In an open letter to Tennessee fans, athletics director John Currie noted that UT is planning three Big Orange Caravan events for 2017, including the Nashville All-Sports Picnic on July 10. UT is also planning events in Memphis and Chattanooga.
The All-Sports Picnic is typically a separate event from the caravan but it seems that event will serve as Nashville's caravan stop this year.
When Currie officially started his tenure as AD on April 1, no caravan events had been planned for 2017 yet, but over the last weeks, athletic department staff began working to plan events.
UT made five stops on last year's caravan, including Atlanta and Bristol, in addition to Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga. The latter three cities will be the only stops in 2017.
"One of our department priorities for the 2017-18 year will be to develop and implement a revitalized and modernized 2018 Big Orange Caravan, which will remain a collaborative effort with UT’s award-winning national alumni association, along with input from our fans," Currie said in the open letter, which he plans to write on a regular basis to keep fans informed on things going on with the athletic department.
Some of Currie's fondest memories from his first tenure working in the Tennessee athletic department are from the Big Orange Caravan.
"One of my original duties with the Volunteer Athletic Scholarship Fund way back in 1997 was helping to organize that spring tour – I remember loading up that Chilhowee RV (we even packed extra dry socks) early in the morning to head out for multiple stops for meals and golf and opportunities to say thanks to our fans across the state for a week at a time," Currie said.
BARNETT TO BE HONORED AT SPRING GAME
Currie also announced in his letter that the Vols will honor defensive end Derek Barnett at halftime of the Orange and White Game on Saturday.
Barnett broke Reggie White's school record for sacks and is expected to be a first round pick in the NFL Draft next week.