1964 -66 Volunteers
(Authentic Reproduction)




Despite a small faction that felt that popular head coach McDonald should be given a fair chance to revamp Vol football fortunes, the majority felt an overhaul was needed and McDonald was moved upstairs to Assistant AD. Doug Dickey had played QB at Florida when current UT Athletic Director Woodruff was the coach there and it was a mutual-admiration society between them.  Dickey coached at the high school level, served in the Army, and was a young but respected assistant on Frank Broyles' spectacular Arkansas staff and he was named the new head coach. A new offense and defense was installed by a brand new staff and a new helmet design was introduced. The white shell and one-inch orange center stripe were maintained, but the side numerals were removed and instead, an orange squared-angle "T" was placed on each side of the helmet for a distinctive look. Though the 4-5-1 record didn't seem better than the year before, the team was tougher and played harder, battling undefeated LSU to a 3-3 tie as the season's highlight. Guard Steve DeLong who played D-Line for the Chargers for seven years and another for the Bears was All American and the Outland Trophy winner, later to be enshrined in the College Football Hall Of Fame. LB's Frank Emanuel and Tom Fisher were active. Hal Wantland played everything from QB to wingback on an offense that still needed work. Vol fans didn't have to wait long for Dickey's magic to work as the squad stormed to an 8-1-2 record in '65, the loss coming to Ole Miss in a 14-13 thriller and one of the ties a 7-7 standoff with mighty Alabama. The Bama tie was clinched when their QB Ken Stabler erred by throwing the ball out of bounds to stop the clock with six seconds left to set up the tying, short field goal. The only problem was that it was a fourth-down play and Bama lost the ball and a chance to win, costing the Tide a perfect season. Tragically, two days later, three Vol assistants were killed when their car collided with a train. The team wore black crosses over the "T" on their helmets for that week's Houston game and for the remainder of the season. Charley Fulton began the year at QB and when injured versus Ole Miss, was spelled by aerial artist Dewey "Swamp Rat" Warren. TE Austin Denney was the recipient of many passes as was hard-running TB Walter Chadwick, protected by gifted soph C Bob Johnson. LB Frank Emanuel toasted opponents, was All American, All SEC, team MVP, a first-round choice of the new Miami Dolphins, and truly the continuation of the great linebacking tradition at Tennessee that was started by Mike Lucci . Using his skills as a former All State wrestler, Emanuel stopped everything coming up the middle with OLB Tom Fisher and DE Paul Naumoff in supporting roles. Emanuel was later elected to the College Football Hall Of Fame. Earning a Bluebonnet Bowl bid against Tulsa, whom they defeated 27-6 was big time but there was a season finale to play against Rose Bowl host UCLA in Memphis before that Bluebonnet Bowl. "The Rosebonnet Bowl" as it was dubbed, featured thrilling play in a see-saw battle that came down to a last second fourth-down dive by Warren to score the winner in a 37-34 finish. UCLA Coach Tommy Prothro made southern sports history with his vitriolic outburst over the outcome, stating "For the first time in my life I am ashamed to be a Southerner." Said during a period of heated racial unrest in the south, the remark was a slap in the face and Prothro remained a hated figure in the SEC states for many years. Dickey ended the season as SEC Coach Of The Year.
1966 stressed the aerial attack in this 8-3 season, with "Swamp Rat" Warren at the helm, throwing eighteen TD passes, some to All American TE  and co-captain Denney who split his pro career with the Bears and Bills, and to world-record hurdler Richmond Flowers. C Bob Johnson was an All American and clearly the best pivot in the country. The defense was superb despite yet another tragedy striking the team when predicted All American LB Tom Fisher, and T John Crumbacher were killed in an automobile crash when returning to school for spring practice. DE Paul Naumoff moved to the LB spot and became an All American and then an All Pro with the Lions in an eleven-year NFL career. 167-pound Albert Dorsey made a number of All Teams for his DB play and Ron Widby, who punted for the Cowboys and Packers, was an All American.

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