Gen. Robert Neyland
University of Tennessee, 1926-52
2011 Southern Conference Hall of Fame Inductee
One of the legendary head coaches in college football history, General Robert Neyland of Tennessee is generally considered among the greatest defensive innovators in the history of the sport.
Taking over as head coach of the Vols in 1926, Neyland led Tennessee to an overall record of 61-2-5 during seven years in the Southern Conference. In five of those seasons, his team did not lose a game. The Vols were conference champions in 1926 and 1932.
After Tennessee moved to the newly-formed Southeastern Conference in 1933, Neyland had his coaching career interrupted twice by military service. He eventually rose to the rank of brigadier general before concluding his military career in 1946.
His 1939 team was the last to finish a regular season unbeaten and unscored upon. The Vols captured national championships in 1950 and 1951. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956. Upon his death in 1962, Neyland Stadium on the UT campus was dedicated in his honor.