CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanooga’s First Tennessee Pavilion hosted the University of Tennessee’s first Big Orange Caravan stop of 2017 Saturday, with nearly 1,000 passionate UT fans enjoying more than two hours of family-friendly fun with a collection of Tennessee coaches, administrators and Spirit Squad members. The caravan rolls into Memphis next Saturday.
Special guests from Tennessee Athletics Saturday in Chattanooga included Smokey, Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie, Director of Broadcasting Bob Kesling, head basketball coaches Rick Barnes and Holly Warlick, head football coach Butch Jones and assistant football coaches Larry Scott, Bob Shoop, Robert Gillespie, Tommy Thigpen and Walt Wells.
As part of the new-look Caravan this year, Shelby Guthrie, a rising UT freshman from Chattanooga and graduate of Lookout Valley High School received a scholarship awarded by the Chattanooga UT Knoxville Alumni Chapter.
The next stop on this summer’s Big Orange Caravan summer outreach tour takes place next Sunday, June 11, from 6-8 p.m. CT at the Expo Center at Agricenter International/West Pavilion. Fans are encouraged to pre-register.
The Nashville stop coincides with the 51st annual UT All-Sports Picnic at The Barn at Sycamore Farms on Monday, July 10 (6-8 p.m. CT). Pricing and registration information for that event are forthcoming.
A Tri-Cities event is in the planning stages, and details will be forthcoming when a date and venue is finalized and secured.
Overheard: BOC Chattanooga
“This is awesome. A lot of times during the year, you all get in cars and drive up I-75 for two hours to come and see us in Knoxville. It was about time we came down here to see you. We appreciate your loyal support. I want to thank our coaches who came down today. There are a lot of staffs around the country that are sitting at the beach right now. Our coaches are working hard on behalf of the University of Tennessee.”
(On the Big Orange Caravan admission donation)
“The admissions fee that you all paid to get in today doesn’t go to us; it’s going to students in the Chattanooga area for scholarships. We have one of the best classes coming into Knoxville this year.”
(On the Big Orange Caravan turnout)
”It’s all about Vol Nation. Even when we were coaching in the (nearby) camp this morning, you could kind of see the streets of Chattanooga being lined in orange. We’re very proud of it, and Vol Nation is very strong.”
(On his plans for the summer)
“Were going to go through military training with the United States military. This morning, we boarded a bus from Knoxville and drove over here to Chattanooga and did a camp and we’re here now with the greatest fans in America.”
(On what he’s been doing this summer)
“I’m waiting for football season! We have a couple new additions to our team, and we’re back at it. We’re all back in summer school right now.”
(On the Lady Vols’ incoming freshmen)
“We are excited to get our freshman class in. We have four kids that will bring a lot to the team. It’s really great to have them on campus wearing orange and being excited to be Lady Vols.”
(On Diamond DeShields and Mercedes Russell returning for their senior seasons)
“Diamond and Mercedes had a chance to go to the (WNBA) Draft, but they both decided to come back and take care of business. Obviously, I was thrilled by their decisions.”