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Hank Lauricella number 27, and General Robert Neyland watch Tennessee from the sidelines after Lauricella set up the classical first score with an electrifying 75-yard gallop to the Texas five-yard line. Tennessee wins in this classic Cotton Bowl by beating Texas 20-14 in 1951.

Nathan Dougherty, considered by many to be the founding father of UT Athletics. Nathan Dougherty, an associate professor of Civil Engineering, was named interim chairman of the University's Athletics Council in 1917 and held this "temporary" position for the next 39 years. During this time, he designed Shields-Watkins Field, helped create the Southeastern Conference, and hired a football coach whose own name would become synonymous with UT football--Robert Reese Neyland.

Robert Reese Neyland (February 17, 1892 - March 28, 1962 in Knox County, Tennessee) was an American football coach and also served the U.S. Army, reaching the rank of Brigadier General. He is one of the few college football head coaches to have non-consecutive tenure at the same school.

Born in Greenville, Texas Neyland was appointed to West Point by Congressman Sam Rayburn, graduating in 1916. One of the greatest athletes of his day, he was a star football lineman, baseball pitcher, and national collegiate boxing champion. He was commissioned as an officer in the Corps of Engineers and served in France during World War I. After the war he served as an aide to Douglas MacArthur, who was then superintendent at West Point, and became an assistant football coach for the Black Knights of the Hudson.

Wanting to continue coaching, Captain Neyland was appointed Professor of Military Science at the University of Tennessee. After one season as an assistant to head coach M. B. Banks, Neyland was named football head coach and Athletic director by President Nathan W. Dougherty in 1926. He coached the team for nine years before the Army called him to active duty for one year in Panama. Upon returning to Tennessee from the Panama Canal Zone he retired from the military in favor of coaching.

He coached unbeaten Volunteer teams in 1938 and 1939, before being recalled to military service again in 1941. In World War II Neyland served in the China-Burma-India Theater, supervising the transportation of materiel through monsoons and across the Himalayas to the troops commanded by General "Vinegar" Joe Stillwell. During his military career he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit and made a member of the Order of the British Empire. He retired from military service a second time, in 1946, with the rank of brigadier general, and again returned to the Volunteers as coach through 1952. He led them to an national championship in 1951. He then served as athletic director at the university until his death.

Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee is not only named after "The General", but was designed by him. His plans included all expansions that have brought the stadium to its modern size today.

He remains the all-time winningest coach in Volunteer history with 173 wins in 213 games, 7 Southeastern Conference championships, and 4 national championships. Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee is not only named for "The General", but was designed by him. His plans included all expansions that have brought the stadium to its modern size.

General Neyland was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (as a coach) in 1956.

Playing career and education

Neyland attended Burleson Junior College in his home town of Greenville, Texas for a year and then transferred to Texas A&M playing football a year before receiving an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he starred as a football lineman and baseball pitcher. The National League baseball New York Giants offered him a $3,500 contract, which he turned down. Instead, Neyland served briefly overseas in World War I, then returned returning to get his engineering degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then moving to West Point as aide-de-camp to Superintendent Douglas MacArthur.


On July 16, 1923, Neyland married Ada "Peggy" Fitch (September 1, 1897 in Michigan - March 7, 1976) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They had met while she was visiting friends at the Academy. Ada was the daughter of Charles Lewis Fitch (July 24, 1845 in Michigan - ?) and Mary S. (June 1853 in New York - ?). They had two sons, Robert, Jr., born February 11, 1930, and Lewis, born December 6, 1933. Gen. Neyland was the son of lawyer Robert Reece Neyland, Sr. (October 1859 - ?) and Pauline Lewis (January 1861 - ?). His siblings were sister Carroll M. Neyland (January 1890 - ?) and brother Mayo W. Neyland (March 1896 - ?). Both Gen. Neyland and Ada are buried in Knoxville National Cemetery.

Rare Video of General Robert Neyland

 General Robert Neyland

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Rare Speech of General Robert Neyland

music-note.jpg - 1552 Bytes General Robert Neyland Speech

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IS IT NEE-land or NAY-land?

There has been continuing controversy over the pronunciation of the name N-E-Y-L-A-N-D. Here's the true story. Charles Brakebill, now UT's vice-president for development, was part of the Neyland Scholarship program when it was begun after Gen. Neyland's death.

That's when Brakebill said he learned a lesson about the Neyland name and how to pronounce it. He had apparently called the General's wife, Peggy, "Mrs. NAY-land." "She stood up and raised her knee and said 'Mr. Brakebill, first thing let's do is get my name straight.' She hit her knee about three times and said, 'It's NEE-land, just like my knee.' That stuck in my mind."

Robert Neyland Scholarship Fund

Several months prior to his death, General Neyland began working on a plan for supporters of UT athletic teams to show their interest in UT's academic programs by offering scholarships to attract outstanding student scholars to the University. General Neyland himself was an outstanding scholar, as well as an athlete during his college days at West Point. It was the General's dream that the University offer four-year academic merit scholarships to students who possessed outstanding academic and leadership qualities.

Following Neyland's death, Dr. Andrew D. Holt, then UT president, announced that a nationwide campaign would be launched to raise a minimum of $100,000 to establish the Robert R. Neyland Scholarship Fund. In October 1962, at half-time of the UT vs. Alabama game, 165 women representing UT's sororities collected more than $10,000 in a 15-minute time period at Neyland Stadium to launch the effort. By the end of fall 1962, more than $65,000 had been committed to the Neyland Scholarship fund. In the spring of 1963, a decision was made that proceeds from the annual Orange and White spring football game would go to help build the Neyland Scholarship Fund.

The first Neyland Scholarships were awarded in 1963. The first two recipients were Melissa Ann Baker of Maryville, Tennessee (now Mrs. Ann Baker Furrow, a former member of the UT Board of Trustees) and Mr. Robert English Allen of Columbia, Tennessee. Neyland History page

Robert Neyland Photos

Photos Are By: Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tennessean, AP and the University Of Tennessee.

Head coaching record

TEAM YEAR (Conference Championships) (Bowl Game) WINS LOSSES TIES
Tennessee 1926 8 1 0
Tennessee 1927 (Southern Conference Champions) 8 0 1
Tennessee 1928 9 0 1
Tennessee 1929 9 0 1
Tennessee 1930 9 1 0
Tennessee 1931 (New York Charity Game) 9 0 1
Tennessee 1932 (Southern Conference Champions) 9 0 1
Tennessee 1933 7 3 0
Tennessee 1934 8 2 0
Tennessee 1936 6 2 2
Tennessee 1937 6 3 1
Tennessee 1938 (National Champions, SEC Champions, Orange Bowl) 11 0 0
Tennessee 1939 (SEC Champions, Rose Bowl) 10 1 0
Tennessee 1940 (National Champions, SEC Champions, Sugar Bowl) 10 1 0
Tennessee 1946 (SEC Champions, Orange Bowl) 9 2 0
Tennessee 1947 5 5 0
Tennessee 1948 4 4 2
Tennessee 1949 7 2 1
Tennessee 1950 (National Champions, Cotton Bowl) 11 1 0
Tennessee 1951 (National Champions, SEC Champions) 10 1 0
Tennessee 1952 (Cotton Bowl) 8 2 1
CAREER TOTAL 21 years, 4 National Championships, 7 SEC Championships 173 31 12
Total: 173-31-12
His total winning percentage record is: .829

      National Champion         Conference Champion         Career Total Stats         Regular Season Results

 Source: Wikipedia 2009

Seven Maxims of Football

During the 1930s, Neyland began having his teams recite seven sentences that he felt summarized everything it took to win a game. These came to be known as "the Seven Maxims of Football," or "the Seven Game Maxims." To this day, Vol teams still recite them in the locker room before every game. Just click on banner below...

General Neyland's 7 Maxims


By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail
April 30, 2009

"He was the Father of Modern Football"
Neyland: The Man and the Legend

Robert Neyland - Narrated by Lindsey Nelson, Video By James Boofer, Producer for WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga, Tennessee

"People think I'm the greatest damn coach in the world," said the great Bear Bryant, "but Neyland taught me everything I know."

The Bear coached against Bob Neyland's Tennessee teams seven times and never beat him. "I never beat him," he said, "but I learned a lot from playing him."

General Robert Neyland was the architect responsible for building the University of Tennessee football program. Hired in 1926 with the sole task to "beat Vanderbilt", General Neyland transformed the fledgling Tennessee football program into the winning organization rich with tradition that Vol fans enjoy today.

In 1969, football's centennial year, Neyland finished second only to Knute Rockne as the greatest college coach in a poll of coaches. He coached 21 seasons, all at the University of Tennessee, winning 173 games while losing only 31 and tying 12. His .829 winning percentage is fifth all-time.

In Neylands first 7 years, 1926-1932, he lost one game in 1926, one game in 1930 and had one tie each of the other 5 years for a cumulative record of 61-2-5 (93.4%). The 3 consecutive and 5 out of 6 undefeated seasons is unmatched in the history of any current SEC team.

Neyland's teams owned much of their success to defense. He once explained that an offense can score only three ways, while a defense can score in four ways, on an interception, a fumble, a blocked kick, or a kick return. He added, "The psychological shock of being scored on in any of those ways is so profound that a team so scored on rarely is able to rally for victory."

Before coming to coach at Tennessee, the Texas-born Neyland was a cadet studying engineering at West Point. During this time, Neyland was an all-around athlete who could rival Jim Thorpe. He played end on the 1914 and 1915 Army football teams (winning the National Championship in 1914), won twenty straight games pitching for the baseball team (defeating Navy four times), and won the heavyweight boxing title three years in a row. To this day, he is still considered to be the greatest athlete to ever come out of West Point. He would later return to West Point in 1921 as an assistant adjutant and assistant coach in football, baseball, and basketball. He also served as aide-de-camp to Academy Superintendent General Douglas MacArthur.

Although hired by the University of Tennessee in 1926, he was still in active duty with the military. The General earned his Army rank, first by being sent to the Mexican border, and then in France during World War I. Duty would call Neyland to interrupt his coaching career again in 1935 to serve in the Panama Canal. After a short retirement from the service, he was called to duty once more when World War II broke out. Neyland finished his military service with the rank of Brigadier General. He was awarded the Legion of Merit with two clusters and the Distinguished Service Medal from the United States, the Chinese Cloud and Banner, and the British Knight Commander.

After winning the National Championship in 1951, The General stepped down from the head coaching position and served as UT's Athletic Director until his death in 1962. As AD, he laid out plans for expanding Tennessee's football stadium, which would grow from 3,200 at the time Neyland came to UT to over 100,000 after it's final expansion in 2000. The stadium, now one of the largest in America, is named in his honor.


  • Elected to College Football Hall of Fame (1956)
  • Won 4 National Championships (1951, 1950, 1940, 1938)
  • Won 7 Conference Championships (1927, 1932, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1951)
  • Coached 9 overall unbeaten seasons
  • Produced 22 All-Americans and 40 All-SEC players
  • First to coach in all 4 major bowls (Orange, Rose, Sugar, Cotton)
  • Holds NCAA records for consecutive shutouts (17) and consecutive shutout quarters (71)
  • Lost only 1 home game in 21 years
  • Never coached a losing season
  • Never had a losing record to any team he faced more than once
  • Never lost to Bear Bryant


  • The Quarterback position (as it is used today)
  • The balanced line Single Wing offense
  • In-depth scouting/recruiting reports
  • State-wide radio network
  • Press box spotters
  • Sideline telephones
  • Low-cut shoes
  • Lightweight pads
  • Tear-away jerseys

Gus Manning Remembers General Neyland

General Robert Neyland statue unveiled at Neyland Stadium

By Lydia X. McCoy
Nov. 12, 2010

When the University of Tennessee Vols reach the end of their traditional Vol Walk for today's homecoming game, they will be greeted for the first time by the man who put the program on the map - Brig. Gen. Robert Neyland.

On Friday, the University of Tennessee unveiled a statue of Neyland, who became the Vols' head coach in 1926 - a position he held for 21 seasons, in and around two interruptions for military service - and made the Vols the winningest team in the nation during his run. Helping to unveil the statue that was installed but remained covered since Wednesday evening, was Neyland's son, Robert Neyland Jr.

"The Neyland family is experiencing a lot of emotion at this time, including pride and joy. But most of all the strongest emotion is gratitude," Neyland said. He said the large statue, which is double life-sized, reminded him of when he and his brother, Lewis, misbehaved. "When we did, we incurred dad's discipline. Now as I look at that statue I think that when we did ... to us he was every bit as big," Neyland said.

Neyland, who was known for his discipline on and off the field, had nine undefeated teams in 21 seasons, took the Vols to seven bowl games, won seven Southern titles, one national championship and turned out more football proteges than any other coach. His record was 173 wins, 31 losses and 12 ties. When he retired in 1952, he became UT's athletic director, the position he still held at the time of his death in 1962.

Neyland's statue, which resides at the stadium that bears his name between gates 15A and 17, was constructed by artist Blair Buswell and depicts Neyland in a kneeling position. The statue stands 9 feet tall, weighs about 1,500 pounds, and features on its concrete base his famous seven game maxims engraved into the precast. Its cost was $385,000.

UT's athletic director Mike Hamilton said the detail Buswell put into the statue produced the right representation of Neyland. Of the $125 million spent on stadium renovations to date, he added, the statue was the cherry on the top of the project.

Bob Neyland Jr, son of Coach Robert Neyland is in the black suit with a orange tie far right, Gus Manning, UT Athletics Dept., and Hank Lauricella, former UT football player, unveil a statue depicting Robert Neyland, UT's winningest football coach and former athletic director, on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010. The statue, done by Utah artist Blair Buswell, is located between gates 15 and 17 at Neyland Stadium. [Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess]

"To me this was one of the most important pieces to recognize the man who's name is on the stadium, and to have it done in such a professional and beautiful way is inspiring to all of us," he said. Surrounding the statue as it was unveiled were some of Neyland's former players, including many from the 1951 championship team, students and other Vols fans. "I'm a little scared standing in front of him. I'm afraid he might jump out of it," said Jim Haslam, who played for Neyland, with a chuckle. "I tell you if General Neyland were still here today, I'd still be nervous. It's a wonderful replica of the man who is Tennesee football."

Hank Lauricella, who played for Neyland for four seasons and was a Heisman Trophy runner-up, said the statue is a good resemblence of Neyland. "It does the job. You know it's not him, but it's close enough that all you have to do is look at it and you say, 'That's him,'" he said. "It's thrilling to know that it's not going to be pictures anymore; it's going to be something for generations and generations. It's there for good now."

While the day centered around Neyland's accomplishments on the football field, Army Master Sgt. Mike Dougherty, UT's senior military instructor, was thinking about the general's service to his country. A 1916 graduate of West Point, Neyland served in France during World War I. Following the war, he served as an aide to Gen. Douglas MacArthur. After nine seasons coaching the Vols, Neyland was dispatched by the Army to the Panama Canal Zone in 1935.

A year later he retired from the Army and returned to Knoxville to coach the football team. In 1941, with the U.S. involved in World War II, Neyland was called back into service. He spent the war years in Norfolk, Va., Dallas, China and India, rising to the rank of brigadier general. He returned to the Vols in 1946. "He's one of us. He started off as an ROTC instructor, so anything dealing with Gen. Neyland is important to us because it's part our history, part of our lineage," Dougherty said.

Dougherty said he believes part of Neyland's success was because of his military background and that having a statue on campus personalizes the man for whom the stadium was named.

"I think the civilians, who don't have that military background, now they get an idea of who the individual is and what this is all about," he said. "If anything it'll drive them to learn a little bit more about what he was."

General Robert Neyland - 50 facts on the 50th anniversary

UT coaching staff and trainer, 1927. Left to right ... Bob Neyland, Paul Parker, Lenox baker (trainer) and Bill Britton. [Photo by Knoxville News Sentinel archive]

March 28, 2012

Legendary Vols head coach, athletics director died 50 years ago today

  Fifty years ago today, Gen. Robert R. Neyland became a legend.

He already was nationally known on a number of fronts: Tennessee football coach, U.S. Army military leader, NCAA football rules committee chair and Vols director of athletics. But when he died March 28, 1962, in a New Orleans hospital at age 70, Neyland's legacy reached another level, especially for the University of Tennessee family.

In February of that year, as he was observing his final birthday, Neyland learned that the UT Trustees had voted to rename the football stadium in his honor. He was said to be very pleased by the gesture.

"He was in the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, a specialist facility," remembered Gus Manning, former Neyland aide and longtime Tennessee athletics department administrator. "I went down with (head coach) Bowden Wyatt to see him. The entire family was there."

Two days after he died of liver cancer, Neyland was buried in the Knoxville National Cemetery just west of the intersection of North Broadway and North Central streets.

Today, the Neyland name remains synonymous with Tennessee football, championships and overall excellence from the winningest coach in school history. Neyland not only graces the iconic 100,000-seat stadium he helped design, but the Neyland scholarship is one of UT's most prestigious academic honors.

"He was brilliant," Manning said of his mentor. "He was an innovator. He probably was the smartest guy I've been associated with in my lifetime at Tennessee."

But just in case Tennessee fans don't know enough about the man who means so much in Big Orange Country, the following are 50 facts on this 50th anniversary of Gen. Neyland's death.

"I tried to get myself an ROTC job where I could do a little football coaching and experiment and see whether or not there was any sense to what I had dreamed up. That's actually how I got interested in it, and just like anything else you get your teeth into, you don't seem to be able to let go."

-- Gen. Neyland on his start to coaching

50 Facts on the 50th Anniversary

1. Neyland's wife, Ada Fitch "Peg" Neyland, told this story on the correct pronunciation of the family name. She stood on one leg, patted her knee and said it's "KNEE-land, like my knee."

2. Neyland finished his Tennessee coaching career with 173 wins, 31 losses and 12 ties, for an .829 winning percentage.

3. When he retired from coaching after the 1952 season, Neyland ranked first on the all-time winning percentage list of any man in modern major college football history with at least 20 years in the business.

4. Neyland preached readiness, maintaining that, "Almost all close games are lost by the losers, not won by the winners."

5. Of his 216 games coached, the Vols shut out their opponents 109 times.

6. From 1938 to 1940, his teams recorded an amazing 17 consecutive regular season shutouts.

7. In the 1939 regular season, Tennessee outscored its opposition 212-0. The Vols are the last major college football program to shut out every regular season opponent.

8. Neyland coached the Vols to six undefeated seasons, nine undefeated regular seasons, seven conference championships and four national championships.

9. He reeled off undefeated streaks of 33, 28, 23, 19 and 14 games.

10. Neyland coached 21 Vols to first-team All-America honors. Eleven of those players went on to the College Football Hall of Fame.

11. At one time, more than 175 former Neyland players were active head coaches in the United States and Canada.

12. Neyland's starting assistant coaching salary at UT in his first year of 1925 was $750. Factor inflation and that translates to approximately $9,757 in 2012.

13. Neyland was born Feb. 17, 1892, in Greenville, Texas, northeast of Dallas.

14. After high school, Neyland passes his teaching certification test and became a substitute teacher at age 17 earning $75 per month.

15. He then attended Burleson College and Texas A&M University before gaining an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Neyland's father, a lawyer, begged his son to go to law school instead but the younger Neyland had no interest in that career path.

16. Neyland was a superb student-athlete. He won 35 games (20 consecutive) pitching for Army, was a starting end on the Cadets' 1914 national championship football team and was the academy's heavyweight boxing champion his final three years.

17. Neyland was Army's first baseman in 1913 when the team's ace pitcher pulled a muscle that ended his career. Former Vols football captain Sammy Strang (known as Strang Nicklin during his college days) coached the Cadet nine and called a meeting to proclaim Neyland the team's new starting pitcher. Strang told Neyland to give his first baseman's mitt to his teammate - future four-star general Omar Bradley.

18. In his first outing, Neyland struck out 12 in beating NYU, 2-1. Later in front of a crowd of 15,000, Neyland was the pitching and hitting star in Army's 2-1 win over Navy. His outstanding performance excused Neyland from "hell-week" activities normally assigned to West Point plebes.

19. During a 1915 game against Syracuse, Army trailed by one and had a runner at third with one out. Strang decided to replace Bradley, a .385 hitter, with Neyland, who promptly grounded to third and the runner was thrown out at home. Neyland then was picked off first for the final out. Afterward, Bradley confronted Neyland and said, "Well I think I could have done as good as that." Neyland replied, "Well Brad, it wasn't my idea in the first place."

20. Neyland graduated from the Academy in 1916.

21. He was recruited to play professional baseball by the New York Giants, Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics, but instead went to World War I as soon as he graduated and served in France.

22. Neyland later served on the U.S.-Mexican border in pursuit of Pancho Villa, and in India and China during World War II.

23. By the age of 27, Neyland was one of the youngest regimental commanders in the U.S. Army.

24. But when the New York Times reported that fact, Neyland almost immediately was demoted to captain. Brig. Gen. Douglas McArthur faced a similar situation but accepted the superintendency at West Point to avoid being demoted to major. When Neyland protested his demotion, Neyland's successor rewarded him with a below satisfactory rating and had him shipped off to MIT for one year of postgraduate studies in civil engineering. Which led to the future of Neyland Stadium and its design.

25. Neyland arrived in Knoxville when the UT football site, Shields-Watkins Field, seated only 3,200. By the time of his death in 1962, the stadium seated more than 51,000 and Neyland had developed architectural plans for its eventual growth to more than 100,000. Those dreams became reality in 1996.

26. The name Neyland Stadium was dedicated in Gen. Neyland's honor on Oct. 20, 1962.

27. An assistant coach back at Army in the 1920s, Neyland was recommended for the Tennessee assistant's job – and ROTC post – by Bucknell University head coach Charley Moran, who had played at Tennessee and coached Neyland at Texas A&M.

28. The new assistant Neyland made his presence felt that first UT season of 1925 when he filled in one game for head coach M.B. Banks, who was sick. Neyland led the Vols to a 12-7 home win over Georgia. Newspapers proclaimed it the biggest upset of the year in the South. Banks left that December for the head coaching job at Knoxville Central High School, and Neyland was promoted to Tennessee head coach.

29. Neyland came to UT as a U.S. Army captain. On Sept. 20, 1926, six days before his first game as a college head coach, Neyland was promoted to the grade of Major in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

30. Before Neyland, 10 head football coaches had been hired and fired at Tennessee between 1900 and 1925, their principal failing being the inability to field teams that could beat Vanderbilt.

31. UT Dean Nathan W. Dougherty made the final decision to promote Neyland, telling his new coach to "even the score with Vanderbilt." He did just that and more.

32. The Commodores led 17-2-2 in the series against Tennessee when Neyland took charge. Vandy won 20-3 in Nashville that first year against Neyland, but the Vols are 71-9-3 against their state rival since 1927.

33. In Neyland's first four seasons as Tennessee head coach, UT was 34-1-3. Over his first seven seasons, the Vols were 61-2-5.

34. Neyland was a voracious reader while learning the game of football. Among his favorite authors (and their books) were Pop Warner (A Course in Football for Players and Coaches), John Heisman and Grantland Rice (Principles of Football; and Understanding Football), Walter Camp (The Spalding Guide) and Knute Rockne (Coaching; and Coaching, the Way of the Winner).

35. Neyland was the first coach in the South to use press box-to-sideline phones. He was the first anywhere to use game films for evaluation, lightweight tear-away jerseys, low-top shoes and lightweight hip pads to enhance speed. He also came up with a canvas tarp to protect the field.

36. Neyland developed 38 "team maxims" from different sources over the years that he referenced from time to time. The seven Game Maxims still used by Tennessee teams today were his favorites.

37. Twice Neyland's UT coaching career was interrupted by military service. He served in 1935 at the Panama Canal Zone, and then during the Second World War from 1941-45.

38. He was recalled to active duty in advance of World War II in May 1941, to Norfolk, Va. While stationed there, Neyland was promoted first to lieutenant colonel and then, in July 1942, to full colonel. Later commands during the war years took him to Dallas; Kunming, China; and Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. Neyland received his final promotion to brigadier general on Nov. 10, 1944, when he was transferred to India.

39. His highest salary as head coach was believed to be $20,000, or approximately $204,182 in 2012 dollars.

40. Hall of fame broadcaster Lindsey Nelson and Knoxville ad executive Edwin Huster Sr., helped form UT's first radio network. Nelson thought it should be called the Volunteer Network and approached Neyland with his idea. Neyland had the ultimate veto power and said, "Let's call it the Vol Network." Nelson immediately replied, "Yes, sir. Let's call it the Vol Network."

41. Neyland offered his opinions throughout the athletics department. Those comments reportedly included advice for groundskeeper John "Dean" Hoskins about the shape of the football playing surface. One such critique came during a year in which the Vols were struggling to score. Hoskins listened to Neyland and then replied, "The field is in much better shape than your team," and went on about his business.

42. Even after his active coaching days were through, Neyland always carried a stopwatch to make sure passers and punters were getting rid of the ball within prescribed time limits.

43. At the Neyland Testimonial Dinner, held Aug. 18, 1953, to celebrate the end of his coaching career, Neyland concluded his speech with the words of his former chief, Gen. MacArthur, saying they applied to every campus where football is played: "There on the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds which on other days will yield the fruits of victory."

44. President Eisenhower also was a classmate and teammate of Neyland's at West Point.

45. Neyland remembered seeing Eisenhower daily but did not have a close friendship with him. When Eisenhower was campaigning for president in Knoxville, he reportedly told the crowd he had a "friend of long standing" in Gen. Neyland. The crowd applauded this statement for five straight minutes despite Neyland not being in attendance.

46. Neyland's grandfather, Robert Reese Neyland, was a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army who was killed in 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh in West Tennessee.

47. Neyland served as chair of the NCAA Football Rules Committee from the mid-1950s until his death.

48. Neyland was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956.

49. The Neyland Statue was dedicated Nov. 12, 2010. The 9-foot-tall, nearly 1,500-pound bronze memorial sits between gates 15A and 17 on the west side of Neyland Stadium.

50. Hall of famer Bear Bryant never defeated a Neyland-coached team, and was said to have muttered at Neyland's retirement banquet, "Thank God the old guy finally quit."

General Robert Neyland and the 1950 University of Tennessee football team celebrate after winning the 1951 Cotton Bowl. The team was the Dunkel national champion but finished No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. [Photo by UT Athletics/Special to the News Sentinel]

(Editor Note - These Neyland facts and figures were available thanks mainly to the historical research of the following individuals: Bob Gilbert and his book, Neyland: The Gridiron General; Andy Kozar and his book, Football as a War Game - The Annotated Journals of General R.R. Neyland; Haywood Harris and Gus Manning and their classic book, Six Seasons Remembered - The National Championship Years of Tennessee Football; and Tom Mattingly, Knoxville News Sentinel historian, for his efforts in compiling Neyland tidbits through the years that remain in the Tennessee football vernacular.)

All work is by and is legally reproduced here for educational purposes in conjunction with the Fair Use laws.

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