Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer, Miami football coach Manny Diaz isolate after testing positive for virus

Former Tennessee coach and current athletic director Phillip Fulmer, left, talks with former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier before a football game between Florida and Tennessee on Sept. 21, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP file photo)

Tennessee athletic director and former Volunteers football coach Phillip Fulmer said Friday he is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. And Miami’s Manny Diaz became the latest active coach to announce he has contracted the virus.

Fulmer, 70, posted on Twitter that he is “feeling fine” and was deemed not to have been in close contact with any Tennessee athletes or “sport-specific staff members.”

Tennessee plays at No. 23 Auburn today.

Fulmer is a College Football Hall of Famer who coached the Vols for 17 years and won a national championship in 1998. He has been Tennessee’s AD since 2017.

Diaz made a similar social media post earlier to announce he tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating. Diaz, 46, said he will work virtually with the No. 12 Hurricanes until he can return to the field.

Tennessee athletic director and former Volunteers head football coach Phillip Fulmer introduces new football coach Jeremy Pruitt during the first half of a college basketball game played Dec. 9, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP file photo)

Miami is not scheduled to play again until Dec. 5 at Wake Forest. The Hurricanes this week were forced to postpone games scheduled for Saturday and Nov. 28 because of coronavirus issues.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am currently in isolation and feeling good overall,” Diaz tweeted.

Diaz was the second coach from a Power Five school to publicly acknowledge testing positive this week, along with Maryland’s Mike Locksley. Locksley’s team, like Diaz’s, had its game today called off against Michigan State because of COVID-19 issues within the program.

As of Friday evening, 17 of the 62 games across major college football had been postponed or canceled. That’s the most disrupted games in any week of this season, one more than last week.

The latest addition was Washington State’s game at Stanford, which got canceled before the Cougars left for the Bay Area. The Cougars fell below the Pac-12 minimum of 53 scholarship players available due to positive coronavirus cases and contact tracing.

“I’m disappointed for our team and our players. They have battled through so much this year,” Washington State coach Nick Rolovich said in a statement.

Among the other active coaches to have said they tested positive for COVID-19 are: Florida’s Dan Mullen, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin, Kansas’ Les Miles, and Troy’s Chip Lindsey, who will not be with his team when the Trojans play Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

Alabama coach Nick Saban also tested positive, but did not miss a game after that result was later deemed false.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pittsburgh said its players will be outfitted with face coverings to use on the field and sideline during today’s home game against Virginia Tech, in accordance with recent guidelines handed down by state officials in Pennsylvania.


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