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King University News :: Spend an Evening with Coaching Legend Johnny Majors at King University

BRISTOL, Tenn., January 7, 2015 – You are invited to spend an evening of dinner and conversation with University of Tennessee coaching legend Johnny Majors. He will share his story on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at King University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn., and on Thursday, Jan. 29 at King’s Hardin Valley campus in Knoxville, Tenn. Both events will begin at 6:30 p.m. Net proceeds from the events will benefit the King University Annual Fund for Scholarships Programs.

“One of Tennessee’s most successful athletes to go on to a stellar career in college sports is unquestionably Johnny Majors,” says John King, vice president of Development and Enrollment Management at King University. “We are honored for Coach Majors to speak at King!”

Originally from Lynchburg, Tenn., Majors, as a high school player at Huntland High School in Huntland, Tenn., was an outstanding all-around athlete who held the record as the State Overall Scoring Leader in football for three consecutive years in 1950, 1951, and 1952.

As a player at the University of Tennessee, Majors led the Volunteers to an undefeated, untied regular season record of 10-0 and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. While at Tennessee, Majors was named an All-Southeastern Conference player twice, NCAA All-American, and was voted player of the year in the Southeastern Conference twice by the Nashville Banner in 1955 and 1956. Majors was also a United Press International National Back of the Year, 1956; Atlanta Touchdown Club’s SEC back of the year, 1956; and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1956.

Majors began his professional coaching career at the University of Tennessee as a student-assistant in 1957, becoming an assistant coach in 1958 and 1959. He was the assistant coach at Mississippi State from 1960-1963 and was the assistant coach at the University of Arkansas from 1964 through 1967, when Arkansas won the National Championship in 1964. As head coach at the Iowa State University, Majors rebuilt the struggling Cyclone football program, taking the team to their first-ever bowl games in 1971 and 1972 and winning Big 8 Coach of the Year in 1971.

Majors would once again rebuild a failing football program as head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, where he took the Pittsburgh Panthers to the Fiesta Bowl in 1973 and ultimately led them to a National Championship 1976, winning National Coach of the Year in both 1973 and 1976. Majors returned to the University of Tennessee in 1977 as head coach of the Volunteer football team. His career with Tennessee would span fifteen years and include ten bowl appearances, seven of which resulted in Tennessee victories; three SEC Championships in 1985, 1989, and 1990; and an overall win/loss record of 116 and 62. Majors was voted Coach of the Year in 1985/86.

Majors returned to the University of Pittsburgh as head coach in 1993 and in 1997 he became director of Athletics and special assistant to the chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1987, Johnny Majors was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame. In 1991, he was named to the University of Tennessee’s All-Century Team. Majors continues to stay active in college football as a speaker, team evaluator, and recruiter.

Ticket prices for A Night with Johnny Majors are $30 per individual and $200 per table of eight (table sponsors will be recognized in the program and pre-speech introductions). The cost of admission includes dinner. 

The proceeds from this event will benefit the Annual Fund for Scholarships Programs, which is one of the primary sources for direct scholarship assistance for King students. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Jenny Brown at King’s Office of Development at 423.652.4864 or email  Tickets will be available through January 22, 2015. 


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.

* Biography from the Tennessee State Library and Archive