KNOXVILLE – “Johnny Majors: Straight Ahead,” an hour-long documentary celebrating the life and legacy of the late Tennessee legend and College Football Hall of Famer, will debut at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, July 3 on ESPNU and then re-air at noon ET on Sunday, July 5 on WVLT-TV Channel 8 in Knoxville.
The VFL Films documentary features interviews with former Vol players and coaches and takes a look at the storied career of Majors, which began in 1954 as a player and continued as head coach in 1977.
ESPNU will devote five hours of Majors tribute coverage on Friday beginning with Tennessee’s 1991 Sugar Bowl comeback victory over Virginia at 6 p.m. ET. The Vols used a 20-point fourth quarter and a pair of Tony Thompson touchdowns to rally for a 23-22 win to cap the program’s 100th anniversary season in Majors’ 14th year as head coach. Following the documentary, the network will show the 1977 Sugar Bowl featuring Majors’ Pitt team defeating Georgia.
A 1987 inductee of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, Majors played for the Volunteers from 1954-56, served as an assistant coach from 1957-59 and later was Tennessee’s head football coach from 1977-92. He passed away on June 3 at the age of 85.
Majors’ No. 45 was retired by his alma mater in 2012—one of only eight to earn that distinction. A native of Lynchburg, Tennessee, he was a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, a unanimous All-American in 1956 and the Heisman Trophy runner-up that same season.
Majors returned to his alma mater and was 116-62-6 as head coach for the Vols with three conference championships (1985, 1989 and 1990) and 12 bowl appearances.