JOHNNY MAJORS Football Coach, Player and Sports Speaker
Call A to Z Entertainment, Inc. today for free information about how to hire or book keynote speaker and celebrity football coach Johnny Majors. We are your best agent and agency booking and hiring coach Johnny Majors! Having helped hundreds of clients, we are also your agency and agent for booking and hiring top sports speakers. We can also help you plan or produce your show or event, so call us now at 888-655-4575 and we’ll be happy to help you.
Johnny Majors is a distinguished American former football player and coach. A standout halfback at the University of Tennessee, he was an All-American in 1956 and a two-time winner of the Southeastern Conference Most Valuable Player award, in 1955 and 1956. He finished second to Paul Hornung in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1956.
Johnny Majors served as the head football coach at Iowa State University (1968–1972), the University of Pittsburgh (1973–1976, 1993–1996), and Tennessee (1977–1992), compiling a career college football record of 185–137–10. His 1976 Pittsburgh squad won a national championship after capping a 12–0 season with a victory in the Sugar Bowl. Majors was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1987.
Johnny Majors played high school football for the Huntland Hornets of Franklin County, Tennessee. They won the state championship in 1951. Majors’ father, Shirley Majors, was the head coach at Huntland from 1949 to 1957 and then head coach at The University of the South, Sewanee, from 1957 to 1977. Majors also played alongside his brother, Joe, at Huntland. Another brother, Bobby, also played at Tennessee and professionally for the Cleveland Browns. In all, Majors had four brothers, who all played football. Johnny was the oldest.
A triple-threat tailback at the University of Tennessee, one of the last schools to use the single-wing rather than some version of the T formation, Majors was an All-American and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1956. Johnny Majors lost the Heisman Trophy to Paul Hornung, who starred for Notre Dame, who had a losing record (2–8). To date, this is the only time the Heisman Trophy has been awarded to a player on a losing team. Many fans of college football, particularly Tennessee Volunteer fans, believe that Hornung won the Heisman because he played for the storied Notre Dame program, although Hornung did lead his team in passing, rushing, scoring, kickoff and punt returns, punting, and passes broken up and was second in interceptions and tackles made.
Majors is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He played for the Montreal
Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1957 and then became an assistant coach at several schools.
Iowa State Coach Majors was the 24th head football coach for the Iowa State University Cyclones located in Ames, Iowa and he held that position for five seasons, from 1968 until 1972. His career coaching record at Iowa state was 24–30–1. Majors ranks seventh at Iowa State in total wins and 16th in winning percentage.
Pittsburgh After Iowa State, Majors found his greatest success as coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in 1973. In Pittsburgh he recruited such greats as Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett and Matt Cavanaugh, among others. The Panthers won the national title in 1976, after which Majors went back to his alma mater. Coach Majors also received National Coach of the Year honors for that season. Johnny Majors won a national championship at Pittsburgh in 1976, but decided that the job at Tennessee was too good to pass up.
Tennessee At Tennessee, Johnny Majors achieved success in the 1980s and early 1990s winning three SEC championships (in 1985, 1989 and 1990), but falling short of a national title. In 1989, the Majors-led Vols followed a 5–6 season with a 11–1 season, the largest turnaround of the year. In 1977, Majors replaced Battle, who had just suffered two five-loss seasons. Majors lost his first game as head coach to the University of California, by a score of 27–17, in Knoxville. Majors struggled his first four seasons, going 4–7, 5–5–1, 7–5, and 5–6. His teams saw mild success in 1981, going to the Garden State Bowl and finishing 8–4, and in 1983, winning the Citrus Bowl and finishing 9–3.
Johnny Majors’ 1985 Volunteer squad (9–1–2, 5–1) was one of his most revered squads. The team lost only one game, regrouped after losing the services of Heisman trophy contending quarterback Tony Robinson for the season, and won their first conference title since 1969. The Big Orange earned a trip to the 1986 Sugar Bowl, where they defeated the heavily favored and 2nd-ranked Miami Hurricanes, coached by Jimmy Johnson, 35–7. The win kept Miami from winning a national title and earned the 1985 UT squad the nickname “Sugar Vols.”
The 1988 UT Vols lost their first 6 games, but went on to finish with a 5–6 record. UT then won back-to-back SEC titles in 1989 and 1990. The Vols played on a January 1 bowl game every season in the early ’90s under Majors.
After resigning at Tennessee, Majors returned to his second home of Pittsburgh to once again coach the Panthers. Throughout the mid-1990s Majors tried to recreate the magic of 1976 at Pitt but achieved little success. He retired from coaching following the 1996 NCAA season and served at Pitt in the position of Special Assistant to the Athletic Director and Chancellor until the summer of 2007. A room on the second floor of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association adjacent to Pitt’s campus is dedicated to him and displays memorabilia from his career.
The city of Knoxville, Tennessee named a street after Johnny Majors. The street is on the campus of the University of Tennessee and is the location of the school’s practice facility. Actor Lee Majors borrowed Majors’ last name to form his stage name. According to one published account, Lee, whose real name is Harvey Lee Yeary, met Majors in his youth while Majors was a football player at Tennessee, and they became friends. The two are not actually related, although Lee Majors was regularly seen on the sidelines during Johnny Majors’ tenure at Pittsburgh and during the early days at Tennessee.
In October 2013, Coach Majors was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference, ACC Class of Legends for 2013. Johnny Majors will receive the distinction during the ACC Championship game in Charlotte on December 7, 2013.
Johnny Majors now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife Mary Lynn and is available for speaking engagements and personal appearances. Just call us today at 888-655-4575 and we’ll be happy to help you book Johnny Majors for your event!
With over twenty years of successful experience, we are your top agent and agency booking and hiring football coach, player and speaker Johnny Majors. We’re also your best choice to book or hire any sports coaches and players as motivational speakers. We’re not the exclusive agency for any guest speakers on this site. We can also help you plan or produce your show or event, so call us today at 888-655-4575 and we’ll be happy to help you.
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