Tennessee has hired Turnkey Sports and Entertainment to assist in its search for a new athletic director, according to a statement released Friday.
Turnkey will work with new chancellor Beverly Davenport and a search committee organized by the school. Davenport begins at Tennessee on Feb. 15. However, the firm could begin gathering applications and interviewing potential candidates as early as next week. Retiring AD Dave Hart will step down June 30.
“I’m looking for a leader with a proven track record of success on and off the field,” Davenport said in a statement, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “I will hire someone who is committed to maintaining the integrity of our program and is dedicated to the success of all of our student-athletes and all of the management of our nationally recognized athletic programs.”
Former Tennessee QB Peyton Manning will have a seat on the committee. Raja Jubran, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, will chair the committee.
The committee also includes university trustee Charlie Anderson, Tennessee’s SEC and NCAA faculty representative Donald Bruce, alumnus and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, and senior associate AD Donna Thomas.
Former Vols football coach Phillip Fulmer is reportedly a candidate for the job. Fulmer reportedly has interest in the position, though reports that a deal with Fulmer was “all but done” appear to be untrue.