Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer Tests Positive for COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2020

Former Tennessee head coach, Phillip Fulmer, is seen an NCAA college football game between Tennessee and South Carolina Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

University of Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer announced Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19:

Fulmer noted that while he is asymptomatic, he is following isolation protocol. He also divulged that he was not deemed to have come into close contact with any student-athletes or Tennessee sports staff members.

The 70-year-old has been Tennessee's athletic director since 2017 after previously serving as the Volunteers' head football coach from 1992-2008.

The Vols' scheduled football game against the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies was postponed last week after multiple positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing resulted in several Texas A&M players having to quarantine.

After a 2-0 start to the season, Tennessee has lost four in a row, including a 44-21 loss to the then-No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs and a 48-17 loss at the hands of the then-No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Tennessee is in danger of posting its third losing season in the past four years, which would represent a significant step back from last year's 8-5 campaign.

The Volunteers have played in a bowl game just six times in the past 11 seasons, and they haven't won double-digit games since 2007, which was Fulmer's second-to-last year as head coach.

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Fulmer is among the most successful coaches in school history, as he went 151-52-1 in his 17 years at the helm with two SEC titles and a national title, which the Vols won in 1998 when they went a perfect 13-0.

Tennessee was ranked during every season that Fulmer was head coach, but the Volunteers have found it difficult to remain in the national conversation since he retired from coaching.

The Vols will look to get back on track Saturday after a week off, as they are scheduled to face the No. 23 Auburn Tigers on the road.