Terry Fair leaned in and closely monitored the drill as he shouted instructions to the youth players participating at the Legends of Tennessee football camp at Northview Academy. He implored those drilling at his station to finish their rep hard.
Fair was among several former Vols whom camp director Jabari Davis gathered to help instruct a three-day camp that drew nearly 100 participants. Fair enjoyed the chance to catch up with other former Vols and embraced the opportunity to impart some knowledge to the camp’s attendees.
“This is fun, especially when you work with little kids,” Fair said. “You get to come out here and there’s a level of energy with these kids and an excitement. You’re trying to teach, but you don’t want to overdo it with them. You want it to be fun, but you also want them to be able to take a piece of what you taught and hopefully apply it in their (youth leagues).”
Fair isn’t fretting about his professional future after he was fired from coach Jeremy Pruitt’s staff in February after one season as Tennessee’s cornerbacks coach.
Fair was under contract at UT through Jan. 31, 2020, and was due a buyout of about $244,000.
Parting with Fair was part of Pruitt’s offseason staff restructuring. Three assistants from last year’s staff did not return this season. Pruitt replaced Fair with Derrick Ansley, who became UT's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. As part of the restructuring, Pruitt subtracted a defensive assistant and added one to the offensive side.
UT now has one fewer assistant working with defensive backs. The job last year was split between Fair and safeties coach Charles Kelly, who departed in January for a spot on Alabama’s staff. Pruitt, though, played safety in college and works closely with the defensive backs.
Fair said he harbors no ill will toward Tennessee, where he was an All-SEC cornerback as a junior and senior during the 1996 and ’97 seasons. Before his season as a Tennessee assistant, Fair coached defensive backs for three seasons at Colorado State.
“I’m secure with myself and who I am and what I can do in my abilities as a coach and communicator and mentor,” Fair said. “There it is. There’s no hard feelings toward me and the University of Tennessee. I’m going to always be a Vol no matter what.”
Fair expects he probably won’t coach in 2019. He’s evaluating his options while enjoying his time in Knoxville with his wife and children.
“Right now, just taking it easy, living life, enjoying my family and just enjoying life right now, and enjoying the heck out of it,” Fair said. “We’ll see when the time comes what I want to do. I had several opportunities to go different places already, but right now, the place that I need to be is at home with my family.”