The University of Tennessee has a rich football history. From “Rocky Top” to the checkerboard end zones of Neyland Stadium, UT has inspired some truly iconic traditions.
’47 ARCHIVE is a chance to reaffirm the amazing history of storied programs such as UT. Our ’47 ARCHIVE: Tennessee Volunteers collection is directly inspired by two historic football seasons.
1970-1971: The Vols, coached by Bill Battle, had a 10-1 record their first year at Neyland Stadium. Led by a notoriously strong running game, the Vols ran their way to face Air Force in the Sugar Bowl. But with a surprise shift in play calling, the Vols leaned on their passing game that day and had the Air Force defense fooled. Battle’s squad built an early lead and never looked back, cruising to a 34-13 victory.
1985-1986: Tennessee captured the SEC title, setting up a Sugar Bowl matchup with the University of Miami. The Vols came in an underdog, facing a potent Hurricane offense. But it was their scrappy, defensive gameplan that stole the spotlight that day, holding Miami to just a touchdown. This ’86 Vols team became lovingly known as the “Sugar Vols”.
‘47 visited the archives in Knoxville to examine images and memorabilia from these historic years in Tennessee football. It’s these discoveries that inspired us to create this collection to commemorate beloved Volunteer moments.
The ’47 ARCHIVE: Tennessee Volunteers collection is available here and at the University of Tennessee campus bookstore.