Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer took over as the athletic director at a rocky time on Rocky Top. Former AD John Currie had just been fired, a fan revolt prevented the hiring of Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to replace former coach Butch Jones and the Volunteers had just posted their first 0-8 record in SEC play ever.

His reward? Stability.

Tennessee announced Thursday that Fulmer has signed a four-year extension to remain the athletic director.

"Phillip has been a great partner over the last four months and I commend him for the wor he has done with our student-athletes, coaches and staff," chancellor Beverly Davenport said. "Phillip has been connected to the University of Tennessee and its athletics program for more than 40 years and he understands the expectations we have for our athletics department. He is surrounded by a very knowledgeable staff that is deeply committed to the success of our student-athletes. I look forward to our continued partnership."

Immediately after taking over for Currie last December, Fulmer hired Jeremy Pruitt to be the head coach of the football program after Pruitt served as Alabama's defensive coordinator for the previous two seasons.

"I am very grateful to Chancellor Davenport for the opportunity to continue to serve our outstanding university and its proud legacy," Fulmer said. "The positive momentum established by our talented student-athletes, dedicated coaches, excellent staff, our great alumni and fans has united us all. I am excited to work alongside them as we push forward in pursuit of excellence in all sports."

Fulmer was the coach of the Tennessee football program for 17 years from 1992-2008. He posted a 152-52 record, went 96-34 in the SEC and won the 1998 national title. He also led the Vols to SEC titles in 1997-98 and won the SEC East in four times (1997, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007).

Tennessee will host its annual spring game on Saturday at noon at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.