Fulmer to stay at Tennessee as special assistant to university president

Updated: December 8, 2008, 6:22 PM ET
Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will be a special assistant to university president John Petersen for three months.

Fulmer will be paid $12,500 a month between Dec. 1 and Feb. 28 to help with "developing and enhancing strategic relationships for the university," Petersen said in a statement.

The salary will be funded by private dollars. Fulmer, who is to receive a total of $6 million in the next four years as part of his coaching contract buyout, also will receive employment benefits available to full-time Tennessee employees.

"Phillip Fulmer is a UT icon and a wonderful ambassador. Over his long career with the University he has developed a vast network of contacts, made invaluable relationships with alumni and UT supporters, and done extensive work with development," Petersen said.

Fulmer announced on Nov. 3 that he would not return to coach the Volunteers next season at the request of the university. Athletic director Mike Hamilton said at the time he hoped the coach of 17 years would remain at Tennessee in an administrative capacity.

Fulmer has said he's still interested in coaching but only wanted to pursue positions at passionate football schools such as Clemson, which recently hired interim coach Dabo Swinney to be its next head coach.

"I am not yet certain what the future holds for my career, but I'll always support my alma mater, and I appreciate the opportunity to help the university out now," Fulmer said.

Tennessee officials are facing the task of reducing the university's budget by $48 million this fiscal year thanks to a potential state budget shortfall of $800 million. School officials are restricting job hires, decreasing energy consumption and reducing operating expenditures to meet that mark.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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