Statues Honoring Tennessee Soccer Trailblazers to be Unveiled Sept. 2

The University of Tennessee will unveil a new and permanent tribute to four trailblazers from in the course of the storied record of Tennessee soccer as a kickoff to Neyland Stadium’s 12 months-extensive centennial celebration. Tennessee proudly led the way in providing possibilities for Black student-athletes to excel on the […]

The University of Tennessee will unveil a new and permanent tribute to four trailblazers from in the course of the storied record of Tennessee soccer as a kickoff to Neyland Stadium’s 12 months-extensive centennial celebration.

Tennessee proudly led the way in providing possibilities for Black student-athletes to excel on the Southeastern Convention gridiron. Commencing in the 1960s, Tennessee’s progressive posture on racial fairness led to famous Volunteers recording several record-generating firsts.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, much larger-than-everyday living bronze statues commemorating Lester McClain, Jackie Walker, Condredge Holloway and Tee Martin will be unveiled in the plaza outdoors Gate 21 at Neyland Stadium.

In the 1st weeks of Danny White’s tenure as Director of Athletics, he set in motion a plan to honor the contributions of these four lettermen who represent major “firsts” and solid a path for generations of minority college student-athletes to comply with in their footsteps on Rocky Top rated.

Tennessee commissioned mentioned learn sculptor Brian Hanlon, who—over the past various months at his New Jersey studio—meticulously crafted each Vol legend in a distinctive, sport-motion pose.

“It really is an honor for this university to be in a position to completely acknowledge the affect of these adult males in such a potent way,” White explained. “We are proud of what their names signify, and I imagine this is a fitting tribute. They carried themselves with toughness and grace as they led the way for so lots of many others. I really like that our soccer university student-athletes will move by this installation in the course of just about every Vol Stroll. I hope it serves as a reminder of these who arrived before them and paved the way for progress.”

A nod to Tennessee Athletics’ revolutionary and progressive history—which it aims to restore underneath White’s leadership—the venture is one particular of the initial initiatives funded by the My All Campaign.

A devotion ceremony all through which the statues will be unveiled will just take put on Sept. 2 prior to Tennessee’s football year-opener in opposition to Bowling Eco-friendly. Owing to area restrictions associated to campus transit services in the Gate 21 region (courses are in session that working day), attendance for the ceremony will be restricted, but the celebration will be streamed reside on UTsports.com and the Tennessee Athletics YouTube channel.  

Lester McClain | 1968-70
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Wingback | Antioch, Tenn.
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1968 – Tennessee sophomore wingback Lester McClain—who in 1967 turned the program’s first Black player—also created heritage as the first Black SEC player to rating a landing when he hauled in his to start with of two scoring receptions throughout UT’s 24-7 gain at Georgia Tech on Oct. 12, 1968.
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“It can be definitely an honor to be remembered and put into historical past at the College of Tennessee like this,” McClain explained. “It is really a excellent point. I hope I can influence numerous others to appear forth and give their quite ideal to the college and keep on to make a variance in the planet.
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“I do regret that my mother and father are no for a longer time about to be section of the commitment. Dr. Bill Garrett is a person else who would have been extremely happy. He played a significant part in me coming to the college and earning a scholarship. He felt like I could do perfectly, so he stood up and fought for me. I are unable to take any credit history without having remembering him and all he did for me.”
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Jackie Walker | 1969-71
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Linebacker | Knoxville, Tenn.
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1970 – Knoxville native Jackie Walker attained distinction as the SEC’s initially Black football All-American immediately after foremost a formidable Tennessee protection as an explosive junior linebacker with a knack for snagging interceptions.
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Walker handed absent in 2002. He will be represented by customers of his family, like his brother, Marshall, at the Sept. 2 dedication.
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“I want to first say that I’m honored to be capable to depict the Walker relatives when Jackie’s statue gets unveiled,” Marshall Walker said. “I believe Jackie would truly feel it truly is a incredible honor to have a statue on the University of Tennessee campus. None of us at any time envisioned this. I am ecstatic, proud and joyful that (Danny White, Marcus Hilliard) and the relaxation of the UT workers and coaches noticed this as critical and observed a way to honor these historic University of Tennessee athletes.”
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Condredge Holloway | 1972-74
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Quarterback | Huntsville, Ala.
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1972 – With a nationwide Television set viewers tuned in, Tennessee sophomore Condredge Holloway dazzled for the duration of a dominant, 34-3 time-opening victory at Ga Tech on Sept. 9, 1972, whilst starting to be the 1st Black participant to begin at quarterback on an SEC workforce.
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“When I to start with listened to about this, I was fairly stunned,” Holloway claimed. “It’s a good honor. I am practically nothing but grateful. I appreciated all the items I did there at the University of Tennessee, but a great deal of the credit score for this honor goes to my teammates.
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“Again when I was actively playing, I never assumed about opening doors for gamers in the potential. I just thought about striving to play my finest and get together effectively with my teammates. It’s a crew recreation. There are 11 men out there (on the football industry), and all of us labored jointly to play nicely and win.”
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Tee Martin | 1996-99
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Quarterback | Mobile, Ala.
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1999 – Immediately after guiding Tennessee to an undefeated 1998 year and an SEC Championship, junior Tee Martin created heritage as the initial Black quarterback to guide an SEC staff to a Nationwide Championship by guiding the Volunteers to a 23-16 triumph more than Florida Point out in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 4, 1999.
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“I want to say thank you to the Tennessee athletic department—past and present—for this excellent honor, “Martin reported. “I want this statue to depict those who came in advance of me and opened doorways for me at the College of Tennessee—Lester McClain and Condredge Holloway, to identify a handful of. I want to thank my teammates and coaches for their difficult perform and enjoy during some of the most unforgettable decades in UT soccer record. I will often enjoy you all. Go Vols!”
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Lashell Coykendall

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