The University of Tennessee community is mourning the loss of the irrepressible Haywood Harris, a fixture in the school’s athletics department for five decades. Harris worked in the sports information office and teamed with Gus Manning to do a pre-game show called the Locker Room on the Vol Network that was as much a tradition as the Vol Walk or running through the T.
Harris was hired as Sports Information Director in 1961 by legendary Vol coach Gen. Robert Neyland. Harris died last week at the age of 80 and was buried Sunday. He had suffered a stroke last fall.
Leavening the loss for friends and fans is sharing Haywood stories.
About three weeks before he died, a group went to visit Harris in the hospital. They spent the afternoon talking, laughing, telling stories as was often the case when spending time with Harris. But they finally just had to go.
As they were leaving Harris said, “You boys come back sometime when you can’t stay as long.”