1963 Volunteers
(Authentic Reproduction)




While the emphasis to primarily recruit Tennessee high school players was a great pitch to the alumni, the reality was that there weren't enough blue-chip athletes of SEC caliber to compete with the rest of the conference. The Vols were able to make a clean sweep in one of Wyatt's later years, signing the eleven first-team All State players and seven of the eleven-man second team yet they were not competitive in the conference. Finding players who possessed the skills to play in a Single-Wing system that was used by perhaps a handful of high schools in the South became a daunting task and most players set their sights upon colleges that played an offense they had familiarity with or where they could develop pro potential. When eastern Tennessee natives and high school greats Steve Spurrier and Steve Sloan bolted to Florida and Alabama respectively after the 1963 recruiting period, there was a state-wide mandate to scuttle the archaic offense. Wyatt resisted and late in the spring of '63, was relieved of his duties. He left UT having compiled a 99-56-5 record and caught on as an assistant at Oklahoma State for two years, went into private business, and passed away from viral pneumonia in January of 1969. He was eventually honored as a member of the College Football Hall Of Fame twice, for his play as a Tennessee All American and as a coach who was successful at Wyoming, Arkansas and Tennessee. It wasn't until June 22, 1963 that assistant coach Jim McDonald was named head coach and given a one-year contract and another assistant, Bob Woodruff, was concurrently named the AD. McDonald promised a move away from the Single-Wing but with less than three months before the 1963 season's kickoff, it would be difficult to install a completely new offense. A few T-Formation plays were run against an overmatched Chattanooga team in the season's sixth game but otherwise, it was the usual Single-Wing and the Vols padded a 5-5 record with wins over weak non-conference opponents but dropped five SEC contests. Mallon Faircloth remained the offensive star, totaling 1161 yards, with backfield support from Stan Mitchell and Hal Wantland. NG Steve DeLong was the first UT player to garner All American mention in six seasons and LB Frank Emanuel was a definite comer. T Dick Evey finished a solid career and then became the Bears first-round choice, lasting six years with them and another with the Rams as a DT and DE. Although he didn't really change the Vols' Single-Wing offense, McDonald did alter the orange numerals on the sides of the helmet to black as they were easier to view from a distance.     

If interested in any of these Miami helmets please click on the photos below.