Daedra Charles-Furlow was left out of plans

Holly Warlick didn't tell former assistant

Daedra Charles-Furlow

Daedra Charles-Furlow

Being named West High School's girls basketball coach represents a fresh start for Daedra Charles-Furlow.

The new role also feels like fresh air, given the tumultuous past month for the former Tennessee Lady Vols player and assistant coach.

"It's been a bright spot,'' said Charles-Furlow, whose hiring was announced on Friday. "This is refreshing."

Charles-Furlow, who had spent the past two seasons as the Lady Vols' director of character development, wasn't retained after Pat Summitt stepped down as head coach last month and a staff reorganization ensued. Former associate head coach Holly Warlick became the new head coach. Charles' duties were absorbed largely by Summitt's new role as head coach emeritus.

On April 20 — the day after a press conference detailed the coaching transition — Charles was summoned to the office of athletic director Dave Hart and told that she didn't have a place in the new order.

Charles-Furlow understood that the athletic budget was being cut and that changes were in store. But she didn't understand why Warlick didn't break this news to her. Furthermore, she was irritated by Warlick saying earlier this month that she thought Charles-Furlow "wanted to pursue other opportunities."

"I wish she would've told me,'' Charles-Furlow said. "(Hart) doesn't know me. He doesn't know my history."

Charles-Furlow, one of five former players to have her number retired, returned to UT in 2008 as an assistant coach.

The character development position was created for her after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which compromised her effectiveness as an assistant and the program's recruiting coordinator.

Charles-Furlow said Summitt was instrumental in creating the new position and overseeing that staff overhaul. Since Warlick was head coach, Charles-Furlow thought that Warlick should've taken charge of this change.

"The bottom line is she did apologize to me," Charles-Furlow said. "For that, I'm OK. At least she understands how I felt about it. I have no beef with Holly Warlick."

Charles-Furlow said that she and Warlick eventually met at Long's Drug Store. Charles-Furlow said that they greeted each with a hug and hugged again before departing.

Last month's developments, "hurt my feelings,'' Charles-Furlow said. "But I'm a big girl. I got over it."

The coaching opportunity at West gave her something else to think about. She recalled conversations with former Tennessee men's basketball associate head coach Tony Jones, who became the boys' coach at Alcoa High after losing his job at UT.

Charles asked specifically about the transition and while Jones told her that it was different, he also said: "I love it. It's coaching. It's teaching. It's about life."

Charles' connection to West was Donna Fielden, a retiring assistant principal at the school who has officiated Lady Vols' intrasquad scrimmages. Along with coaching potential, West High athletic director Steve Killian sensed Charles-Furlow's affinity for mentoring.

"She seems to have a genuine heart for young people," Killian said. "Her willingness to have a heart and understanding for young people — wanting them to do well — is what jumps out at me initially.

"Sometimes good athletes don't always make good coaches. They don't always connect with high school athletes who don't have that ability. I think she can teach the game. I feel very comfortable there. She has a kindness and caring nature that seems very genuine. She seems to be a perfect fit for our school and young people."

Charles-Furlow will replace Eddie Gambrell, who's coached the past two seasons. Gambrell left when his teaching position was lost due to a staff reduction, Killian said.

While saying that she still needs a "job job," Charles-Furlow is excited about the opportunity at West. She doesn't have to uproot her family, and she will gain head coaching experience.

"I believe God has a path for me," she said, "and I've got to take this path right now."

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Comments » 60

rockypop writes:

What is a "job job?" Is the head coach of West's women's BB team not a real job?

Vol69 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AllforTenn writes:

in response to Vol69:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Isn't it apparent that Warlick wanted to keep her allotted number of assistants and let Pat also have a position (e.g. Furrow's)?

AllforTenn writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Isn't it apparent that Warlick wanted to keep her allotted number of assistants and let Pat also have a position (e.g. Furrow's)?

I meant Charles-Furlow's "position."

vollaw writes:

in response to rockypop:

What is a "job job?" Is the head coach of West's women's BB team not a real job?

High school coaching posiions are not full-time, at least in pay. They are almost full-time in hours. Her position at West doe not include a teaching positiion and she will only receive a small stipend/supplement for coaching It's not nearly enough to support yourself, much less a family. She needs a "job job" to eat, pay the rent, etc...

voloffaith writes:

in response to TROLLING_IS_FUN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Defamatory in nature as you have an axe to grind...each coach has her own and chose not to retain one...the boo boo was in not telling the coach herself and making Hart the henchman.....How long b4 this user name is banned and you have the joy of being creative again? I hope you had a nice Memorial Day and if you served in our Military THANK YOU and same to all other military personnel!!!

vollaw writes:

Between Daedra and Tony Jones, UT's mistakes are Knox area prep basketball's gain.Kids at Alcoa and West are gtting an opportunity to learn from great teachers/basketball coaches and quality people.

rockypop writes:

in response to vollaw:

High school coaching posiions are not full-time, at least in pay. They are almost full-time in hours. Her position at West doe not include a teaching positiion and she will only receive a small stipend/supplement for coaching It's not nearly enough to support yourself, much less a family. She needs a "job job" to eat, pay the rent, etc...

Thanks for the clarification. Kind of a sorry deal isn't it?

RoadTrip writes:

So the UTAD starts to function like a real business after years of being a private party of good ole boys and girls. Now some of the posters and reporters that were PO's they couldn't join the party are PO'd that everything is out in the open and being cleaned up. Be happy folks, Hart was charged by the powers to be to get the UTAD's fiscal house in order before the ship hit the iceberg instead of after.

tennrich1 writes:

Last month's developments, "hurt my feelings,'' Charles-Furlow said. "But I'm a big girl. I got over it."

So much for character development!

CrankE writes:

So...Warlick passes on the tough job of having to let Daedra Charles-Furlow go and leaves it to Dave Hart to be "the meanie".

That's real class right there, Holly. Brava!

I note also that Furlow's position was CREATED after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and could not continue as an assistant coach. And that her duties are now absorbed by Summitt's new coach emeritus position-which was CREATED after Summitt retired with Alzheimers.

While it sure is nice of UT to CREATE these positions out of thin air for Vols with ailments, it is also expensive. It's a fair question to ask where the money is coming from. Does UT has a spare $50,000 or $1M sitting around? The Golden Parachutes and buyouts at UT are eventually going to come to a halt for lack of money. That which is unsustainable will not be sustained. Ultimately that's a good thing for UT.

underthehill writes:

in response to TROLLING_IS_FUN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Doubt Holly had any say in this matter..just as I doubt Holly had any say in hiring the Ole Miss guy ..

kennypowers writes:

in response to Ears_Whitworth_in_Orange_Pants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why do you complain about everything that happens at the UT? Is every job in the athletic department supposed to be a lifetime position? If there is an issue here, it's the fact that that Holly didn't have this conversation. Other than that, Furlow needs to get over it. People lose their jobs every day and there are not many that are happy about it. Please explain how it is fiscally responsible to combine athletic departments while retaining all existing employees.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

During time outs they had 15 coaches in the huddle , all jabbering at the same time .Its a wonder we won a ball game .

tenn32rebel writes:

in response to underthehill:

Doubt Holly had any say in this matter..just as I doubt Holly had any say in hiring the Ole Miss guy ..

Holly helped recruit and coach Dae as a player. It was not Holly's place to inform Dae of anything. As AD, it was Hart's job because Dae was under his responsibility, not Holly.

It would be wiser, TROLLING, if you just kept your flap shut since nothing good comes out of it. If you think Holly forced out or kicked Dae to the curb, you know nothing about the Lady Vol family.

vollaw writes:

in response to rockypop:

Thanks for the clarification. Kind of a sorry deal isn't it?

You're welcome and yes it is a sorry deal. While major college head coaches make millions, most coaches make a pittance and coach because they love it.

Hoops43 writes:

How is she coaching there without serving as a full time teacher?

Snapshot writes:

in response to kennypowers:

Why do you complain about everything that happens at the UT? Is every job in the athletic department supposed to be a lifetime position? If there is an issue here, it's the fact that that Holly didn't have this conversation. Other than that, Furlow needs to get over it. People lose their jobs every day and there are not many that are happy about it. Please explain how it is fiscally responsible to combine athletic departments while retaining all existing employees.

Because that is what Ears, Sammy or whatever is latest screen name does, he whines. He knows everything, about everything, that goes on at UT. Or so he would like everyone to think.

butch31 writes:

The Dave Hart era has been a H.A.M., Florida State had the same issue LOL! UT will be down until this joker is run out of town!

ps11824 writes:

Sometimes I have to question the posters that claim to know more about the situation at hand than the folks who are actually INVOLVED in those situations. How could that be?

I wish stories like this one would not get published on gvx. It's inviting unfavorable remarks like those of idiotic know-it-all-know-squats. You gotta laugh when you read some troll. You can see them sitting with keypad in hand, like little starving rats waiting for crumbs.

Personally, I envision them stuck in a dark corner on a sticky board with other uninvited bugs.

CarlChilders writes:

So, who do the trolls recommend for AD? Bottom line, there isn't a person in the country they would be happy with.

Classof72 writes:

UT hired for AD an asst. AD who had been fired in his last AD position. What should we expect? Ask FSU.

DroopyDrawers writes:

Dave Hart aka "The Hatchet Man".

rocky_topper writes:

Who honestly gives a rat's a** about hurt feelings in the corporate world?

UT athletics is a job---it isn't a lifetime entitlement!!! The LV staff is so self-absorbed in these entitlements where they have ALL taken care of each other for so long that they don't even know how to look at the big picture.

In four years, I would bet that none of the current staff will be there! They began their descent following 2008, and it will continue until they bring in a well-known head coach who can continue with what Pat has brought to the program. Oh, and it will be led by the Athletic Director and not the coach. Get used to it! This is how it works!

volinlm writes:

Anyone who hasn't gone through what Daedra just went through simply hasn't worked long enough. For some it will happen early in their career (and maybe several times). For others it will happen near the end of their career. Either way, circumstances will overtake you eventually. She is bright, articulate, and self-motivated. She will be fine in the long run. GBO

volaholic45 writes:

You would think that it would naturally fall to the employee's direct report to inform of termination. In this case, perhaps the AD made the decision on the elimination of the position, and Warlick did not want to inform and Hart said he'd do it. Even so, she could have laid the blame on Hart to stay on the same side of the Long's table with Charles-Furlow. In any case, Warlick characterizing it as something Charles-Furlow voluntarily initiated ("pursue other options") was mealy any way you look at it. Probably a moral mistake she owned up to at Long's Drug. I doubt Pat ever shrank away from telling anyone it's over, as many ex-players, ex-assistant coaches, an ex-husband, and Geno could probably attest.

The Charles-Furlow deal coupled with the Jennings drama gives the impression of a deeply entrenched, highly calcified and entitled corporate culture whose past successes provided cover over several years for decisions not geared toward maintaining continued (or now, renewed) success. Eventually that stuff catches up with you, and the product suffers, as we are seeing (and not just with the LVs).

Orangeblood13 writes:

I wish she would've told me,'' Charles-Furlow said. "(Hart) doesn't know me. He doesn't know my history."

WE will miss Pat for instances such as this. I never heard "hurt feeling" and Pat Summitt in the same sentence.

Hart is the boss, he doesn't have to know you.

All be it, she is a great player in the history of UT womens basketball, business is still business.

FanNotSheep writes:

I've been holding my breath since 2008, waiting for one positive move by the UT athletics department.

-- the blue guy over in the corner.

GONAVY writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

I wish she would've told me,'' Charles-Furlow said. "(Hart) doesn't know me. He doesn't know my history."

WE will miss Pat for instances such as this. I never heard "hurt feeling" and Pat Summitt in the same sentence.

Hart is the boss, he doesn't have to know you.

All be it, she is a great player in the history of UT womens basketball, business is still business.

well said

Ayres_Hall writes:

So... everyone is happy except a handfull of miserable complaining fans?

So what's new is still old at UT?

WCBB_FAN writes:

Poor Holly, you hurted Daedra's feelings. That's no good and it sure won't look good when it's time to recruit the 2013 players next year.

lahvolman2 writes:

Spent 43 years in retailing before retirement...most of which were as what some trolls are calling hatchet man.....I was paid to take over losing situations and turn them around..wasn't always pretty but was most often successful... Dave Hart has basically the same situation but on a much larger scale... he's not being paid to be warm and fuzzy, he's being paid to turn a battleship around in a river...so no...everyone ain't gonna be happy and yes, some feelings are gonna be hurt....but if you think what he is doing is ugly, go work for Wal Mart for a few years and you'll get a reality check like none you have ever had... guaranteed!!!!!

jpark001 writes:

in response to tenn32rebel:

Holly helped recruit and coach Dae as a player. It was not Holly's place to inform Dae of anything. As AD, it was Hart's job because Dae was under his responsibility, not Holly.

It would be wiser, TROLLING, if you just kept your flap shut since nothing good comes out of it. If you think Holly forced out or kicked Dae to the curb, you know nothing about the Lady Vol family.

32rebel,

I've read your posts on the Summit regard these ongoing issues but wanted to respond to one ancillary comment you made regarding Pat Summit and John Wooden as role models but I do not post on that board.

Lumping Pat with John Wooden can be seen an insult to Pat. John Wooden oversaw a program that blatantly cheated (Sam Gilbert scandal... link http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/... ) to win those 10 National Championships while the NCAA choose to do nothing about UCLA (they put schools that dared to play too many black players on probation instead... story: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketba... ) until he retired (1981 NCAA probation for two years) and even then failed to vacate any/all of those purchased championships.

To date, there is no evidence to suggested Pat's eight championships are tainted by any rogue booster as Wooden's clearly are (Bill Walton's book, NCAA investigation) proven to have been.

Wooden was at worst a liar and at best ignorant of his surrounding regarding Sam Gilbert's player activities and there is much more evidence of the former being true than the latter.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ears_Whitworth_in_Orange_Pants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I asked you this question on another thread and got no answer after two days, so I'll try again on here. I'm not saying this as a Hart defender. It was said that he was hired to consolidate the men's and women's athletic departments and find ways to save money and strengthen accountability, among other things. No one is happy with the bad PR generated by the way in which Hart is carrying out these policies, even if one agrees that these things need to be done.

That said, you seem to think the motive behind all this is so Hart can establish a nest of his cronies in the UTAD. Really? To what purpose? Most CEO's prefer to have their own staff in the key positions. So maybe a few of Hart's cronies draw nice pay from UT for a few years. There should be no problem if these people are competent. Hart and the UTAD still have the mission of supporting UT athletics financially and competitively. When they are finished here, they will undoubtedly want to move on. How is it going to help their future prospects if they leave carnage and destruction in their wake? I guess I'm just reluctant to ascribe to treachery that which could be explained at least as easily by incompetence or misfortune, especially when no compelling motive for treachery has been offered.

CrankE writes:

Given that Pat's new job "absorbs" Daedra Charles-Furlow's old job, isn't it a fair question to ask why Pat didn't tell her?

Just saying.

UT is entering a period where they must be accountable for producing tangible benefit for the dollars spent. That's all this is. I do find it interesting that in the consolidation of the athletic department Joan Cronan, Pat Summitt, and Holly Warlick all seem to have passed the buck such that all the "mean" things that have happened are attributed to Dave Hart alone. Summitt retires? It was Dave Hart. Debby Jennings forced out? It was Dave Hart. Daedra Charles-Furlow forced out? It was Dave Hart.

If there were a coordinated campaign of agitprop by a displaced women's athletics department sports information person and a local newspaper's sports editor that is persona non grata with the university, I imagine that it would look a lot like what I'm seeing now on KNS. Just saying.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Last month's developments, "hurt my feelings,'' Charles-Furlow said. "But I'm a big girl. I got over it."

So much for character development!

Pardon me for nit-picking on your perhaps intended sarcasm, but I would say that is an excellent example of good character. No one can avoid all hard times and disappointments in life, no matter how good your character is. However, the ability to recover and move on productively in life is pretty good evidence of good character, IMHO.

ma2hac1993 writes:

in response to Hoops43:

How is she coaching there without serving as a full time teacher?

An excellent question. Does her hire as a head HS coach mean that there were no interested persons who are currently Knox County School employees? I hope that other schools and sports get an opportunity to hire coaches that are not Knox County employees, but are experienced in the sport that they will coach.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

Charles-Furlow, Debbie Jennings and Bud Ford's problem is they want the UTAD to operate as it has in the past. Once you get in the door you have a job for life. Welcome to the real world.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

So... everyone is happy except a handfull of miserable complaining fans?

So what's new is still old at UT?

It always amazes me how one individual can speak for EVERONE! Where did you get your info that and entire state of fans are happy. Did you do a recent poll on EVERYONE?.. In other words you're happy and anyone who is not is a troll. Now thats more typical.

Theo writes:

Well Dave Hart should certainly understand about firings. After all he was canned at FSU. I'm not saying hard decisions didn't need to be made. But, it is pretty apparent that AD Hart (of Mullet State) doesn't plan on making any effort to continue a sense of Tennessee history in the athletic department. Looks like it is old buddies from other SEC schools. We should have begged Joan Cronan to stay for five years.
Fire Hart!

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Another Hart *ART ..

volboy81 writes:

in response to ps11824:

Sometimes I have to question the posters that claim to know more about the situation at hand than the folks who are actually INVOLVED in those situations. How could that be?

I wish stories like this one would not get published on gvx. It's inviting unfavorable remarks like those of idiotic know-it-all-know-squats. You gotta laugh when you read some troll. You can see them sitting with keypad in hand, like little starving rats waiting for crumbs.

Personally, I envision them stuck in a dark corner on a sticky board with other uninvited bugs.

well put...so many of the complainers on here act like they sit in on every meeting and know exactly what is going on over there. It would be nice to know first hand how things really are and what really goes on, but thats why we pay someone to run the place! From the articles I've read, it does seem that a lack of communication is alive and well at U.T., but like I said, none of us are there, so we dont know what goes on. Just trust the people who run it...if theyre not doing their job, theyll be out of one. Thats the way it works! In the meantime, either support UT or dont, but all you whiners need to quit acting like youre in the know!
GO VOLS!

vollaw writes:

in response to ma2hac1993:

An excellent question. Does her hire as a head HS coach mean that there were no interested persons who are currently Knox County School employees? I hope that other schools and sports get an opportunity to hire coaches that are not Knox County employees, but are experienced in the sport that they will coach.

Because many former coaches "retire" from coaching but keep their teaching positions, there are often not jobs available for "new" coaches. Many high school coaches, especially assistants, are not teachers. Several years ago I was the head football coach at a small high school in Tennessee and all my assistants were non-faculty volunteers. No faculty members were interested in helping (very little money).

Gloria_Watson writes:

I am a graduate of the university and longtime supporter of the LadyVols however like many associated with the Tennessee women’s athletic department Charles-Furlow appears to exude a HUGE sense of entitlement....something not experienced in the private sector, especially in this economy where exit packages, attractive hire packages (IE moving, re-lo expenses) are becoming a thing of the past…

ps11824 writes:

Shoe-eeeeeeee! GVX stinks to the highest degree. What's wrong with you folks? Professional courtesy should NEVER be outdated.

Thank you & thank you again to the few folks who refuse to get so very hateful and nasty. I enjoy this site, but it is being inundated with pesky, must be miserable posters with nothing to do but run down the University, especially women's sports, making themselves feel important. Many seem to think of women as totally ignorant.

This is not a battle of men against women. Some employees of the University must be lacking some social skills and common courtesy. I don't know who or why. Not my job to know. I despise injustice, and if that is taking place there I sure don't like it, but I cannot cast aspersions. I know nothing.

Why can't we just be fans of the game and NOT continually try to poke our uneducated noses into the business end of UT.

I, for one, have a full time job running my own puny affairs without trying to understand and/or run the affairs of others.

bmaples writes:

Look -- there are two possible things wrong with this situation:

-- If Holly DID decide to let her coach go, then Holly should have been the one to tell her. If you're in charge, that's what you do.
-- If Holly DID NOT decide to let her coach go, but found out about it after Hart did it, then Hart needs to learn how to work with his staff. I'd be pissed as hell if my boss fired someone on my team without even talking it over with me.

Either way, it looks to me like the firing was mishandled. Not griping about the firing itself -- budget cuts and re-orgs happen. Just wish the people in charge know how to handle things.

Bruce in Louisville

Millisa writes:

in response to Ears_Whitworth_in_Orange_Pants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree I hate this if Coach Summitt was still in charge None of this would not be going on Shame on Hart Fire Hart and Dooley ASAP.

etu_vol_fan writes:

Hart is here for one reason only. To clean up the mess that Hamilton created. Hart is 62 years-old and will not be here 5 years from now.

voloffaith writes:

in response to bmaples:

Look -- there are two possible things wrong with this situation:

-- If Holly DID decide to let her coach go, then Holly should have been the one to tell her. If you're in charge, that's what you do.
-- If Holly DID NOT decide to let her coach go, but found out about it after Hart did it, then Hart needs to learn how to work with his staff. I'd be pissed as hell if my boss fired someone on my team without even talking it over with me.

Either way, it looks to me like the firing was mishandled. Not griping about the firing itself -- budget cuts and re-orgs happen. Just wish the people in charge know how to handle things.

Bruce in Louisville

Wasn't a firing...she was not retained...

BambooBoy writes:

Get over it, Daedra!! You're yesterday's news!! I have some choice words for you, but they are words that got my friend orangesheep banned from this site!! I will promise the Holy and Righteous KNS saints that I will keep my posts as clean as the puritanical Saint John Adams!! I want to be godly like you!!

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