The Barn at Sycamore Farms flooded with orange as alumni, players, fans, and even a certain head coach, arrived to spread the love of the program with celebration. The annual Big Orange Caravan made its way to Arrington this past Monday, July 10th and most who attended can agree, there is not many things better than talking football on a southern sunlit afternoon.

Ticketed guests made their way through the gated entrance, were checked in by security, and given a name tag. Down the curvy drive, the road opens to 28 acres of manicured Tennessee countryside. Upon arrival, guests were met by the music of 104.5 which set the tone of excitement. Guests also enjoyed cocktails and snacks as they mingled through the impressive silent auction displays overlooking The Barns’ two-acre lake. UT was, of course, well represented in the bidding auction with items including clothing, mugs, signed footballs, hats, women’s accessories, home décor, and more. While making their way around The Barn to the large Sycamore Veranda, guests found 2 additional bar stations, seating, corn hole boards and even a giant wooden game of jenga! Just enough fun to work up an appetite.

What better southern comfort food to fit the evening than Strouds BBQ.  Guests were served and seated under The Barns 8ft tall chandelier in its Main Hall. A sold out event, over four hundred people gathered to enjoy their comfort food and await the very special guest speakers. As the room turned orange, the guests anxiously anticipated the sheer presence of two of the most celebrated names in Vols sports, athletic director John Currie and football head coach Butch Jones. It was an exclusive and exciting opportunity for fans to hear firsthand about plans for the program. The choice of location in middle Tennessee is a testament to the respect and importance this program puts on connectedness of its fans, and what a better place to do so than in their own backyard.

The food cleared and people settled, but the buzz of the room was still contagious as they awarded a scholarship to a young lady who will start her career in astrophysics at UT this fall. As the evening progressed, Currie even introduced key UT players and their academic accomplishments.

Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for..  Butch Jones takes the stage and he is presented with roaring cheers accompanied by a standing ovation. He shared story after story of the hard working and extremely dedicated players in the program today. Expressing the trials of team dynamics of new energetic players, and those who know the ropes. He states, “Remember, these are full time student athletes, there is a way to work them, without overworking them.” Giving credit to those who not only represent UT on the field but in all aspects of the program and its demands. Currie also asked Jones, “So Butch, who will be the quarterback?” Jones says the decision has yet to be made, but will play out on the field.  Ending the evening, Jones thanks all for attending and supporting him as their coach. A perfect way to end a very memorable evening.

“Everything is about our fan base, we have the best fan base in America, so anytime you can get out and mingle with them and talk Tennessee football, it’s very special. It’s nights like this I look forward to.” Jones said