Coach Rumph's message to Vol fan base: Tennessee football still moving forward
By: Rachel Ward
The All Vol Call in Show
In a twist from seeing Coach Pruitt being the only one talking to the media, co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach, Chris Rumph, talked to fans at the Knoxville Quarterback Club.
The event, which took place at Calhoun’s on the River during the Vols’ bye week, consisted of Rumph being up front and honest with the fans. Rumph’s full speech was covered and recorded by Twenty Four Seven Sports.
According to Twenty Four Seven Sports, Rumph started his speech out with a few honest statements.
“It seems like I have a bad habit of coming up here after some bad news or a bad loss. I guess y’all have to deal with me again? Let’s be honest, there is nobody in this room satisfied with where we are as a program,” Rumph said. “We are 1-3. It has been a long time since you guys had something to cheer about.”
Rumph continued his speech by not only empathizing with the crowd, but by saying that he apologizes and feels bad for the fan base.
“Sometimes I feel bad for you guys as much as I feel bad for myself or even sometimes the team. Because I know what you guys have poured into the program,” Rumph said. “The support. Whether it’s cheering, whether it’s your donation, whether it’s your time, whether it’s your pride. Things you have to deal with. And I apologize about it.”
In addition to his apology, Rumph reinforced that he and the staff alongside him are working hard to make changes. He then talked about the ways to fix the problem.
“It’s only one way we can fix a problem. Well, there’s really two ways. The first one, we have to go to work. We have to go to work. Work hard. We’re definitely putting in the time, putting in the hours everyday. Trying to come up with schemes putting guys in the best possible position to be successful,” Rumph said. “Then we have to go out there and recruit.”
In terms of recruiting, Rumph stated that the fan base can help out in terms of social media and of not bashing on the current players. The recruits see it.
“You’ve got guys over there saying, ‘Well let’s see what this fan base is saying about this particular player.’ And right now our quarterback is struggling,” Rumph said. “So we don’t need to be out there bashing and stuff. I know you want to do it. I know you’re frustrated.”
Rumph again stated that he and the coaching staff will be working to get the job done. All he asks is that the fan base shows support to their players instead of bashing. Not only will it help the team, but it will help the recruiting process.
A popular line when referencing Tennessee football is “This is our year” or “Just wait ‘till next year.” When talking about these phrases, Rumph noted that there isn’t time to wait until next year.
“Wait till next year. Wait till next year. Well guess what? We don’t have next year,” Rumph said. “We’ve got to do something about it right now. Those coaches, those men in there, we’re doing something about it. We’re working hard.”
Rumph acknowledged that he knows the fan base is tired of hearing that the team will get better without the tangible results, but encouraged the fans to believe it and stay patient.
“We’ve got a bunch of young guys that are doing a lot of great things. There are a lot of great things that is happening at this program,” Rumph said. “Sometimes it doesn’t show. There are a lot of things happening.”
Moving forward, Rumph stated that the team has to get together as a “unit” and “make sure everything is in line.” Rumph noted that the past successful programs he was a part of were because everyone was moving together in the same direction.
“Let’s make sure that we’re together, that we’re sending out the right message. Let’s go do what some of these other programs do. Let’s go be like them,” Rumph said. “Let’s support. Let’s be here through the good times and through the bad times.”
Through the ups and downs of this season, Rumph noted that while it’s not looking bright right now, the ups are coming and “that sun is still shining.”
“It’s a little cloudy today. But I guarantee you that sun is still shining,” Rumph said. “So as long as I still have breath in my body, as long as those coaches have breath in their body, I guarantee you we are going to give 100 percent. It may not look like it all the time. But trust me. That’s what we’re doing and what we’re going to do. It’s bumpy right now. Put your seatbelt on. Hold on. But the sun is still shining. And I praise y’all. I thank you.”
Coach Rumph’s full speech can be read here.