Jimmy Dunn, 82, offensive backfield coach at Tennessee during the Doug Dickey era, has died in Tampa due to complications from hip replacement surgery. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday at 11 at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Jimmy Thomas will represent the Volunteers.
Dunn is survived by Eleanor, his wife of 62 years, and daughter Melanie Dunn and sisters Virginia Fuller (Bill) and Penny Mellon. He was preceded in death by daughter Jana and son Jimmy Jr.
Dunn played four sports at Hillsborough High School and was the best football player in 1955. He earned a scholarship at the University of Florida and was a quarterback, safety and punt returner.
He came with Dickey to Tennessee, coached at Florida and in the USFL and Arena Football leagues. He eventually had enough and returned to Tampa and started a real estate business, Jimmy Dunn & Associates.
Jimmy was inducted into the Hillsborough High football Hall of Fame, the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame, the Florida-Georgia Football Hall of Fame and the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a passionate Gator fan.
Old Vols have fond memories.
“Coach Dunn helped to make us a great team,” said former tackle Jerry Holloway.
The late Bob Woodruff, not exactly an orator, once made a profound statement regarding Dunn’s career with the Gators: “Jimmy Dunn is the best football player, pound for pound, who ever played in the Southeastern Conference.’’
Dunn weighed 147.
“Jimmy was a fun-loving football coach,” said Ray Trail, then the line coach. “He made practice enjoyable for a lot of us. We never talked about his playing career but to survive in the SEC at his size, he had to be very fast – and very smart.”
“Jimmy Dunn was a good coach and a better person,” said quarterback Dewey Warren.
Dunn coached offense for the Vols from 1964-69. The team record was 46-15-4.