Larry Seivers reflects on family, Tennessee football

·3 min read

Larry Seivers has never met Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel, but the two may cross paths soon.

Heupel and Seivers are both on the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Seivers, a native of Clinton, Tennessee, was a two-time All-America wide receiver for the Volunteers from 1974-76. He played for head coach Bill Battle.

The former Vol recorded 117 receptions, 1,924 receiving yards and eight touchdowns during his Tennessee career.

Seivers told Vols Wire he still follows the Vols from afar.

“I’m not over there that much, but it’s nice to be a part of something that brings so much joy to so many people,” Seivers said. “A lot of things have changed and I haven’t met the new head coach or the new athletic director (Danny White).

“We’ve had like six head coaches since I was there. We’ve had (Johnny) Majors, (Phillip) Fulmer, (Lane) Kiffin, (Derek) Dooley, Butch (Jones), (Jeremy) Pruitt (and now Heupel).”

Tennessee Lady Vols’ softball head coach Karen Weekly. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

Seivers continues to follow and support the Vols on the gridiron and hardwood.

In addition to football and basketball, he holds season tickets for Lady Vols’ softball and is friends with head coach Karen Weekly and her husband, Ralph Weekly, who served as co-head coach until 2021.

“I’m friends with the Weekly’s, and that’s probably the biggest thing,” Seivers said. “There’s a lot of good things going on. I have season tickets for softball, (men’s) basketball and football.

“Coach (Rick) Barnes is doing great things with basketball and he is just a first-class person. I support everybody at UT. After I see what the baseball team has done, I’d support them, but you just can’t get tickets.”

Seivers handled Tennessee’s baseball loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament Knoxville Super Regional hard.

“Man, the last game, I was depressed for two days,” he said.

Tennessee Vols’ baseball head coach Tony Vitello. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

College football has changed and Seivers said student-athletes receive more exposure than they did during his playing days.

“Back in our day, you were only on TV twice a year,” he said. “You were on once regionally and once nationally. Now, those guys get a lot more exposure.”

While Seivers recalls his days with the Vols fondly, he also has other important elements in his life.

Seivers mentioned he is blessed to be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot because “it brings accolades to the university and it’s neat to be associated with football.”

Seivers understands he was part of something special with the Vols, but his family is a top priority.

“It’s okay, but I’m a father and a grandfather,” he said. “It is nice to be talked about and remembered for something that generates pleasure and interest for so many people.”

Larry Seivers at the University of Tennessee on Aug. 28, 1976. © News Sentinel Archive

Seivers, while not as visible as some former Vols, did make a public appearance for charity June 17. He was a celebrity cornhole player at Game On Against Cancer.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the Thompson Cancer Survival Center and allows fans to play games against former Vols and local media personalities.

Seivers was drafted by Seattle in the fourth round of the 1977 NFL draft and later traded to Tampa Bay.

Former Vols Willie Gault and Eric Berry are also on the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame ballot alongside Seivers and Heupel.