“It’s Great To Be A Tennessee Vol”

After a really good day of work with our team, I decided to walk around campus a bit. As I did so I absolutely loved seeing orange and white everywhere, Vol Navy packed, the smiles and pep in the steps of everyone around campus and hearing the conversations about tailgates, score predictions and the band practicing Rocky Top. Its football time in Tennessee and our program couldn’t be more excited! Our players can’t wait to see their fellow student-athletes and friends compete, our staff can’t wait to see our colleagues and friends coach and we all can’t wait to be around the undying passion and enthusiasm of Vol Nation.

Although there are many things that separate this esteemed University from others around the country there are two that stick out in my head around this time of year: the family atmosphere in and around our athletic department and the unbelievable support of Vol Fans.

The university and its athletic department are huge. However, our leadership makes this place special by doing a great job of creating a tight family working environment. Coach Pearl and our staff constantly communicate, work with and support the coaching staffs of many of the other sports on campus. Our players can often times be seen not only at football games but at other sporting events such as Lady Vol basketball and volleyball games supporting their friends and fellow classmates because these are the people that they can relate to the most. Student-athletes and coaches of all sports understand and appreciate the daily effort that is given and the tough sacrifices that are made in preparation for each game. Therefore, when Coach Dooley and the rest of our football team runs through that “T” tomorrow afternoon in those beautiful orange and white uniforms, I can guarantee you our players and coaches will be cheering side by side with the rest of Vol Nation.

Speaking of the best fan base in the country, Vol Nation, we are truly blessed to have their support. Our players and coaches not only treasure the opportunity to be a part of this great basketball program but take great pride in wearing the orange and white supporting all the academic and athletic aspects of this  prestigious university. Its football time in Tennessee and we can’t wait to see everyone tomorrow!



About Mark Pancratz's Blog

A native of Schaumburg, Ill., Mark Pancratz played Division I basketball at UW-Milwaukee, earning his degree in marketing and finance. He joined Tennessee's staff in 2006 as a graduate assistant, earning his master's degree in sports management later that year. Serving as a G.A., director of video scouting and assistant to the head coach, Pancratz was an integral part of Tennessee's six-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. At 26, Pancratz boasts an impressive 18 games of NCAA Tournament experience as a player and/or administrative staff member. He is a member of the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and voted one of the 100 Legends of Illinois High School Basketball. Pancratz resides in Knoxville and is married to the former Brooke Waddell.
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