The History Behind Tennessee’s Vol Walk

Vol fans love and enjoy the Vol Walk, Tennessee’s weekly game-day tradition. 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff the players and coaches walk down Peyton Manning Pass then take a left onto Phillip Fulmer Way in front of the stadium, then into the stadium at gate 21. Fans jam-pack themselves along the walkway to high-five the players before the game. Then, the band plays “Rocky Top” to fire up the already wild fans. Everyone loves the Vol Walk, but some are unaware of how the tradition got started.

Head Coach Butch Jones taking part in the Vol Walk. Photo by: Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel
Head Coach Butch Jones taking part in the Vol Walk. Photo by: Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel

The Vol Walk began as a tradition in 1990 under head coach Johnny Majors. The players used to informally walk from the sports complex to the stadium. But for the Alabama game in 1990, Coach Johnny Majors used that walk to create the Vol Walk lined with cheering fans to get the team fired up.

One of the largest attended Vol Walks in its history was before Peyton Manning’s final home game as a Volunteer in 1997. Tee Martin’s final home game at Tennessee was also another big Vol Walk moment. Fans packed the streets knowing that Tennessee was number 1 and had a shot at the national championship! Vol fans will most likely also pack Peyton Manning Pass and Phillip Fulmer Way for senior quarterback Josh Dobbs’ final home game against Missouri this November.

The Vol Walk is just one of those special game day traditions that is so unique in the world of college football and that tradition will live on for many seasons to come.

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