Tennessee Athletics 2021-22 Year in Review | Sports
Tennessee in 2021-22 won its first SEC Overall All-Sports title, presented by USA Today Network, and the Vols also won the program’s first SEC Men’s All-Sports title since 2007-08.
In the SEC Women’s All-Sports rankings, Tennessee finished second to Florida.
Tennessee was one of seven Division I programs in the nation to host a football game and also qualify for the NCAA championships in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball and baseball (joining Arkansas , LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA and Virginia Tech).
In the nine sports for which the SEC tracks head-to-head win/loss records (and at least 13 teams face each other), Tennessee had the league’s best intraconference winning percentage in 2021-22 at .672. . The second best winning percentage was .595 (Florida). These nine sports are football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, soccer and volleyball.
Eight Tennessee teams (four men’s and four women’s) finished in the top 16 or advanced to at least the knockout stages of their respective NCAA championships.
Tennessee football recorded its first-ever 20-win season while earning a second consecutive SEC East Division crown, an SEC Tournament title and advancing to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships.
Redshirt sophomore Jaida Thomas and senior Wrenne French earned All-America honors.
The football team opened the 2021 campaign with seven straight shutouts to set a program record for the longest shutout streak (633:53). The team also had 13 shutouts, the best in the program.
Football head coach Josh Heupel has produced the most regular season wins (seven) of any first-year “Power Five” head coach with new programs in 2021.
Heupel’s volunteers averaged 38.8 points per game, a mark that ranked in the top 10 nationally and second in modern school history, en route to a TransPerfect Music berth. City Bowl. The Volunteers broke eight team records in a single season in Heupel’s first season.
Volleyball recorded a 20-win season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships.
Karl Thiessen and Sydney Seymour have represented the Vols and Lady Vols at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, with Seymour becoming the first Lady Vol to make back-to-back national meet appearances since 2014 and 2015.
The Lady Vols swimming and diving team won its second SEC championship in three years and earned its fourth consecutive top 10 at the NCAA championships.
Ellen Walshe was named SEC Co-Swimmer of the Year and SEC Rookie of the Year, while Matt Kredich was selected as SEC Female Swim Coach of the Year.
The men’s swimming and diving team finished tied for second at the SEC Championships, which marked their best result since 2001.
Overall, the swimming and diving programs have resulted in 20 student-athletes earning 45 combined All-America honors during the 2022 season.
Lady Vol basketball’s 18-1 start in 2021-22 was its best since 2007-08, its overall (25-9) and SEC (11-5) ranking records the best since 2017-18 and its NCAA Sweet Sixteen spot his 35th all-time, but a first since 2015-16.
Women’s basketball, which rose to No. 4 in the AP poll, also beat five ranked teams in a season for the most since 2017-18.
For the second time under head coach Rick Barnes, men’s basketball spent the entire season ranked in the AP Top 25, reaching a season high of No. 5 in the final poll.
The Vols basketball team defeated four top-10 opponents (tying a program record) and posted a perfect 16-0 record at home at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams combined to go 32-2 (.914) at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2021-22.
Men’s tennis advanced to the final of the ITA Indoor Nationals in February, beating third-seeded Baylor in the semifinals to set up a title match with fourth-placed TCU.
The men’s track and field team posted its best result at the NCAA indoor championships since 2016 with a third-place finish that was fueled by a first- and second-place finish in the long jump by Wayne Pinnock (7.92m) and Carey McLeod (7.91m).
Tennessee Rowing’s varsity eight (1V8) opened its spring schedule by winning three consecutive Big 12 Boat of the Week awards. The team added a fourth Boat of the Week award later in the season.
The men’s tennis team – which spent part of the season ranked first in the nation – advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA championships for the second year in a row.
Adam Walton and Johannus Monday earned All-America honors for singles play, while Walton and Pat Harper were All-Americans in doubles.
The women’s tennis team made their fourth straight NCAA championship appearance and advanced to the second round. In the NCAA Doubles Championships, Tennessee duo Tenika McGiffin and Daria Kuczer advanced to the Round of 16.
Senior women’s golfer Mikayla Bardwell broke the Tennessee program record and SEC Championship record for lowest round with a 9-under 63 at the SEC Championships, where she finished third.
As a team, the Lady Vols qualified for match play at the SEC Championships for the first time in program history.
Bardwell’s round of 9 under (63) tied for the ninth-best round over par in NCAA women’s golf history.
After its first NCAA championship appearance since 2013 last spring, Tennessee men’s golf continued its success in the 2021-22 season – racking up five team top-four finishes and 12 individual top-10 finishes. . Tennessee’s all-season team hitting average of 282.60 is the best single-season team hitting average in program history.
All-SEC first-team performer Spencer Cross concluded the 2021-22 season with a 69.33 batting average — the lowest single-season batting average in program history — and also shot 22 par or better, which is second most in a season in program history.
The Tennessee softball program won the No. 11 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, hosting an NCAA Regional for the 17th consecutive season.
Propelled by first-place finishes in Wayne Pinnock (long jump), Jordan West (shot put) and Favor Ashe (100m), the Tennessee men’s track team finished third at the SEC Championships in Oxford, Mississippi.
The men’s track and field team finished third nationally at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Wayne Pinnock won NCAA long jump titles in both NCAA meetings, while Carey McLeod finished second in the NCAA indoors and fourth in the NCAA outdoors.
A total of 15 male and female Tennessee track and field student-athletes have combined to earn 34 All-America honors.
Dominantly, Tennessee (57-9, 25-5 SEC) won the SEC Regular Season Baseball Championship – winning the absolute title with four regular season league games to play.
Tennessee also won the SEC Tournament Championship and never trailed in its four wins at Hoover, Alabama.
Tennessee baseball set a single-season program record for wins with 57.
The Vols’ 158 homers in 2022 were also a program record and were the fourth-most homers by a Division I team.
Tennessee Baseball is the author of a school-record 23-game winning streak in which the Vols became the highest-ranked unanimous team in the nation.
The baseball team also became the first team in SEC baseball history to start SEC play 12-0.
Head Coach Tony Vitello was named SEC Coach of the Year, Chase Dollander was acclaimed as SEC Pitcher of the Year, and pitcher Drew Beam won SEC Rookie of the Year honors. DRY. A total of six UT players have accrued nine total selections to All-SEC First and Second Teams, as well as SEC All-Freshman Team and SEC All-Defensive Team.
Combining the fall and spring opening ceremonies, a total of 102 student-athletes graduated this academic year, including 15 who earned master’s degrees.
Tennessee has produced a school-record 10 Academic All-Americans in 2021-22: volleyball player Ava Bell (political science), football players Paxton Brooks (pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology) and Matthew Butler (pursuing a master’s degree in political science ), softball players Kiki Milloy (neuroscience) and Ashley Rogers (pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology), baseball players Luc Lipcius (pursuing a master’s degree in engineering) and Evan Russell (pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural leadership, education and communication), tennis player McGiffin (pursuing a master’s degree in sports management), female diver Kara Holt (neuroscience) and female pole vaulter Hannah Jefcoat (pursuing a master’s degree in agriculture, leadership, education and communication).
Tennessee’s previous school record for Academic All-Americans in a single school year was nine in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Tennessee’s 57 student-athletes on the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll was a school record.
In the Spring 2022 semester, Tennessee student-athletes posted an all-time best combined GPA of 3.27 – the 19th consecutive semester with a combined 3.00 or higher for the student-athlete population .
Also in the 2022 spring semester, 60 student-athletes earned a 4.00 GPA and eight different teams equaled or bettered their all-time highest spring team GPA.