UT announced the retirement of Debby Jennings on Wednesday in a three-paragraph release. Jennings, who was the primary media relations contact for Lady Vols basketball for 35 years, was the only media relations director Summitt ever had.
Jennings will be replaced as associate athletic director of media relations by Eric Trainer. He has been at UT for 15 years and has served as the media liaison for track and field and cross country while also coordinating logistics for the Lady Vols’ home basketball games.
“We would like to thank Debby for her service to the University of Tennessee,” UT first-year athletic director Dave Hart said in the release. “She has been a part of our eight national championships in women’s basketball and we wish her well.”
Attempts to reach Jennings were unsuccessful.
Her retirement comes a year after the College Sports Information of Directors of America honored her with the Trailblazer Award, given annually to a pioneer in the profession. Jennings became the third woman to be inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame.
She was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2010. In 1995, she became the first person to win the Mel Greenburg Award for lifelong contributions to women’s basketball.
Bud Ford, who spent 45 years in the sports information office with UT, retired last December.