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Local artist paints over the mural on West End Avenue

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The iconic mural has been on the side of a building on West End at 28th Avenue South since 1992.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Tennessee vs Vanderbilt
Still greeting motorists on West End Avenue for the last six months.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

24 years ago, Nashville artist Michael Cooper painted a mural on the side of what was once, I believe, a store called “You Greek, Me Greek” facing West End Avenue where it meets 28th Avenue South, a block away from Vanderbilt Stadium.

At the time, the mural included the faces of Gerry DiNardo, Eddie Fogler, and Jim Foster. Since then, Tim Corbin has joined the other coaches on the mural, and it’s been continuously updated to reflect coaching changes.

But the mural -- now on the side of a Verizon store — hasn’t been updated since February 2014, after Derek Mason replaced James Franklin as head football coach. That’s a problem since Vanderbilt changed both men’s and women’s basketball coaches in April and May, respectively. People driving down West End Avenue have been seeing Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings on the side of a building for six months.

The problems were covered in a Tennessean article last month. Basically, Vanderbilt doesn’t actually own the building that the mural is painted on and so doesn’t have the power to change it. The artist who paints it charges a fee for his services, and until said fee could be paid, the faces of Kevin Stallings and Melanie Balcomb would continue to greet visitors to the West End.

But that’s finally changing as of today.

I halfway suspect that a reason why it took so long this time around was that Vanderbilt fans weren’t quite as offended by having to see Kevin Stallings’ mug as they were by James Franklin’s mug. That got repainted less than a month later, and as the Tennessean article linked above shows, they actually hung a banner over Franklin’s face until it could be painted over.

(Also, if you want to lose your last meal, you can click through the images in that article and see what it looked like with Woody Widenhofer and Jan van Breda Kolff on it. We’ve come a long way.)

So, with only 23 days left until basketball season tips off, Bryce Drew and Stephanie White will claim their rightful places.