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Nearly two decades after firing, Johnny Majors returns to Tennessee football practice

Staff Report • Mar 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

It's hard not to notice a Tennessee legend walking onto the practice field, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Especially after a 17-year absence.

Former player and coach Johnny Majors was on the sidelines for Thursday's practice. But it wasn’t the first time he'd been around the new-look Vols under first-year coach Lane Kiffin.

Majors also took part in a recent staff meeting with Kiffin and his assistants.

“(He) kind of ran the staff meeting,” Kiffin joked. “I was supposed to be in charge. He just took over."

Following a dismal 5-7 2008 season, Kiffin was hired to replace Phil Fulmer. By some accounts, Fulmer stole the job from Majors in 1992.

As Majors recovered from surgery, Fulmer successfully guided the Vols as interim head coach -- and was then given the job on a permanent basis.

That decision created a decisive rift between Majors and the university. But under the Vols new coaching staff, that seems to have changed.

Kiffin walked with Majors from Haslam Field to the Neyland-Thompson Athletic Complex following practice. Kiffin and Majors were both headed off to another staff meeting.

“We’ve really welcomed him and love to have him around, him and his family, and it’s been great,” Kiffin said.

Majors is equally impressed with the way Kiffin and his staff handle a practice.

“I thought it was outstanding in every way.” Majors said of Kiffin's practice. “That’s the way football should be practiced.

“The tempo, the energy, the effort and the attitude was superb. There was a lot of continuous coaching going on from the time they got on the field to the time they left. Nobody was standing around, players or coaches.

“There wasn’t a dull moment.”

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