KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Phillip Fulmer announced at a Monday afternoon news conference he will not return as the Tennessee Volunteers' head football coach next season.
Fulmer is in his 17th year as head coach of the Volunteers, who are 3-6 this season and 1-5 in Southeastern Conference play.
"This 2008 season has not gone as well as anyone would like," said Fulmer. "Many fans have been supportive, some have been angry. All of us are disappointed. Tennessee has the highest expectations for its football team... .
"I love Tennessee too much to let her stay divided. That is why I have accepted the university's decision that this will be my last as head coach."
Tennessee has offered for Fulmer to stay in the program in some capacity, but he would not commit to retiring from coaching for good.
Since being named head coach in 1992, Fulmer has a record of 150-51 with two SEC titles. He also guided the Vols to the 1998 national championship, the school's first since 1951. Tennessee went to 15 bowl games in Fulmer's first 16 seasons, missing out only in 2005 with a 5-6 record.