Roy Kramer

2016 East Tennessean of the Year

The East Tennessee Historical Society was proud to honor Blount County native Roy Kramer as its 2016 East Tennessean of the Year. Kramer’s impact and accomplishments are legendary as the Southeastern Conference Commissioner from 1990 to 2002, where he created the SEC Conference Divisions and a Conference Championship game. He is also known as the father of the NCAA College Football Bowl Championship Series, as well as a gifted speaker and storyteller.

His leadership and impact were also evident in his roles as Vanderbilt University Athletic Director and as Central Michigan University Head Football Coach, where he was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1974. He began his career as a high school teacher and coach, leading three different teams to Michigan High School State Championships. Kramer is a Maryville High School and Maryville College alumnus and holds a masters in history from the University of Michigan.