WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Passion can be a powerful force, and the Tennessee fan base can be very heated about the Lady Vols logo and name.
New Tennessee athletic director John Currie knows all about the passion surrounding the Lady Vols moniker and he’s hearing the pros and cons of bringing it back for all women sports.
“What we’ve done, is a lot of listening,” Currie said at the Big Orange Caravan stop in Nashville Monday. “Listening to all different perspectives on that tradition and history. Certainly, I understand and embrace what that history and Tennessee’s position in being a leader in women’s athletics has meant.”
Former Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart did away with the Lady Vols moniker for all women’s sports except basketball in July 2015. Hart cited the new merchandising deal with Nike as a reason for dropping the name in 2014.
Currie hasn’t spoken much about the issue in his first 100 days as the athletic director, but he assures the examination process will continue.
“That’s been a very interesting process,” Currie said. “I’ve learned a lot from a lot of different perspectives, and one of the things I’ve learned is that I have a lot more listening to do.”
Currie has pushed the idea of a unified fan base and athletic department since he began the job. He hopes the big turnouts at the Big Orange Caravan stops can help bring Vol fans back together on all issues.
“We wanted to get back to our roots as far as why we do this and why we do the caravan is because of the connectivity with our fans,” Currie said. “We’ve had the best attendance we’ve had in years in Chattanooga and Memphis. [Monday’s] deal is completely sold out, I think we are closing in on 800-or-900 people [Tuesday] night in the Tri-cities.”