The Southeastern Conference has lost another legend. Johnny Majors, who won SEC Player of the Year at Tennessee in 1955 and 1956 and led the Vols to three SEC Championships as head coach from 1977-92, passed away at the age of 85.
As a triple-threat tailback in Knoxville, Majors rushed for 549 yards and seven touchdowns and passed for 552 yards and five touchdowns, leading Tennessee to a 10-1 record and an SEC Championship in 1956. He was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy, losing to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung. He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1987.
Majors got his first head coaching job at Iowa State in 1968, leaving Ames for Pitt in 1973. After winning a national championship with the Panthers in 1976 and receiving national coach of the year honors, he returned to Knoxville in 1977 and led the Vols to a 116-62-8 record over 16 seasons, including a 13-3 mark vs. Kentucky. The Cats got the better of his squads in 1977, 1981, and 1984, the final win being Kentucky’s last in Neyland Stadium.
This is the second legendary SEC coach to pass away this week. On Monday, former Auburn coach Pat Dye passed away at the age of 80 due to kidney and liver failure.