Basketball Wiki
Tennessee Volunteers
School Name: University of Tennessee
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena
Capacity: 24,535
Conference: SEC
Head coach: Cuonzo Martin

The Tennessee Volunteers basketball team represents the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee in NCAA men's basketball competition. (Women's teams at the school, which has a completely separate women's athletic program, are known as "Lady Volunteers".) The Volunteers currently compete in the Southeastern Conference. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2011. On March 27, 2011, he Volunteers hired Missouri State's Cuonzo Martin to replace Bruce Pearl as head coach.


The Volunteers have had 18 NCAA tournament appearances with an overall record of 12-17. A record of 9-7 in the first round, 3-5 in the second, and 1-4 in the regional semi finals. They have also been invited to the National Invitation Tournament 11 times. They have won nine regular season SEC championships in 1936, 1941, 1943, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 2000, and 2008. The 1972, 1977, 1982, and 2000 seasons were all shared championships with another team from the Southeastern conference. Their conference tournament record is 54-43 record with 4 championships in the years 1936, 1941, 1943, and 1979. Historically Volunteer basketball has produced several successful National Basketball Association players including Allan Houston, Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Dale Ellis, Tony White, Ron Slay, and Larry Robinson. Bernard King is one of only two players in the Volunteers history to ever have a jersey retired (the other being Ernie Grunfeld). He finished his career averaging a "double double" per game of 25.8 points and 13.2 rebounds.

In March 2009, the University of Tennessee athletic department made a statement saying that they would claim the 1916 National Championship, but would not hang a banner for such an occasion. Tennessee finished that year with a 16-0 record, the only time in Tennessee basketball history that a team has gone undefeated.

Bruce Pearl Turnaround

After the Buzz Peterson era was less than a successful endeavor, Tennessee hired Bruce Pearl from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2005. Pearl's assistants Tony Jones, Steve Forbes, Jacob Nichols, Jason Shay, and Ken Johnson round out the winning staff that has helped bring the Vols to the NCAA tournament five years in a row. In the 2006-07 season The Volunteers were ranked 4th nationally in attendance with an average of 19,661 fans in Thompson-Boling Arena, which has a capacity of 21,758. Since coach Bruce Pearl arrived in March 2005 the attendance has increased by an average of 7,436 per game. Bruce Pearl's style of fast pace, physical press defense, and up tempo game has fans waiting to watch every game. On March 26, 2010, the Vols made the Elite Eight for the first time ever by defeating Ohio State 76-73. The Vols were then defeated by Michigan State by one point, 70-69, on a Spartan foul shot with 1.8 seconds left in the game to fall short of their first Final Four.

On March 21, 2011, Pearl was fired by the school for lying to NCAA investigators on recruiting violations.[1]

NCAA Tournament Results

The Volunteers have appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments.

Year Result
1967 Regional Fourth Place[2]
1976 First Round
1977 First Round
1979 Second Round
1980 Second Round
1981 Sweet Sixteen[3]
1982 Second Round
1983 Second Round
1989 First Round
1998 First Round
1999 Second Round
2000 Sweet Sixteen
2001 First Round
2006 Second Round
2007 Sweet Sixteen
2008 Sweet Sixteen
2009 First Round
2010 Elite Eight
2011 First Round

Players of note

Template:Famous players

  • Bernard King - 4x NBA All-Star (1982, 1984, 1985, 1991), 2x All-NBA First Team (1984, 1985). finished career with 19,655 points, 5,060 rebounds, and 874 games played.
  • Ernie Grunfeld - won the gold medal in the Olympic Games at Montreal, played 9 years in the NBA.
  • Dale Ellis - NBA Most Improved Player Award in 1987, 1x All-star (1988). finished career with 19,004 points, 4,201 rebounds and 1,209 games played.
  • Allan Houston - 2x NBA All-Star (2000, 2001), won the gold medal in the Olympic Games at Sydney. finished career with 14,551 points, and 839 games played.
  • Vincent Yarbrough
  • Red Robbins - spent 8 years in the American Basketball Association with career totals of 7,703 points, 6,155 rebounds, and 586 games played.
  • Tom Boerwinkle - retired NBA center for the Chicago Bulls, On January 8, 1970, Grabbed a Bulls record 37 rebounds. finished career with 5,745 rebounds and 635 games played.
  • Marcus Haislip
  • Paul Walther - 1x NBA All-Star (1952)
  • C.J. Watson
  • Chris Lofton
  • JaJuan Smith
  • Wayne Chism
  • Kevin Nash

Retired Jerseys

Retired Basketball Jerseys



  1. Beth Rucker,Tennessee Fires Coach Bruce Pearl, Associated Press via, March 21, 2011
  2. In 1967, the Volunteers lost their only two NCAA tournament games.
  3. In 1981, the Volunteers received a bye into the second round.