Former Vol QB Ainge launches football academy

Knoxville--(WVLT-TV), Former University of Tennessee and New York Jets Quarterback Erik Ainge has moved back to Knoxville and established The Ainge Academy. Erik’s drive to make a difference in East Tennessee youth in football and life alike has come to fruition.

The Ainge Academy is a unique concept. Erik combines his experience as starting quarterback on a high-profile Division One football program with his knowledge of the game as well as his tutelage under former Tennessee Coach Philip Fulmer, Duke University’s Coach David Cutcliffe, Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets, Brett Favre and many others.

His success on the field and unique life experience, both the good and the bad, has helped him in creating the Ainge Academy.
“Anyone can teach football fundamentals, but not everyone has the unique ability to combine life experience and football experience, from high school to the NFL, to show student athletes how to be a successful and disciplined athlete. The pressures that our student athletes are facing today are stronger than ever, and our kids need strong role models. That’s the position I’ve been called to play now,” says Ainge.

“Erik Ainge is a great human spirit. His story of what he’s been through speaks volumes of his character. I am lucky to know a friend as good as him. Erik is truly a student of the game and on top of that, he had by far the strongest arm of ANY quarterback I’ve played with.” – Arian Foster; University of Tennessee 2005-2008; Houston Texans 2009 -.

Erik made his share of mistakes off the field, faced his personal issues head-on and has now come through on the other side. At the Ainge Academy, Erik is leading the charge in positive mentoring, accountability and work ethic.
“During Erik’s time with the Jets he helped me immensely in learning the playbook and football philosophy. He was a great teammate and an even better friend. Erik is a perfect example of how to face adversity head on and beat it. I would be honored to let him train and mentor my own children.” – Dustin Keller, New York Jets Tight End 2008-2012.

“We live in a public, social media-infused world. I work with my students to provide them the tools they need to be a success both on and off the field. I’m very honest with my athletes about my experiences, and I’m not afraid to be honest with them about their individual abilities and challenges,” says Ainge. “My job is to be a partner with parents and coaches in supporting these athletes.”

The Ainge Academy trains its student athletes at Johnny Long’s Training Academy at 2598 Willow Point Way, just off of Hardin Valley Road in Knoxville ( Registration information is available at, or by email at