With a new head coach and staff already on board, more changes might be in store for Tennessee football.
UT senior associate athletic director David Blackburn, who overseas Vols football as its university administrator, has been offered the head athletic director position at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported late Friday night.
A source inside the UTC athletic department told the New Sentinel, “We are hiring Blackburn,” adding it will be made official on Saturday.
Blackburn, a 47-year-old UT graduate, has spent over two decades in the Tennessee athletic department.
An original pool of three finalists for the UTC athletic director job was whittled down earlier this week when Wake Forest associate athletic director Mike Buddie withdrew his name from the search. That left Blackburn side-by-side with former Middle Tennessee State and North Carolina State athletic director Lee Fowler as co-finalists.
Blackburn was hired by former UT head coach Philip Fulmer in 1993 and grew from assistant director of compliance to director of football operations to assistant athletic director for football operations. In September 2008, he was named senior associate athletic director for administration.
If officially hired at UTC, Blackburn will inherit an athletic department in heavy transition. The Mocs are not only without an athletic director, but both the men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs are without a head coach. John Shulman, who led the men’s program, was let go after the 2012-13 season, while women’s coach Wes Moore accepted the head job at N.C. State.
UTC has been without a full-time athletic director since July 2012, when former AD Rick Hart, son of UT athletic director Dave Hart, left Chattanooga to take the same job at Southern Methodist University.
According to a recent News Sentinel open records request, Blackburn earns $170,000 as senior associate athletic director for administration at UT.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn