The 10% solution

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer has a simple philosophy that sums up his approach to life.

"Life is 10 percent what happens to you," he says, "and 90 percent how you react to it."

Fulmer reacted to the Vols' 5-6 record in 2005 by hiring David Cutcliffe to succeed resigned offensive coordinator Randy Sanders, then canning offensive line coach Jimmy Ray Stephens and receivers coach Pat Washington.

"We've taken steps to correct some of the shortcomings of the season," Fulmer says. "There's a lot of work to be done. That's not to place any blame on individual coaches or players but, obviously, a change was needed."

Fulmer believes the hiring of former UT coordinator and former Ole Miss head coach Cutcliffe will help upgrade a Vol offense that averaged just 18.6 points per game in 2005. Cutcliffe is regarded as a superior quarterbacks coach, a strict disciplinarian and a stickler for details.

"One important item for me was to hire one of the best and brightest offensive minds in the country," Fulmer said, "and I needed a person who was an outstanding teacher, communicator and disciplinarian."

The head man also said he was looking for "someone with experience, particularly experience in the Southeastern Conference. We have all of these things in David Cutcliffe. He brings all the tangible and intangible things as a coordinator and as a (former) head football coach that will benefit our program."

And, just maybe, Cutcliffe can help Fulmer deal with that 90 percent of life that can be controlled.

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