches
The Tennessee Volunteers college football team represents the University of Tennessee in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Vols compete as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The program has had 27 head coaches since its formation during the 1891 season. Josh Heupel will serve as the head coach in 2021.
The team has played 1,215 games over 118 seasons of Tennessee football. Prior to the 1899 season, the Volunteers did not have an official head coach while compiling a record of twelve wins and eleven losses (.522) between 1891 and 1898. Since 1899, ten coaches have led the Volunteers in postseason bowl games: Robert Neyland, John Barnhill, Bowden Wyatt, Doug Dickey, Bill Battle, Johnny Majors, Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, and Butch Jones. Five of those coaches also won conference championships: Zora G. Clevenger captured one as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Neyland captured two as a member of the Southern Conference and Neyland, Wyatt, Majors, and Fulmer won a combined twelve as a member of the SEC. During their tenures, Neyland and Fulmer each won national championships with the Volunteers.
Neyland is the leader in total number of seasons coached and games won, with 173 victories during his 21 years with the program. Barnhill has the highest winning percentage with .846. James DePree has the lowest winning percentage with .306. Of the 23 head coaches who have led the Volunteers, Neyland, Wyatt, Dickey, Majors, and Fulmer have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA.
|No.||Order of coaches[A 2]||GC||Games coached||CW||Conference wins||PW||Postseason wins|
|DC||Division championships||OW||Overall wins||CL||Conference losses||PL||Postseason losses|
|CC||Conference championships||OL||Overall losses||CT||Conference ties||PT||Postseason ties|
|NC||National championships||OT||Overall ties[A 3]||C%||Conference winning percentage|
|Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame||O%||Overall winning percentage[A 4]|
|1||J. A. Pierce||1899–1900||14||9||4||1||0.679||2||3||1||0.417||—||—||—||—||—||0||—|
|8||Zora G. Clevenger||1911–1915||43||26||15||2||0.628||8||12||0||0.400||—||—||—||—||—||0||—|
|9||John R. Bender||1916,
|10||M. B. Banks||1921–1925||45||27||15||3||0.633||14||11||2||0.556||0||0||0||—||—||0||—|
|11, 13, 15||Robert Neyland||1926–1934,
|216||173||31||12||0.829||103||17||10||0.831||2||5||0||—||8||4 – 1938, 1940, 1950, 1951||AP SEC Coach of the Year (1951)|
SEC Coach of the Year (1936, 1938, 1950)
|12||W. H. Britton||1935||9||4||5||0||0.444||2||3||0||0.400||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|39||32||5||2||0.846||15||3||1||0.816||1||1||0||—||0||0||SEC Coach of the Year (1944)|
|17||Bowden Wyatt||1955–1962||82||49||29||4||0.622||29||23||4||0.554||1||1||0||—||1||0||AFCA Coach of the Year (1956)|
AP SEC Coach of the Year (1956)
SEC Coach of the Year (1956)
|19||Doug Dickey||1964–1969||65||46||15||4||0.738||23||10||4||0.676||2||3||0||—||0||1 – 1967||AP SEC Coach of the Year (1967)|
UPI SEC Coach of the Year (1967)
SEC Coach of the Year (1965, 1967)
|186||116||82||8||0.645||57||40||3||0.585||7||4||0||0||3||0||AP SEC Coach of the Year (1985)|
UPI SEC Coach of the Year (1985)
SEC Coach of the Year (1985)
|204||152||52||0||0.745||98||34||0||0.742||8||7||0||6||2||1 – 1998||AFCA Coach of the Year (1998)|
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1998)
George Munger Award (1998)
Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year (1998)
AP SEC Coach of the Year (1998)
SEC Coach of the Year (1998)
- Although the first Rose Bowl Game was played in 1902, it has been continuously played since the 1916 game, and is recognized as the oldest bowl game by the NCAA. "—" indicates any season prior to 1916 when postseason games were not played.
- A running total of the number of head coaches, with coaches who served separate tenures being counted only once. Interim head coaches are represented with "Int" and are not counted in the running total. "—" indicates the team played but either without a coach or no coach is on record. "X" indicates an interim year without play.
- Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible in the period since.
- When computing the win–loss percentage, a tie counts as half a win and half a loss.
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2012–13 college football season.
- Tennessee did not field teams for the 1917 and 1918 seasons due to World War I and again for the 1943 season due to World War II.
- Divisional champions have advanced to the SEC Championship Game since the institution of divisional play beginning in the 1992 season. Since that time, Tennessee has competed as a member of the SEC East.
- Johnny Majors finished the 1992 season with a record of five wins and three losses. While Majors was recovering from heart surgery, Philip Fulmer served as interim head coach for the first three games of the season and for the 1993 Hall of Fame Bowl. Fulmer was then named head coach at the conclusion of the regular season following the resignation of Majors.
- "Tennessee Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- University of Tennessee Sports Information Office, ed. (2010). 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide (PDF). Knoxville, Tennessee: Department of Athletics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 6, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide, p. 162
- "Josh Heupel Named Tennessee's 27th Head Football Coach," UTSports.com, January 27, 2021.
- 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide, pp. 192–193
- 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide, pp. 165–173
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (2010). 2010 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA.org. pp. 68–77. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Bob "The General" Neyland". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Bowden Wyatt". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Doug Dickey". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Johnny Majors". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2011). Bowl/All-Star Game Records (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA. pp. 5–10. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Whiteside, Kelly (August 25, 2006). "Overtime system still excites coaches". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
- Finder, Chuck (September 6, 1987). "Big plays help Paterno to 200th". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
- Harwell, Hoyt (November 30, 1990). "SEC sets division lineups". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1C. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
- 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide, p. 132
- "AFCA Coach of the Year Award – Past Winners". American Football Coaches Association. January 19, 2011. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
- 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide, p. 172
- "All-time Eddie Robinson Award Winners". Football Writers Association of America. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
- "The Joseph V. Paterno Award Winners". The Maxwell Football Club. Archived from the original on March 6, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
- 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide, p. 131