Saturday, October 6, 2012


                          Year One: 1926

General Robert R. Neyland went to work on September 16, 1926.  It was Labor Day as 32 Volunteers reported to practice.

Coach Neyland told the young men that practice every day would be organized & at full speed.

The length of each practice would be 2 hours 30 minutes.

Neyland hired William H. Britton & Paul Parker, both his teammates at Army, to be assistant coaches.

John Hoskins, described by Tom Siler as a "handman in overalls," was hired to care for the stadium & Shields Watkins Field.  He would remain on the job for 34 years.

Seventeen concrete rows of seats were added to the East Side, boosting stadium capacity to 6,800.

The 1st home game of 1926 & of the Neyland Era was against Carson-Newman on September 25.  The 1st TD was scored by the future mayor of Knoxville, Jimmy Elmore. The VOLS defeated C-N 13-0.

Coach Neyland completed his 1st season with an 8-1-0 record.  The only loss hurts so much to admit Vanderbilt.*

*Source:  TENNESSEE: Football's Greatest Dynasty, by Tom Siler, 1961.

1926 TENNESSEE Schedule & Results

Carson-Newman   13-0
North Carolina      34-0
Louisiana State      14-7
Maryville                   6-0
Centre                      30-7
Miss A&M                33-0
Sewanne                  12-0
Vanderbilt                3-20
Kentucky                  6-0

                                                                 Neyland Stadium
                                                             UT vs. Georgia State
                                                            View from NE corner
                                                       Photo by John White, 2012

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