Tennessee Volunteers Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer has been given a contract extension, but does he deserve an extension right now?
An athletic director is judged on their overall performance in the athletic department. From football to basketball to baseball and softball, an athletic director has to do everything in their power to improve every athletic program under them. Tennessee Volunteers athletic director, Phillip Fulmer, has done a decent job at that during his short time as AD.
Although every athletic program falls under the AD’s umbrella, they’re not all graded on the same scale. Football is the main focus for Tennessee fans, with men’s and women’s basketball following closely behind. If Fulmer can’t perform within those three main programs, then he won’t last long as the AD.
Regardless of how you feel about Fulmer as the AD, your voice will go unheard for now has Fulmer been given an extension.
It’s normal for athletic directors to receive extensions, but Fulmer’s extension was finalized in May. It was not announced by the university or reported until now in November.
I’m not sure why this would be hidden until now, but what’s done is done, so now we have to look forward. His new contract will run through the end of 2023 if Tennessee opts to not give him another extension.
I actually like this extension. Fulmer hasn’t been the AD for very long since he took over in 2017 in the midst of the football coaching search. The extension is also only two years, so it’s not like he’s locked in for five more years after this contract expires.
Fulmer could be under pressure soon, though, if Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t work out and he has to find another football coach. That would put him 0-for-1 on coaching hires, which would leave women’s basketball head coach Kellie Harper as the other Fulmer-hired head coach of the major three programs.
If Harper flops with Pruitt, which it looks like she will be a success, then we could likely see the end of Fulmer’s tenure as AD.
Fulmer is a hero when it comes to Tennessee football, but that doesn’t qualify him to be a great athletic director. For the university and the football program, I hope he made the best coaching decision with the football and women’s basketball team.