KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The University of Tennessee hired John Currie as the new athletic director. The announcement was made 194 days after Dave Hart announced his retirement and 39 days since Tennessee announced it had formed a search committee.
Currie is currently the director of athletics at Kansas State. He has been at the university since May 2009. He will begin duties at the University of Tennessee starting on April 1.
“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.”
During her opening news conference, University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport said she wanted someone who has dealt with issues that came with being an athletics director. Currie was chosen over a varied list of candidates that reportedly included Tennessee-Chattanooga AD David Blackburn and longtime Vols’ football coach Phillip Fulmer, but the search committee landed on Currie because he was reportedly a proven athletics director.
“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.”
K-State received more than $200 million in cash contributions for athletics during Currie’s time at the university. He led ticket initiatives that led to 36 football games to be sold out. The Wildcats won nine NCAA individual titles and 50 Big 12 titles
Currie served as the chair of the Big 12 ADs in 2013-2014, and was awarded the 2013 Bobby Dodd AD and 2013 UnderArmour AD of the Year awards . He is a member of the NCAA Division I Administrative Cabinet. He was one of two athletic directors to be on the 2011 SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 list.
From 1997-2008 Currie was the executive associate athletics director at the University of Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Wake Forest in 1993 before a master’s degree in sports management from Tennessee in 2003.