Tennessee released a statement on its search for an athletic director Wednesday night, contradicting earlier reports that a hire might be coming soon.
A Tennessee spokeswoman said Wednesday that the university is “in the middle” of finding a firm to aid in the search. That seemed to go against previous reports that a deal between the school and former football coach Phillip Fulmer was “all but done.”
The university’s new statement says new chancellor Beverly Davenport will be the one making the hire. Davenport doesn’t start at Tennessee until Feb. 15. A hire is not expected to be made until after her arrival and the hiring of the search firm.
Another report this week estimated a hire would not be made until at least March, and probably not until April or May.
This is the full statement from the university, published by the Knoxville News-Sentinel:
“Dr. Davenport arrives on Feb. 15 to begin serving as UT Knoxville’s chancellor. She has said that filling the AD position is one of her top priorities.
The athletic director serves as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet. Dr. Davenport has emphasized the importance of finding the best person for this key role.
The university is in the midst of a procurement process to hire a search firm to assist with the search.
Once that process concludes, UT will release information about the firm that is selected.
At that time, the campus will also announce the members of the search committee and provide a tentative schedule for the search process.
We hope to announce these details soon.
From there the search committee and the firm will begin working together to begin the national search.
Dave Hart continues to serve as the Athletic Director for the UT Knoxville campus. His retirement date is June 30, 2017.”