Consider that Tennessee is in its current rebuilding position largely because Sexton clients — Fulmer, Kiffin and Dooley — have all failed to some extent. Hamilton estimates that during those coaching transitions, from Fulmer to Kiffin to Dooley, and now to Butch Jones, the Vols lost 10-12 players to attrition each time.
“That’s gutting a program in the SEC,” Hamilton said.
The Kiffin exit, you’ll recall, was tabloid messy, with Kiffin lasting all of one season in Knoxville before bolting for USC in a move that sent the entire state of Tennessee into an uproar that still hasn’t ended.
Hamilton eventually hired Dooley, at approximately $2 million per year, to replace Kiffin. Three years later, Dooley was gone, too. Tennessee’s program, on Hamilton’s watch, has been set back considerably by missteps that Sexton had a significant role in facilitating.
… Mike Hamilton doesn’t have a harsh buzz about Jimmy Sexton. Quite the contrary.
Hardly. In fact, Hamilton, who first met Sexton 23 years ago as Tennessee’s assistant AD for development, remains close friends with Sexton — who even took the initiative to stage a fundraiser for one of Hamilton’s pet non-profit projects in Hamilton’s home.
“Beautiful evening,” Hamilton said of the Sexton-produced fundraiser.
That explains a lot about both Hamilton and Sexton.