Despite earlier reports that Tennessee had already settled on its next athletic director, the school announced Wednesday that it is working toward hiring a search firm to aid in filling the position.
The school has not hired a firm yet. University spokesperson Karen Ann Simsen said the school is currently going through that process, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel’s Rhiannon Potkey.
“The university is in the middle of the procurement process to hire a firm to assist with the search for the athletic director,” Simsen said. “We are hoping to wrap up the process soon.”
Simsen said the school will provide a timeline for the AD search after the firm is hired. The university has said new chancellor Beverly Davenport will be leading the search, but she does not start in Knoxville until Feb. 15.
Reports earlier this week indicated the Vols would be hiring former head football coach Phillip Fulmer as AD, and that a deal was “all but done.” SEC Country’s Mike Griffith reported there is interest on Fulmer’s part. But later reports indicated the school would probably not make a hire until later in the spring.
Many have called for Tennessee to hire Chattanooga AD David Blackburn, who used to work in the Vols’ athletic department. However, Griffith reported this week that Blackburn “has yet to be formally contacted.”
Current Tennessee AD Dave Hart announced in August that he would be retiring. His final day of work is set for June 30.