KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Big Orange Caravan made its way onto UT’s campus for stop number 3 around Tennessee to give coaches Josh Heupel, Kellie Harper, and Rick Barnes a chance to meet and chat with fans while also providing a look inside their programs.

“Everywhere we’ve gone, it’s been fun,” Tennessee’s head basketball coach, Rick Barnes said. “We just want to let our fans know how much they mean to us,” he said.

“They’re (fans) strong, they’re passionate and they love this program through thick and thin,” Lady Vols head basketball coach, Kellie Harper said. “I think our fans understand they are a big part of what we do here.”

Holding this event allowed the coaches to thank fans for their support.

“Thank you (fans) for investing in our program, believing in us as we first started this endeavor together when I first got here,” Tennessee head football coach, Josh Heupel said.

Josh Heupel, the head football coach at the University of Tennessee, shares what he would write in a letter to Vol fans.

Fans were excited to meet the ones continuing to shape Tennessee athletics for the better.

I think it’s the best to be a Volunteer fan,” Jessica Perez, a Vol fan said.

“We really appreciate the coaches spending their time to greet the fans and giving us autographs, and the meet and greet has been awesome,” another fan, Stacy Knight said.

This was my first time ever coming to an event like this,” Scott Steadman, who has been a Vol fan his whole life said. “I remember when I was a kid, growing up in Kingsport, Tennessee, on Sunday mornings, getting up and watching the Doug Dicky Show, that’s how long I’ve been a Vol fan,” Steadman said.

He isn’t the only fan who grew up watching the Vols, like many others, Kimberly Ball has the color orange running through her veins.

“I remember watching the games in my daddy’s lap when I was about three years old, and I’ve been a fan ever since,” Ball said. “I have an orange Jeep Wrangler with a checkerboard grill because that’s my vehicle just for the Vol games,” she said.

Regardless of how dedicated the fans were at the event, everyone left even more excited for another year filled with orange and white. For more on the upcoming season and to follow any sports updates, visit WATE’s sports page.