In Memoriam: Remembering Johnny Majors

by | Jun 3, 2020 | Tennessee Football History

By Dillon Taylor

A lot of people take pride in the state they’re from.

For me, that has always come easily. I’ve always loved the state of Tennessee and just about everything it represents. Most of that love stems from what takes place on Saturdays in the fall inside Neyland Stadium. Coach Johnny Majors was one of the many reasons this love of all thing’s orange was born.

Being a native of Lynchburg, Coach Majors and I share the same hometown. Many people from neighboring Franklin County will try to tell you Majors was from Huntland, but this piece from The Lynchburg Times should clear up any confusion. You’ll hear and see the name Majors all around Lynchburg, even still today. 

However, on this day in particular, it will be with a slightly more somber tone.

Coach Majors has passed away at the age of 85, and all of Vol Nation is mourning right now. He will always be remembered for the times he shredded opposing defenses as a 2x SEC MVP halfback for the Vols, and the many times he led the boys in orange through the T as head coach. However, to so many people around the state, he will also be remembered as a kind man and someone that you felt like you had known personally for years, even after just one conversation.

I feel fortunate to have met and talked with Coach Majors and his brother Bobby. It’s always cool to meet someone that you grew up idolizing and hearing legendary tales about. It makes the experience even better when that person is as humble and collected as much as Johnny Majors was. I’ll never forget the day I got to talk with them, even if it was for just a few moments. And today, that conversation keeps playing back in my thoughts.

Though Coach Majors is gone, his legacy of paving a path from the mid-state to Knoxville is still evident today. It lives on in current and recent Vols like former Head Coach and Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer (Winchester), Jauan Jennings (Cowan), and Alontae Taylor (Manchester). Seeing guys like these from small towns around mine has always inspired me, and still does today. Coach Majors was always the biggest example of this.

Even though Coach Majors is now gone from this world, his legacy will live on forever in the hearts of many around the country. Especially in the hearts of Tennesseans.

Rest easy, Coach.

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