Lynchburg native Bobby Majors added to Hall of Fame ballot

Lynchburg native Bobby Majors was recently added to College Football Hall of Fame ballot. {Historic Photo via Tennessee Athletics}

Another Majors with Lynchburg roots is making football news. Former Tennessee Volunteer punt and kick returner, Bobby Majors, joined two other former Tennessee players – wide receiver Willie Gault and linebacker Al Wilson – on the National Football Foundation’s 2021 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Robert Owen Majors grew up in Lynchburg with his football family and his famous brother John Majors, who coach the Volunteers from 1977 -1992. Bob came along 14 years after John but both inherited their father, Shirley Majors’, athletic abilities and competitive nature.

At Tennessee, Bobby enjoyed an All-American career. As a punt returner, Bobby set Tennessee records with 117 returns for 1,163 yards. He also averaged more than 30 yards per kick returned during his 1971 season landing him in the Vol record books as the third-highest average in program history.

On defense, Majors plays a ferocious defensive back and ball hawk who led the nations in interceptions in 1970. SEC official named him to the All-SEC team in 1970 and 1971. UT officials also named him to the 100-year team as Defensive Back of All Time. He led his team to victory in the 1971 Sugar Bowl and would later be drafted into the NFL by the Philadelphia Eagles. He also played for the Cleveland Browns.

Bobby Majors now lives in Chattanooga.

To see the complete Hall of Fame Ballot, click here. The 2021 voting deadline is July 7. The Hall of Fame winners will be announced at the annual NFF Awards Dinner in New York on December 8. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg native John Majors dies

Most folks in Lynchburg knew him as John but assistant coaches and players called him Johnny. John Terrill Majors died on June 3 at the age of 85. {Photo Provided}

Checkered board flag will be lowered to half mast across the state today as Tennessee fans learn that legendary UT coach and Lynchburg native John Terrill Majors has died at the age of 85.

Born in Lynchburg o n May 21, 1935 to Shirley and Elizabeth Majors, John and his siblings Larry, Shirley Ann, Bill, and Joe grew up in Lynchburg. Moore County’s Majors Boulevard is named for the famous family.

Though most Lynchburg folks and family called him John, as both a player and coach he was better known as Johnny Majors. Majors played at Moore County High School, Huntland High School, and the University of Tennessee as a player. Famed UT coach Robert Neyland once famously stated that Majors was, “greatest single-wing tailback in Tennessee history.”

He began his coaching career as the head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones, where he stayed for five seasons before moving on to the same position at Pittsburgh. It was with the Panthers that Majors earned the majority of his collegiate coaching success.

Majors coached two different stints at Pittsburgh. From 1973-76, he served as head coach at Pitt. During that time he not only helped running back Tony Dorsett win the Heisman, but also put together a perfect 12-0 season and a national championship run. The Panthers beat Georgia 27-3 in the Sugar Bowl to take home the trophy.

Afterwards, Majors headed back to the Volunteer State to take over at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee in 1977. He remained there until 1992. Following his UT coaching career, he returned to Pitt as head coach from 1993-96 and stayed on as a Special Assistant to the Athletic Director and Chancelor until the summer of 2007.

In a statement released by the family, John’s wife of 61 years, Mary Lynn Majors said, “It’s with a sad heart that we make this announcement. John passed away this morning. He spent his last hours doing something he dearly loved: looking out over his cherished Tennessee River.”

John Majors was preceded in death by his parents, Shirley and Elizabeth Majors; and two brothers, Bill Majors and Joe Majors. In addition to his wife, Mary Lynn (Barnwell) Majors, Coach Majors is survived by his two children, John and Mary; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is additionally survived by his sister, Shirley Ann Husband; brothers Larry and Bobby; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service at St. John’s Cathedral will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for contributions to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra or a charity. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}