University of Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame member, Arthur L. “Bud” Fields Jr., passed away Friday, April 10. He was 87.
"Bud Fields championed the sport of volleyball and played a key role in bringing it to the University of Tennessee," Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Women Administrator Angie Boyd Keck said. "I've heard many stories over the years about how much the students he coached and influenced loved him. He created a very meaningful legacy, and Tennessee Athletics sends its condolences to his family and all those he impacted."
Fields was one of the founders of Tennessee volleyball.
In 1967, he started the men’s club volleyball team. Fields also took the position of head coach for the women’s team when they became an NCAA varsity program at Tennessee almost 10 years later. He coached the Lady Vols in 1977 and 1978.
In his first year as a head coach, the Lady Vols finished in first place in the state and fourth in Region II. In the next season, Fields’ team finished 20-14-3, while placing second in the state.
Fields also led many successful efforts to bring several United States Volleyball Association tournaments to Knoxville.
Current Lady Vol outside hitter, Lily Felts, shared her thoughts on Fields’ passing via Twitter.
“One of the most influential volleyball minds I ever had the pleasure of knowing,” Felts said. “Having this man as a mentor and essentially a grandfather made me a better player and overall human. Bud’s legacy is one that I’ll remember for a lifetime. You’ll be missed, Bud.”
Fields won the Frier Award from the USVBA in 1997. The Frier Award is the organization’s top honor bestowed on an individual for lifetime achievements.
In 2000, Fields was selected by USA Volleyball for its Kennedy/Johnson Heritage Award, which is given to individuals and organizations for their contributions to the planning, collection, storage, retrieval and management of volleyball archival materials and documents. Fields also spent time as an official photographer for USA Volleyball.
In 2003, Fields was enshrined in the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame and the YMCA Hall of Fame.