Tennessee To Hire Kansas State AD John Currie To Same Position

The University of Tennessee has hired John Currie to be its new athletic director, the same position he held at Kansas State.

After a long and extensive search, the University of Tennessee has finally found its new athletic director: John Currie. The news was first reported by Jimmy Hyams.

Currie had been in the same position at Kansas State since May 2009, where he oversaw one of the nation’s most fiscally responsible athletic departments and had three teams – football in 2012, men’s basketball in 2013, and baseball in 2013 – bring Big 12 championships back to Manhattan.

Since current athletic director Dave Hart announced his retirement last August that will be effective on June 30, the Volunteers have spent ample time searching for their next leader, interviewing candidates such as North Carolina’s Bubba Cunningham and former head football coach Phillip Fulmer.

Currie is no stranger to Knoxville, as he earned his masters in sports management from Tennessee in 2003 and also served as an assistant athletic director for the Volunteers from 1997-2008.

Currie will take over an athletic department that’s most popular teams – football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball – have struggled over the last few years. With head football coach Butch Jones underperforming and being on the hot seat entering the 2017 season, Currie could quickly face a big decision concerning the future of the football program.

Men’s basketball, in Rick Barnes’ second season in Knoxville, sits at 15-14 (7-9 in the SEC) and is in danger of missing the postseason for the third straight season.

The Lady Volunteers, once a powerhouse in women’s college basketball, has even taken a downturn recently, putting up a record of 22-14 (8-8 SEC) last season and sitting at 19-10 and unranked currently this year.

(UPDATE: University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Currie have issued a statement on the hire.

“We are extremely pleased to announce John as our new vice chancellor and director of athletics,” Davenport said. “This is truly an exciting day for the University of Tennessee and our athletics department. As I said when we began this process, we were looking for the best candidate, and we feel strongly that we have him in John Currie. John exemplifies all the qualities we were seeking in an athletics director. He is a man of high integrity, strong values, a progressive thinker, he fully understands the importance of being compliant in everything we do, and he is a leader who will put the well-being of our student-athletes above everything.

“It is a very exciting time for my family and me as we return to a place that remains very special to us,” Currie said. “We spent 10 years in Knoxville prior to taking the job at K-State, and I appreciate Chancellor Davenport and the University of Tennessee for providing us this special opportunity. As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I know how much UT athletics means to the people in the state, and I look forward to serving all of the Big Orange Nation, its wonderful coaches, staff and student-athletes, for many years to come. We are excited to return to Rocky Top.”)

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