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Newport ‘Everywhere You Look, UT’ Mural Symbolizes UT’s Strong Presence in Cocke County

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Cocke County barn before EYL mural paint

NEWPORT — Eddie Cota grew up with the University of Tennessee orange as a part of his life. Soon, it will be a part of his building in Newport as part of the latest “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural.

Cota removed the siding from a 60-foot outside wall on his new Aire Serv. office building in Newport to make way for the mural. Now, the structure proudly displays “Everywhere You Look, UT,” making Cocke County the 53rd to join the statewide campaign.

Originally from Kingsport, Cota says he grew up with “UT orange everywhere.” While he didn’t attend any of the UT campuses, he has family members who attended UT Knoxville and says he’s always found himself surrounded by fellow UTK athletics fans.

“Most everybody you know that lives in the state are fans of UT,” Cota said.

Cota now lives in Seymour, where he opened Cota’s Comfort Heating and Cooling as a family-owned and operated business in 2010. In 2019, he transitioned the company into an Aire Serv. franchise.

One day, while watching the news, Cota saw a segment featuring the mural campaign.

“As I was watching, I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool,’” Cota said. “After the news, I searched around on the Internet looking at the different ones all over the state of Tennessee, and I saw that they didn’t have one in Cocke County.”

Shortly before seeing the news broadcast, Cota purchased the building in Newport to establish an Aire Serv. satellite office. He thought the building would be a great addition to the campaign given it faces U.S. Route 321 and U.S. Route 25 and sees an estimated 6,516 passersby every day.

“It offers a little more advertising for us — getting people to look at the building — and UT’s such a great school,” Cota said.

Cocke County Mayor Rob Mathis (Knoxville ’97) considers himself a lifelong UT fan like Cota.

Mathis, who served on the UT National Alumni Association Board of Governors and is currently a leadership development coach in the Haslam Professional MBA program, finds the addition of

an “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural in Cocke County especially meaningful because of his personal connections to the University.

“Cocke County is Volunteer Country,” Mathis said. “We bleed orange here. Needless to say, we are excited to see this mural going up in our community. It is a wonderful symbol of our partnership with the University of Tennessee and the strong presence the University has in our community. We are a county on the rise and are grateful to have such a great teammate at our side. When we all work together, great things happen.”

The newest mural in Newport, painted by muralist Curtis Glover, marks county number 53 of the “Everywhere You Look, UT” campaign. This campaign aims to paint a mural in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties by 2030. Since its launch in 2018, the campaign has created 57 total murals across the state. The University covers the cost of the first mural in each county.

To learn more about the “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural in Cocke County or to submit a location for consideration, visit the campaign website.

The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Pulaski, Martin and Memphis; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 58,000 students statewide; produces about 13,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 445,000 alumni around the world.


Ellie Dougherty
505 Summer Place, UT Tower, Knoxville, TN 37902

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Category: Announcements