Former Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton received threats, had police protection, moved family out of town last spring

University of Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announces his resignation Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at Neyland Stadium. His departure comes in the wake of an NCAA investigation into alleged wrongdoing by UT athletics. Hamilton, who succeeded Doug Dickey as men's athletic director on July 1, 2003, received a $1.335 million buyout.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announces his resignation Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at Neyland Stadium. His departure comes in the wake of an NCAA investigation into alleged wrongdoing by UT athletics. Hamilton, who succeeded Doug Dickey as men's athletic director on July 1, 2003, received a $1.335 million buyout.

Former University of Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton was in Chattanooga on Thursday to promote awareness for his new venture as president of U.S. Operations for Nashville-based charity Blood:Water Mission, a nonprofit organization that addresses the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.

Hamilton and his wife have five adopted children, three from Africa, so he described his new job as a labor of love as he spoke to a gathering of Boyd-Buchanan School alumni, faculty and parents.

While in town, Hamilton, who spent the last eight of his 19 years at UT as AD, took time to answer questions from the Times Free Press.

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Comments » 83

heyitsme writes:

The Fulmer family was upset evidently...

BuckFama writes:

His family should not have suffered for the fact that he was a terrible AD. And he was a terrible AD.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Every popular element - sports-related or not - has its lunatic fringe.

Rarely is it representative of the masses.

OrangeForLife writes:

in response to Fall_Creek_Vols:

Every popular element - sports-related or not - has its lunatic fringe.

Rarely is it representative of the masses.

Very well said. Love UT Sports. But people should get a LIFE.

OldVols68 writes:

Nobody deserves some of the treatment that so-called UT fans try to dish out. I did not like the job he did, but...

The better one that UT fans were responsible for was running Bill Battle out of coaching. But he did ok for himself in the end. Sometimes I am ashamed to be a Tennessee fan.

Caneoverthere writes:

Horrible

dkta writes:

Wonder how long it will take him to mess that organization up.

MGVOL22 writes:

It's the people who cannot reality vs. fandom....Example, Kyle Williams receiving death threats....I mean seriously, great you say M.Hamilton did a horrible job, do these people ever look in the mirror and ask themselves how they are on THEIR job?

Just makes me sick, you can say he did a horrible job as an AD, but as a person M.Hamilton is a great person and does a lot for his family and the community. I am a Vol fan thru and thru, Vol Alumni 02', Vol letterman, etc....

I would bet they (whoever they are) can't even answer the question, "Why exactly do you want to kill him and/or his family?"

RoadTrip writes:

Sports are games, people. Get a grip.

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

Massive criticism for the downfall of the athletic department...YES. Death threats...C'mon now.

Bigger_Al writes:

In retrospect, he really screwed up Football. Worst thing he did in Basketball was sabotage the team right before the NCAA tournament tipped off.

GerryOP writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

In retrospect, he really screwed up Football. Worst thing he did in Basketball was sabotage the team right before the NCAA tournament tipped off.

Don't let facts and reality get in the way of your ignorant opinion.

arkyvol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

sixstringmadness writes:

You know, passion for your team is one thing, but to hassle a man in such a way that he has to fear for his family is just an embarrassment to me as a Volunteer fan. From Randy Sanders to Mike Hamilton and those in-between, even the despicable Kiffen disaster, these men at the end of the day are employees doing a job for a paycheck.

It's disturbing to think that this is now the world we live in.

I'll say this, these men are bigger men than I, because if I had to fear for my family's safety because a few idiots didn't like the way I was performing in my job, I'm not so sure I could handle it as quietly or professionally as these men did.

jopad writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Sports are games, people. Get a grip.

I totally agree RT! Mike Hamilton may not have been the most effective AD UT has had but from all I hear he is a "good" person. Threatening him, his wife, or children shows how games have become more important to some people than things in life which matter. He may have become an example of the PETER PRINCIPLE but that doesn't diminish the fact he is making a contribution to the lives of people who need help. I wonder if those making threats and those still continuing to critize him on this site can say the same or if their life finds meaning in who wins games? Games are way down on the list of important priorities in life.

volboy81 writes:

wow! no one deserves to have their family threatened due to their job! Hamilton did one heinous job as AD of UT but thats going way too far. People who do things like that cant be in their right mind!

AllforTenn writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is the most stupid remark yet. You are the stupid one. But of course you don't realize that!

SIMSVOL writes:

in response to BuckFama:

His family should not have suffered for the fact that he was a terrible AD. And he was a terrible AD.

Idiots like you just don't have a clue. Hamilton hired some great coaches at Tennesse -including Pearl, Kiffin, Dooley and Martin. I dislike Kiffin as much as anyone, but he can coach and will have USC at the top this season. Not Hamilton's fault Kiffin bolted. Not his fault Pearl lied. He brought great coaching talent to UT, developed an unprecedented fundraising program, and brought world class sports facilities to the campus. Go VOLS! The threats to his family were made by some ignoramus who's as clueless as you. Go VOLS!

hcjournals#206623 writes:

He thought he was bigger than the game and took our coach away from us. He was limited in scope. He was into playing political games. He turned his back on the best basketball coach we ever had. He let track's great heritage go to Hades. He alienated many. Now he anoints himself daily where he fundraises to pads his enormous salary and hides it under a non profit stays. He points to his 5 adopted kids every day to justify his position....And his Mercedes. He is a weasel....

BigBadVol writes:

I thought MH did a good job at UT. Did he make all the right decisions? NO! But we all make poor decisions at some time in our lives. Thanks for all you gave to UT Mike. VFL!

Colliervol writes:

Every fan base has a redneck, no-clue-about-life segment and I see we have some representatives on here today. If those so-called "fans" had any semblance of a clue about him and his family, they would be embarrassed. (Or maybe they are just clueless about most things that are important hence their miserable existence.) Mike made a few mistakes but folks forget a couple of things:

1) The AD at UT makes NO hires without the blessing of the athletic board (Translation: Unless Haslam and Thornton want it, it ain't happening. Some of you need to understand that if those two had wanted Fulmer to stay, he'd still be there.) Hamilton may have made some recommendations but he wasn't alone in the hires. Hopefully, the board lets Dave Hart have some leeway to do the job.
2) The Kiffin hire was the worst problem but there was no way to predict him leaving within 13 months. His leaving was probably a blessing as we would have gotten worse punishment from the NCAA if he had been here. If there was one thing I fault Hamilton for during that time, it was lack of oversight of Lame's "activities". He was like an immature child that should have been monitored more closely.
3) Hamilton raised more money that any AD in UT history and was #1 in the nation I believe in increase while he was in the position. And, at the end of the day, that is the main job of an AD these days. Shake hands and raise money. And he did an outstanding job of that.

Bottom line- It was best for UT that Mike stepped down and it was best for Mike and his family that he moved on. I wish him well.

Colliervol writes:

Another hint that these so-called "journalists" are having trouble finding things to write about. In addition to Majors and Fulmer, we can expect articles about Mike Hamilton every 6 months or so just to get the post count up.

jopad writes:

in response to hcjournals#206623:

He thought he was bigger than the game and took our coach away from us. He was limited in scope. He was into playing political games. He turned his back on the best basketball coach we ever had. He let track's great heritage go to Hades. He alienated many. Now he anoints himself daily where he fundraises to pads his enormous salary and hides it under a non profit stays. He points to his 5 adopted kids every day to justify his position....And his Mercedes. He is a weasel....

Never before have I called anyone posting, a derogatory name but, you sir are a Moron.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to Fall_Creek_Vols:

Every popular element - sports-related or not - has its lunatic fringe.

Rarely is it representative of the masses.

But even one loon is one too many. But it is clear from reading these ocmments, we have way too many.

mrvol2u writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Say lunatics and they appear!

Mike Hamilton's fate was sealed the minute he was ordered to fire Fulmer.

rtrchatt writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Alabama legend Forrest Gump was speaking of you when he said "stupid is as stupid does."

BigBadVol writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see: pot meet kettle. I bet you think Obama is intelligent. Typical liberal. Stupid and uninformed.

torchbearer writes:

I'm going to simplify some of your comments so the idiots who are dumb enough to make death threats over football can understand them....

Hamilton is good person and good AD
Fulmer is good person and good coach
Kiffin is a bad person and shady coach (was an error by Hammy to hire him)
UT's decline is complex and involved all 3
If Kiffin had stayed, we would be a top 10 team this year with probation coming in 5. If Fulmer would have stayed we would be top 20 this year with no probation looming. Fulmer ultimately failed due to his loyalty to the assistants. If Fulmer had the assistants that Dooley has had or let go, he would have us as a top 10 team. Hammy caught a falling javelin. He is the scape goat, but did not run the program into the ground.

Now he is battling something that will make his life legacy mean more...AIDS and lack of water.

All of you who dislike Hammy, Fulmer, Dooley etc. can stick your head in your rear and fart. Kiffin is the only one of these guys who did not "give his all to Tennessee".

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And that guy got elected President of the United States !

eb502us#225637 writes:

Hamilton wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed but I agree with him on Kiffen and believe if he stayed things would be 100% better on the field, not necessarily off it with Kiffen's mouth.

Who negotiates a contract that allows a first yr. coach to leave without major financial implications that would make it impossible for any university to consider him.

Between this and the way he handled the Fulmer and Pearl situation, he deserved to get canned.

underthehill writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Every fan base has a redneck, no-clue-about-life segment and I see we have some representatives on here today. If those so-called "fans" had any semblance of a clue about him and his family, they would be embarrassed. (Or maybe they are just clueless about most things that are important hence their miserable existence.) Mike made a few mistakes but folks forget a couple of things:

1) The AD at UT makes NO hires without the blessing of the athletic board (Translation: Unless Haslam and Thornton want it, it ain't happening. Some of you need to understand that if those two had wanted Fulmer to stay, he'd still be there.) Hamilton may have made some recommendations but he wasn't alone in the hires. Hopefully, the board lets Dave Hart have some leeway to do the job.
2) The Kiffin hire was the worst problem but there was no way to predict him leaving within 13 months. His leaving was probably a blessing as we would have gotten worse punishment from the NCAA if he had been here. If there was one thing I fault Hamilton for during that time, it was lack of oversight of Lame's "activities". He was like an immature child that should have been monitored more closely.
3) Hamilton raised more money that any AD in UT history and was #1 in the nation I believe in increase while he was in the position. And, at the end of the day, that is the main job of an AD these days. Shake hands and raise money. And he did an outstanding job of that.

Bottom line- It was best for UT that Mike stepped down and it was best for Mike and his family that he moved on. I wish him well.

Your point #1 is one most overlooked by critics..the AD in fact does not hire or fire at his own decretion..how anyone can be stupid enough to think otherwise reflects a total ignorance as to how business works..
and further more..any man and wife willing to adopt 5 children are wonderful people..personal remarks against this man say more about you than him..

Digital5000 writes:

class class class vol fans.

Although I've always said if I ever saw Mike Hamilton or Bud Adams I'd run up to them and kick them in the nuts. (Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn't; hard to say)

-Enjoy Yoselves

reedjeffben writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You really need to get a life. What a totally idiotic comparison!

madrigal writes:

I didn't like Hamilton any more than a lot of people did and I was very glad to see the south end of him going north...or in this case, the north end of him going south...but making threats is stupid and cruel and I am ashamed of the idiot so-called "fans" who do stuff like that.

I see Hamilton is still trying to justify himself about L*** K*****, and about the way he behaved in the Pearl affair. That does not surprise me. I don't think he can ever admit he was wrong about anything.

volman444 writes:

glad he is long gone. don't forget the terrible hire in baseball. death threats are over the top. i will run into him again one day and gladly inform him how he almost ruined our sports department. he was given good advice in the heat of battle and made poor decisons.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Tennessee fans have been all over Alabama fans for being classless the last couple weeks.

This is abhorrent behavior and is why Tennessee fans are lumped in the same group. Obviously it isn't everyone or the majority in either case, BUT WOW!

Alt_news (Inactive) writes:

Bill Battle never moved when he received threats. I also suspect that Fulmer received plenty of threats in 2005, 2007 and he didn't run away.

I wonder who takes Mike's lunch money away from him in Nashville? I promise you someone is.

Mike never had a backbone. I knew it from the day I met him when Mitch Barnhart brought him to town

Heck, Mike hire a girl to be the one to give people bad news in the department (Francious)because he was a chicken.

volnsc writes:

The last three years Fulmer was coaching, the vast majority of fans were calling for his scalp. Hamilton finally gave it to them. It was a sad day but one that in all truth probably needed to be made. Kiffen ws hired and everyone went ape especially when he became the most brash voice in the SEC. He recruited like a beast. His dream job became available and he took it like 100% of the fans would have done. The anger of his leaving was that fans realized what they were losing. They loved him until he left for his dream job. Bruce was an unbelievable hire by Mike. A man that quidkly went orange like no other. Other teams did indeed fear the Vol ballers. Bruce let his ego get the best of him. I'd hire him in a New York minute. I don't blame Mike for this. The hiring of Dooley was questionable but everyone in the country had turned the job down. He may yet prove to be a good hire. So, bottom line, Mike was one of the best ADs in the history of UT that had a great run that unfortunately didn't end well. When Bruce and Pat were doing their thing, Phil was winning, the stars were alined in bright orange. Things change but Mike Hamilton was not the fault of the universe coming apart. Blame Les Miles, Saban, Spurrier, and Patrino. It's gonna take a lot of work to get it back and I hope the journey is as exciting as it was when Dickey, Majors, Fulmer, Devoe and others created winners.

keithgibson writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow, seriously? The man’s family was threatened and this is what you post. I suppose you think you are funny, you are not.

underthehill writes:

in response to Alt_news:

Bill Battle never moved when he received threats. I also suspect that Fulmer received plenty of threats in 2005, 2007 and he didn't run away.

I wonder who takes Mike's lunch money away from him in Nashville? I promise you someone is.

Mike never had a backbone. I knew it from the day I met him when Mitch Barnhart brought him to town

Heck, Mike hire a girl to be the one to give people bad news in the department (Francious)because he was a chicken.

How many children have you adopted. No man adopts five children that has no backbone. I worked in that field and know of what I speak. Most who see children in need express their so called sympathy and would not lift a hand to help. It takes a person of strong character and faith to do what Mike Hamilton and his wife are doing. I don't know you but your backbone is showing through your comment.

mrvol2u writes:

in response to torchbearer:

I'm going to simplify some of your comments so the idiots who are dumb enough to make death threats over football can understand them....

Hamilton is good person and good AD
Fulmer is good person and good coach
Kiffin is a bad person and shady coach (was an error by Hammy to hire him)
UT's decline is complex and involved all 3
If Kiffin had stayed, we would be a top 10 team this year with probation coming in 5. If Fulmer would have stayed we would be top 20 this year with no probation looming. Fulmer ultimately failed due to his loyalty to the assistants. If Fulmer had the assistants that Dooley has had or let go, he would have us as a top 10 team. Hammy caught a falling javelin. He is the scape goat, but did not run the program into the ground.

Now he is battling something that will make his life legacy mean more...AIDS and lack of water.

All of you who dislike Hammy, Fulmer, Dooley etc. can stick your head in your rear and fart. Kiffin is the only one of these guys who did not "give his all to Tennessee".

Clap, clap, clap....! Good post!

knoxville_born writes:

I wonder how many death threats there were, and how legit they appeared. I also wonder how much the police protection cost tax-payers.

knoxville_born writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good point. If the death threats were serious enough to warrant police protection wouldn't you stay out of town, or at least off campus? Did he receive police protection while attending the basketball game?

NashvillePreds writes:

I can't bring myself to feel any sort of pity for Hamilton. I certainly wouldn't make any threats, or other illogical acts myself, but am not surprised he took heat.
Mike, you were an absolute disaster. I thought you were weak when you took the job, but hoped someone whom hired you knew more than I.
Turns out, not only were you are weak, ineffective leader, you were also absolutely incompetent.
I wish you had taken your subsequent job in the Carolinas, and not my city.

etu_vol_fan writes:

He was an excellent fundraiser and did a great job of making our facilities second to none. His hires were suspect and I realize he's not the only one that makes those decisions but it ultimately fell on him. Whether he was a fall guy or not is a matter of opinion. I wish him well in his new endeavors. He is making an impact on humanity now. Good job, sir.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you mean Barack Obama and his "change"; he is too stupid to appreciate how stupid he is.
...

lafollette37766 writes:

I did not care for Mike Hamilton, Athletic Director, Mike Hamilton the fundraiser, was second to none, the man could have raised money in the poor house, but to make threats against him and his family is stupid. There are always some nut jobs out there who get off taking it out on people who are not in a position to do anything about it.

WaVol writes:

That is really sad and despicable. I'm embarrassed and humiliated by these fans who are not worthy to have the title of fan. He should have lost his job, but threats to him personally, and to his family is slimy sleazy and disgusting.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

The Alabama legend Forrest Gump was speaking of you when he said "stupid is as stupid does."

"Stupid is as stupid does", official motto of the Bammer Moron Nation!

Who asked for your opinion? You must be bored; no passed-out schmuck to tea-bag on You Tube, no trees to poison or no one to shoot for wearing an opponents colors?

You could always go to Walmart and fondle that crystal football!

Anything but be here!

abnermc writes:

in response to arkyvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You can best be described by 2 words: Pa Thetic

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