On this day in 1970, Vol fans picked up their newspapers (Knoxville had two in those days, the Journal in the morning and the KN-S in the afternoon) and read of the previous day’s hiring of Bill Battle as the new head coach of the Volunteers.
There were no social media in those days, so there were snippets on the previous evening’s news, with the real analysis being left to the sportswriters of the competing newspapers.
Russ Bebb called Battle the “sleeper” in a group that included assistants Doug Knotts and Jimmy Dunn, like Battle, each of them members of the Doug Dickey staff.
Battle ended up getting the call, lasting until the end of the 1976 season, before starting a highly successful business in collegiate licensing.
On this day way back when, no one knew exactly how events would transpire over the ensuing years. It was the beginning of a new era in Vol football, covered extensively by the historians of that day and even those of more recent years.
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017