Empowered | The Fan ReVOLution That Changed College Football


The Fan Revolution That Changed College Football

Larry Pratt
U.T. Donor

Larry Pratt is a native of Athens, Tennessee and is a 1973 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His primary career has been as a mortgage banker. He founded First Savings Mortgage Corporation in McLean, Va., in 1989. The firm has grown to be the largest privately owned mortgage lender in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, where Larry is Chairman and CEO. His support of the University of Tennessee has encompassed over twenty years. He has established endowments for athletics and students alike, such as the Pratt Pavilion, commitments to Neyland Stadium renovations, and, most recently, the lead on the Larry Pratt basketball locker rooms are some of the projects for which he has earmarked donations.

James A. (Jimmy) Haslam, III
U.T. Donor

Jimmy Haslam began his career at Pilot Corporation in 1976. In 1980, Haslam was named vice president of sales, development and operations. At that time, Pilot operated 100 convenience stores with annual fuel sales of about 125 million gallons. Pilot opened its first travel center in 1981 and by 1996 – the same year Haslam was named president and chief executive officer – the company operated 96 travel centers and 50 convenience stores and its total gallon sales had reached 1.2 billion. The Pilot Flying J network provides customers with access to more than 70,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,800 showers and 4,300 diesel lanes featuring DEF at the pump. He is also owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Dr. Joseph E. Johnson
President Emeritus of the University of Tennessee

Dr. Johnson has had a distinguished career at the University of Tennessee, since he arrived in 1963. He has served as Executive Assistant to the President (1963 - 1969), Vice President for Development (1969 - 1973), Chancellor-Center for the Health Sciences (1970 - 1973), Vice President for Development and Executive Vice President (1973 - 1990), President (1990 - 99), President Emeritus (1999 - 2003), Interim President (2003 - 2004), and again as President Emeritus (2004 - Present). His primary assignments before becoming President were in alumni relations, public relations, fundraising, governmental relations, campus planning, capital construction, and liaison between President’s office and intercollegiate athletics.

John C. “Thunder” Thornton
U.T. Donor

John C. ”Thunder” Thornton founded Thunder Enterprises, Inc. in 1991 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since its founding in 1991. The Thornton Academic Student Life Center on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville bears his name. He has been Chairman of Thunder Enterprises, an investment and real estate development firm, since 1993. He was Chairman of the University of Tennessee Development Council, Chairman of the UTC Roundtable, past Co-Chairperson for the University of Tennessee Lady Vols Development Campaign, and is the past Chairman of the Chattanooga United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society. In 1999, he was also inducted into the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.

James A. Haslam II
U.T. Donor

James Arthur Haslam II is a Knoxville business leader and philanthropist, best known as the founder of Pilot Corporation, which operates a chain of convenience stores and travel centers throughout the United States and Canada and is one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States. The University of Tennessee has benefited from his service as a trustee and donor to both academics and athletics. Schools, museums, theaters, churches, homeless shelters, the zoo, the United Way, the Foothills Land Conservancy, the Urban League and countless other civic bodies have also benefited from Haslam largess. Haslam’s son, Jimmy, owns the Cleveland Browns, and his other son, Bill, is Governor of Tennessee. He was captain of the 1952 Tennessee football team.

Jayson Swain
U.T. football player and team co-captain 2003-06, Media

Swain garnered rave reviews upon arriving at Tennessee in 2003. He was part of a heralded recruiting class with receivers Robert Meachem and Bret Smith. As a freshman, Jayson caught 21 passes for 285 yards and was on the Knoxville News Sentinel's All-SEC Freshman Team. Swain started five games in his sophomore and junior seasons, before becoming a full-time starter in the 2006 season. In that season, Swain had 49 catches and 688 yards receiving and six touchdowns. He is currently #6 all-time in UT history with 126 receptions and is also #13 in career receiving yards with 1,721. Swain was a co-captain of the 2006 Volunter squad. He is the host of the “Swain Event”.

Tony Basilio
U.T. Class of 1990, Media

A native of Philadelphia, Tony Basilio has been a Knoxville-based radio talk show host since 1993. He describes himself as the official voice of he common fan and does more hours devoted to Tennessee sports than anybody in his business. He does a two-hour call-in show five days a week, a post-game call-in show after every Vol football and basketball game and covers Tennessee-related stories as they are breaking. He was a leading media voice in the Tennessee fan revolution surrounding the proposed Greg Schiano hire in November 2017.

Mykelle McDaniel
Former UT Player 2016-2017

Mykelle was another highly touted recruit, a four-star strongside defensive end who had thirty-one offers coming out of high school—including offers from twelve of the fourteen schools in the SEC: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. After transferring from UT, Mykelle is now in Hutchinson, KS, where he is enrolled in Hutchinson Community College and hopes to be playing football again in the fall of 2019.

Nathanael Rutherford
Rocky Top Insider Editor, Media

Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor for Rocky Top Insider, a site that covers Tennessee athletics. He's a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has lived in Knoxville his entire life. He's covered the Vols since the spring of 2014. Rocky Top Insider brands itself as the “digital destination for Vol fans.” RTI has weekly podcasts, weekly live shows, articles each day, and has big social media followings on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Marlin Lane
Former UT Player 2011-2015

Marlin Lane came to Knoxville as a highly recruited four-star running back from Daytona Beach, Florida. He played for the Vols from 2011-2014, spanning the stretch between the end of Derek Dooley’s tenure and the early periods of Butch Jones’s five-year stint. Marlin chose UT over multiple schools including Miami (FL), Florida State, and Auburn. A bruising north and south rusher with deceptive agility and the ability to unleash an incredible burst of speed had rated him as one of the nation’s top running backs in the 2011 class. He made an immediate impact on the Vols, scoring two touchdowns in his first game as a true freshman and becoming the first Tennessee RB to score a touchdown in each of his first three games since Reggie Cobb did it in 1987. He has almost completed his degree in social work. Marlin lives in Knoxville and is the father of two children.

Allan Jones
U.T. Donor

W. Allan Jones founded Check Into Cash in his hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1993. Since then, the company has grown into the third largest payday lending company in the nation and has become a billion-dollar-a-year enterprise. Prior to founding Check Into Cash, he worked for nearly 25 years in his family's Credit Bureau business before selling it in 1998. Mr. Jones started in business at the age of 20 while a student at Middle Tennessee State University. He was instrumental in helping restore and revitalize the city's downtown business district and beautifying the city’s streets by planting dozens of trees to enhance the area’s environmental health. The Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the Knoxville campus is named in his honor.

Michael Rose
U.T. Donor

Michael Rose is the former Executive Producer of the ABBY award winning The Thom Abraham Show on SportsRadio 730 AM/103.9 FM WUMP. Studied Communication Studies/Broadcasting at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Lifelong Vol fan.