Randy Sanders on UT coaching stint under Fulmer: 'I don’t know if any of us knew truly how special it was'

Randy Sanders on UT coaching stint under Fulmer: 'I don’t know if any of us knew truly how special it was'

Football

Randy Sanders on UT coaching stint under Fulmer: 'I don’t know if any of us knew truly how special it was'

Randy Sanders kicked off his head coaching career last week with a 28-7 victory over NCAA Division II Mars Hill.

Sanders, a former Tennessee quarterback and assistant coach, will return to Neyland Stadium to take on the Volunteers as East Tennessee State’s head coach.

“It will be my first game as a head coach going back to Tennessee,” Sanders told Vols Wire ahead of the season. “Tennessee is a place that I was at for so long and means a lot to me.”

Sanders returned to Neyland Stadium to coach against UT as an assistant while at Kentucky from 2006-12.

Being in the visitors locker room has never felt right for Sanders.

“Every time when I was at Kentucky, we went to the visitors locker room, I felt like I was at the wrong end of the stadium,” he said. “At the same time, I’m taking my team there and once we kick the thing off it will be another football game. It’s a huge challenge for us and a great experience.”

Sanders still cherishes his time as an assistant under Phillip Fulmer from 1993-2005, winning the 1998 national championship, two SEC championships and four SEC East division titles.

“We had good players and good coaches,” he said. “Coach Fulmer established a culture that believed we were going to win and we did it for long enough that when we went on the field to play somebody that the other teams believed we were going to win.

“I hope Tennessee gets back to that, just not the second week this year, but Tennessee has a great tradition and the period through the 1990s and early 2000s was a really special time and it was a lot of fun. I don’t know if any of us knew truly how special it was when we were going through it.”

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