KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When Phillip Fulmer came to the University of Tennessee in 1968, he was an 18-year-old offensive guard from Winchester, Tenn., who had a dream. He wanted to play for Tennessee and someday, should fortune smile, become the head coach of his beloved Volunteers.
That dream came true as, for 34 of the past 40 years, Fulmer has remained on the Tennessee campus as a player, assistant coach or head coach. That journey, which began before Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States, has made Fulmer more successful and wealthy than he ever thought possible. Last year, Fulmer and his wife, Vicki, pledged $1 million of their own money to the university. Fulmer is deeply invested in his alma mater.