THE NEYLAND WAY
Coach Robert R. Neyland
At West Point, Bob Neyland was a football, baseball & boxing star & after graduation served in the Corps of Engineers in France during WWI.
After the war, he was an aide to General MacArthur.
In 1925, Neyland came to the University of Tennessee & the following year, at the age of 32, was named head football coach of the Volunteers. He was also hired as Athletic Director by Nathan Dougherty.
General Robert R. Neyland Statue
by Blair Buswell
Photo by John White (2011)
Robert R. Neyland was head coach at Tennessee from 1926-1934, 1934-1940 & 1946-1952. He compiled an astounding record of 173 wins, 31 losses & 12 ties....4 national championships & 5 SEC championships.
You will learn more about General Neyland in future posts on this blog, but for now we will comment on one of his best-known legacies, GAME MAXIMS.
The VOLS still recite these in the locker room before each game:
*The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.
*Play for & make the breaks & when one comes your way - SCORE.
*If at 1st the game-or the breaks--go against you, don't let up, put on more steam.
*Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead & our ball game.
*Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut & slice, pursue & gang tackle...for this is the WINNING EDGE.
*Press the kicking game, there is where the breaks are made.
*Carry the fight to our opponent & keep it there for 60 minutes.
Knoxville News-Sentinel Sports Editor Tom Siler wrote:
"His players saw only the practical side. The Volunteers, as players, never came to know the engineer, the soldier, the organizer, the student (of) classics & literature."
The fact is, General Neyland made the University of Tennessee a football power...it had never been one. He had been hired, however, with only this goal in mind, BEAT VANDERBILT.
According to Siler, the Commodores "had managed to keep Tennessee's football face in the mud for almost 35 years."
As the General's coaching career came to an end, Coach Neyland won 32 of his last 37 games.
As Tom Siler put it,
"The University of Tennessee will not see his like again."