Hall of Fame Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer underwent surgery Thursday at UT Medical Center in Knoxville, and a statement from his family said he was “alert and in good spirits.”
The Fulmer family’s statement did not specify the nature of Fulmer’s health issues but did say he would remain in the hospital for a few days.
“We are thankful for the outstanding care he’s receiving, and we also appreciate the prayers and concern of so many who have reached out. He is looking forward to cheering on the Vols as they kick off another exciting season,” the statement said.
Fulmer, 72, led the Volunteers to the national championship in 1998, and they won back-to-back SEC titles in 1997 and 1998. He was 152-52 in 17 seasons, making him the second-winningest coach in Tennessee football history. Fulmer also served as an adviser to the Tennessee athletic department before being hired as athletic director on Dec. 1, 2017. He retired on Jan. 21, 2021, the same day Tennessee announced the firing of football coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Fulmer spent more than 40 years of his life at Tennessee as a player, assistant coach, head coach and administrator. He still lives in nearby Maryville, Tennessee.