Sunday, December 28, 2008

It was a Special Day..

Well, so much has happened after going to Knoxville for Coach Fulmer's last game coaching at UT.  But, I did want to document the special day even though I"m a few weeks behind. We were staying in Crossville for Thanksgiving, so Tony and I drove over that morning. UT had set up a really nice reception at the complex for Coach Fulmer's former players and teammates. 35 years is a long time for someone to be somewhere and a lot of relationships have been built.   I knew Tony had wanted to tell Coach how much he appreciated him really caring about him and the other players even after they left. When Tony was applying for his current job, Coach Fulmer called and followed up to make sure that Tony got the good recommendation that he wanted to give him. Tony always commented how he really cared about all of his players. We saw lots of our friends, Eric, Troy, Jekia and Mikki and Courtney Blair Gregory and her husband Kevin. I hadn't seen Courtney in years and it was great to see her. She introduced me to the new Alpha Chi president, who following in our footsteps is a Vol Hostess and isn't in love with every fraternity boy on campus :) We filled her in on some of the drama I used to create by bringing football players to every event instead of a frat boy. We also introduced her to Eric who was our All Sport Alpha Chi coach of all time.  It was fun catching up with Courtney and talking about our college memories in Alpha Chi and as Vol Hostesses. Before the Vol Walk, Coach Fulmer made a wonderful emotional speech, he wanted everyone to know that this wasn't a funeral and he was okay and life would go on. It was just wonderful to see how many people that came back for this. I noticed guys flew in from all over the country.  It was all so perfect, but the weather didn't cooperate very well. It was very cold and rainy, not to mention windy.  There was a tailgate planned, but the tent was so small it was hard to all fit underneath, so we headed down to the stadium early, but not before I got some good Buddy's bbq. I stood outside the locker room for a long time while the guys went in and visited with the team and coaches. Eric, Troy, Phil Crosby and I got to catch up some too. While standing there I got the see Coach Fulmer come out and stare out into the was really a moment. I had to snap a picture. His wife Vicky and his daughters were all there walking around under the stadium too. It was very sentimental. Tony and I watched the team run though the T and walked out onto the field after..we watched most of the game from the sidelines in the freezing cold wind and rain. Afterwards we met Eric, Kamron and Dad at Ray's. It was very emotional and strange for it to be the last day that Coach Fulmer coached at Tennessee, I'm very glad that we made it back for the game. It will be so different to come back next year when Coach Kiffen is in charge. Go Vols! Thank you Coach Fulmer for all your years, dedication and hard work. It was a Special Day...

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