Butch Jones out to Spark a Renaissance at Tennessee
In late December, dozens of former Tennessee football players made their way to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex on the UT campus in Knoxville. It was a concentration of some of the greatest Volunteers ever to wear orange, from Condredge Holloway, the first African-American quarterback to start in the SEC in the 1970s, to Carl Pickens, a former All-America receiver for the Vols in the 1990s. The event offered a chance to reminisce about the glory days, but it was more than that. It was an opportunity for Tennessee's newest football coach to show his appreciation for those who built the program he inherited only days earlier.
Butch Jones understands the importance of tapping into the resource of former players -- many of whom reportedly hadn't felt welcome around the Tennessee program in years. That's why he organized the meet-and-greet in Knoxville. "They had about three days notice, and we still had about 70 letter winners show up," said Jones. "We had another one in Nashville during the national championship game, and again we had over 70 individuals show up. In my short time here, those are the two nights that I really enjoyed, getting to meet all our former Vols...
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