Johnny Majors, a legendary coach for the Tennessee football team and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, has died. He was 85.
Jackie Sherrill, a longtime friend of Majors’ who worked on staff with him at Pittsburgh, confirmed the news with Majors’ family.
In 16 seasons as Tennessee’s coach from 1977-92, Majors compiled a 116-62-8 record.
He began his playing career with the Vols in 1953, joining the team as a single-wing tailback. He was named the SEC Player of the Year in 1955 and 1956.
Majors rushed for 549 yards and seven touchdowns and passed for 552 yards and five touchdowns, leading Tennessee to a 10-1 season in 1956 and an SEC championship. He finished as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, losing out to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung.
He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1987.
Majors got his first head coaching gig in 1968, hired on by Iowa State. In four years at the helm, he led the Cyclones to a 24-30-1 record.
In 1973, he left to become coach at Pittsburgh andwon a national championship in 1976 with a perfect 12-0 record. He received national coach-of-the-year honors following that season.
In 1977, he returned to Knoxville as Tennessee’s head coach. Over a 15-year career, he led the Vols to three SEC championships (1985, 1989, 1990). He also won the Sugar Bowl in 1986 and 1991.
Majors and UT parted ways in 1992, when he returned to Pittsburgh for three years. After retiring from coaching in 1996, he served as the assistant athletic director and chancellor at Pittsburgh until 2007.
He was inducted into the Pittsburgh Athletics Hall of Fame.
The USA TODAY Network’s Tommy Deas contributed to this story.