University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro announced Tuesday the hiring of Phillip Fulmer as special advisor to the president for community, athletics and university relations.

In this role, Fulmer will serve as an ambassador for the University system at community and athletics events, support the intercollegiate athletic programs at UT campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, and work with UT government relations and alumni affairs leadership to advocate for the statewide system with elected officials and UT alumni.

“Phillip has been a tremendous asset to the University of Tennessee both on and off the field for more than 40 years,” DiPietro said. “I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with him on the UT President’s Council, and I look forward to working with him in a broader sense to advocate for the University with our key stakeholders.”

Fulmer said he looks forward to working with DiPietro in statewide outreach.

“This is a special opportunity for me. I’ve had the chance to work with Dr. DiPietro for a couple of years in a volunteer capacity, and I was excited when he approached me with this position,” Fulmer said. “I look forward to serving UT campuses statewide, our communities, and UT athletics for the greater good for our great state and the university.”

UT Knoxville Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie described Fulmer as “a perfect ambassador.”

“As a native Tennessean who has given his all for the Vols throughout his life, both as a student-athlete on the field and during a Hall of Fame coaching career leading our program to its most dominant and successful era in modern history, Coach Fulmer is a perfect ambassador for our University and athletics program,” Currie said. “I’ve appreciated and enjoyed numerous visits with Coach Fulmer since I returned to Knoxville, and I am honored to work with him in support of President DiPietro and Chancellor Davenport as we serve the University of Tennessee, our students and student-athletes.”

Fulmer is a 1972 UT Knoxville graduate who has been affiliated with the for more than 40 years. Fulmer came to UT in 1968 as an offensive guard on the Volunteers football team. He returned as an assistant football coach in 1980 before being named head coach in 1992. In 17 years as head coach, Fulmer led teams to a national championship, two conference championships and seven division titles. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Fulmer has volunteer for the University through the UT President’s Council since 2015. He was awarded the 2016 President’s Council Award for his efforts to advocate for the University system.

The University of Tennessee is the state’s land-grant, higher education institution and flagship public university. It is comprised of campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin; the Health Science Center at Memphis; the Space Institute at Tullahoma; and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service.

The University of Tennessee System has a presence in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Through the combined force of its education, research, and outreach, the University serves students, business and industry, schools, governments, organizations, and citizens throughout the state.