Phillip Fulmer was passed up for the Tennessee athletic director job, but he’s not going to let that keep him away from the school.
Fulmer, the former Volunteers coach and player, made that clear Friday while speaking with the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
“It’s my university, too, and I’m going to be around and be involved,” Fulmer said.
Fulmer did not say if his involvement was going to be at the discretion of new Tennessee athletic director John Currie. In a previous stint working in the school’s athletic department, Currie is believed to have played a role in Fulmer’s dismissal as coach in 2008.
“Right now, everybody’s just getting adjusted,” Fulmer said. “Butch (Jones) knows anytime he wants to talk about things, I’ll always try to be helpful.”
Currie, though, did say earlier this month during an interview on WGOW-AM in Chattanooga, Tennessee that the athletic department would have “great relationships” with Fulmer, as well as David Blackburn, the athletic director at Tennessee-Chattanooga and another top candidate for the Volunteers’ AD position.
While Fulmer declined to comment on the athletic director search process, he did say that Currie has a “hard job” with a “lot to do” and a “lot to prove.”
Fulmer spent 17 seasons as Tennessee coach from 1992-2008, where he compiled a 152-52 record and won the 1998 national championship. His tenure ended when he was dismissed by then-athletic director Mike Hamilton.
Since his coaching days ended, Fulmer has spent seven years as a partner with BPV Capital Management in Knoxville and two years as a consultant for East Tennessee State’s athletic department.
Currie was hired in late February and took over on April 1. He had been serving as the Kansas State athletic director.
Currie’s hire only came after a specially organized search committee was arranged to find a replacement for Dave Hart, who announced last August that he was retiring.
(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)
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