Tennessee AD search might take longer than expected

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By Jimmy Hyams

Tennessee’s search for an athletic director to replace Dave Hart might take longer than anticipated.

We reported last month that UT wouldn’t hire an athletic director until at least February, according to multiple sources.

Raja Jubran, vice-chairman of the UT Board of Trustees, told SportsRadio WNML it might be later than that.

“Hopefully we will get someone on board one or two months before Dave Hart retires (June 30),’’ Jubran said Tuesday. “It could be April or May.’’

Jubran said it was important to get input from incoming chancellor Dr. Beverly Davenport, who assumes her UT duties Feb. 15.

Jubran said he anticipates UT putting together a search committee to find a new athletic director and hiring a search firm.

Jubran said he would serve on the search committee if asked.

Tennessee has been in the process of formulating a search committee for weeks and at least one prominent donor has declined an invitation.

How many people will be on the search committee is unknown.

Jubran said he has not yet put together a check list of what he’d like to see in a new athletic director, but he would if named to the search committee.

But Jubran did say: “We need a high caliber athletic director, someone who can match all the good things Dave Hart did.’’

Jubran pointed to UT’s financial status as well as the hiring of football coach Butch Jones and men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes as positives under Hart.

Among the potential candidates: UT-Chattanooga AD David Blackburn, UT associate AD Jon Gilbert, Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock, Arizona AD Greg Byrne, Cincinnati AD Mike Bohn.

Bohn has been AD at Cincinnati (2014-present), Colorado (2005-13), San Diego State (2003-2013) and Idaho (199-2003).


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