UT athletic director Hart gets one-year extension, $50K bonus

University of Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart introduces new head football coach Butch Jones during a press conference in the Peyton Manning Locker Room Complex at Neyland Stadium Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

University of Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart introduces new head football coach Butch Jones during a press conference in the Peyton Manning Locker Room Complex at Neyland Stadium Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee announced a one-year contract extension and $50,000 retention bonus for athletic director Dave Hart on Monday, locking up the university’s top athletic department executive through Sept. 18, 2018.

Hart has overseen UT’s recently combined men’s and women’s athletic departments since accepting a six-year, $750,000 contract on Sept. 5, 2011.

Since arriving in Knoxville, Hart has received a three-percent bonus after his first year, bumping his $575,000 base salary to $595,250 annually. The 64-year-old also receives $150,000 in annual supplemental compensation for media services and $25,000 as a “non-accountable expense allowance/reimbursement,” according to his university contract.

Hart’s contract mandates an annual $50,000 retention bonus. The bonus announced on Monday is the second of his UT tenure.

The extra $50,000 brings Hart’s annual earnings to $817,250, a figure ranking fourth among SEC athletic directors according to a USA Today compilation of salaries in March 2013.

“(Hart) has worked hard to develop a more efficient financial model and has put the right people in place, including coaches, to help reach UT’s aggressive goals,” UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said in the UT release.

Hart replaced former UT athletic director Mike Hamilton in 2011 after serving as Alabama’s executive director of athletics. He earned a salary of $341,250 at Alabama, according to a Tuscaloosa News database.

“I appreciate the confidence and commitment Chancellor Cheek has demonstrated by extending my contract,” Hart said in the release. “Tennessee is a special place and I am committed to the goals we have set and the opportunities we have to make a difference.”

Hart will be owed his next retention bonus of $50,000 if he remains at Tennessee through Aug. 31, 2014.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Comments » 102

The_Power_T writes:

Let me get this out of the way for the losers. "Bama" Dave, Dooley, sycophants, orange ra ra shakers, sunshine pumpers, bllaaaah blaaaahh waaaahh waaaaah, I'm important I promise, James Franklin, and Fulmer. I think I covered it all. Now maybe we can have a normal comment thread about the promising future of UT athletics. Go Vols!

tovolny writes:

All this money for a job that was created to reward good coaches a little extra money. The Athletic Director position does not need to be in existence. A committee composed of the Chancellor, President, a couple of Vice Presidents, a few board members, and other head coaches would be the decision makers. The President should be responsible for deciding if and when committee meetings are needed. The head coaches of the respective sports could use their staffs to decide when to order toilet paper, janitorial supplies, band-aids, and massage balms. An Athletic Director cannot possibly be an expert in all sports, so why even bother. I TELL YOU, WE DO NOT NEED ATHLETIC DIRECTORS. Especially. I say especially one than makes close to a million dollars a year. Come on American Institutions, stop this non-sense and start paying the deserving faculty a little more. I am an athletic nut, but academics is more important...C'MON MAN.

laraccoon writes:

i guess i will never understand the reason to extend a contract that does not even expire for 5 more years , seems like a fad only at UT .I do think up to this point Harts' performance has been satisfactory but extensions that far in advance have always baffled me , anything can happen and sour the whole deal, guess i would have to see the buyout clause to really know for sure . the word panic always comes to mind whenever i see extensions this far in advance .

NashvillePreds writes:

Jimmy, just keep doing what Dave tells you to do, as far as athletics are concerned.

Viva la Hart
Go Vols

UTvols33 writes:

The "Truth Squad" will go bananas over this one.

But I have to say, "He has worked hard to develop a more efficient financial model and has put the right people in place, including coaches, to help reach UT's aggressive goals," Cheek said. Really? What about the multi-million dollar debt and near bankruptcy of the athletics department and the coaching carousel in multiple sports? I wish I worked for Cheek. Talk about easy to please.

UTvols33 writes:

in response to The_Power_T:

Let me get this out of the way for the losers. "Bama" Dave, Dooley, sycophants, orange ra ra shakers, sunshine pumpers, bllaaaah blaaaahh waaaahh waaaaah, I'm important I promise, James Franklin, and Fulmer. I think I covered it all. Now maybe we can have a normal comment thread about the promising future of UT athletics. Go Vols!

You forgot "delusional" and "5-7 or 4-8 season."

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to laraccoon:

i guess i will never understand the reason to extend a contract that does not even expire for 5 more years , seems like a fad only at UT .I do think up to this point Harts' performance has been satisfactory but extensions that far in advance have always baffled me , anything can happen and sour the whole deal, guess i would have to see the buyout clause to really know for sure . the word panic always comes to mind whenever i see extensions this far in advance .

I don't understand the concept either. If, however, it pi$$es off Walt, Toddy, and the rest of the wretched folk on this sight, I like it.

volinky writes:

Would have rather kept David Blackburn instead of training him and then sending him to UTC. Less Alabama folks the better...(unless we win!)

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to UTvols33:

The "Truth Squad" will go bananas over this one.

But I have to say, "He has worked hard to develop a more efficient financial model and has put the right people in place, including coaches, to help reach UT's aggressive goals," Cheek said. Really? What about the multi-million dollar debt and near bankruptcy of the athletics department and the coaching carousel in multiple sports? I wish I worked for Cheek. Talk about easy to please.

The debt you're referring too began accumulating well before Hart came into the picture. Not to say he hasn't contributed to it, but he's done so in an effort to clean up some of Hamilton's mess.

He's definitely attempted to trim some fat, but only time will tell if he truly has UT on the right track.

We'll see...

tennesseetyler writes:

in response to The_Power_T:

Let me get this out of the way for the losers. "Bama" Dave, Dooley, sycophants, orange ra ra shakers, sunshine pumpers, bllaaaah blaaaahh waaaahh waaaaah, I'm important I promise, James Franklin, and Fulmer. I think I covered it all. Now maybe we can have a normal comment thread about the promising future of UT athletics. Go Vols!

U forgot all Bama Dave is doing is padding his retirement...dismissed trish summit...joan Cronin should have been AD.....Added 8 assistant AD from his good ole boy network...botched the head coach hiring process..added Dooley 2.0...he's a lawsuit waiting to happen look at his FSU days and since he now doesn't have to post it will allow flowers more time for his truth squad circle jerk with turdy todd and Walt can be the pivot man..

GatorHater1998 writes:

He deserved it with the hire of butch!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I think UT could do a lot worse than Dave Hart, he stopped the bleeding of athletic funds and reorganized the athletic department from the ground up. Protocol positions (which were created to place a body at a desk, not productive or needed) were eliminated. I wish the Tennessee department of transportation would this restructuring. Too many chiefs and not enough braves.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GatorHater1998:

He deserved it with the hire of butch!

Good point, he may have backed into that hire, but like Butch said: "I wasn't my wife's first choice either"..

volforeverandever writes:

I think the board of trust told Aint Del Shofner what they thought of his opinion and told him to stick it.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to volinky:

Would have rather kept David Blackburn instead of training him and then sending him to UTC. Less Alabama folks the better...(unless we win!)

No doubt, liked him from the start..However, I don't think Blackburn would have cleaned house like Hart did..Only because he would have felt uncomfortable doing away with positions he had grown friendly/comfortable with. Dave Hart was the perfect person to come in and not have any strings attached to personnel here at UT.

volfan1202 writes:

Is this some kind of sick joke?

BigOrangeFreak writes:

Why?

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, liked him from the start..However, I don't think Blackburn would have cleaned house like Hart did..Only because he would have felt uncomfortable doing away with positions he had grown friendly/comfortable with. Dave Hart was the perfect person to come in and not have any strings attached to personnel here at UT.

Keen observations, might the same be said for Joan Cronan?

iowa_vol writes:

I agree with laccoon...not sure why these extensions take place with so much left on the original contract.

I DO, however, support Dave Hart. He was left a tub of $hit from Mike Hamilton. The excess in spending, cronyism and mismanagement are areas that Dave Hart has had to clean up and he is taking a beating from plenty of numb skulls on here...though I don't think he cares.

Butch Jones appeas to be not just a good hire, but a great hire. There is excitement and plenty going on behind the scenes that CBJ is doing to repair relationships ruined by Coach Dooley.

Eventually, it would be great to have David Blackburn back. He has a tough job at UTC. If he can make a go of it there, then he should be the front runner when Hart's contract expires.

Brighter days are ahead, in my opinion.

thevoice writes:

Anyone who fires Derek Dooley is okay in my book.

Ironcity writes:

in response to tennesseetyler:

U forgot all Bama Dave is doing is padding his retirement...dismissed trish summit...joan Cronin should have been AD.....Added 8 assistant AD from his good ole boy network...botched the head coach hiring process..added Dooley 2.0...he's a lawsuit waiting to happen look at his FSU days and since he now doesn't have to post it will allow flowers more time for his truth squad circle jerk with turdy todd and Walt can be the pivot man..

Joan ruled herself out. We all love Pat but she was in no shape to coach and would have damaged her legacy and allowed another program to tumble to depths unknown in UT history. Additionally Hart has made the unpopular decisions that needed to be made to get this program solvent once again. Lets face it, Dave Hart came into a 6 alarm fire and anyone who thinks it was going to be easy to turn this around was crazy.

I do agree with a previous poster though and wonder why its necessary to extend a contract that is in force for another 5 years? I would like to see the turn before I go crazy and extend the AD.

thevoice writes:

Anyone who hires Butch Jones is okay in my other book.

thevoice writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Joan ruled herself out. We all love Pat but she was in no shape to coach and would have damaged her legacy and allowed another program to tumble to depths unknown in UT history. Additionally Hart has made the unpopular decisions that needed to be made to get this program solvent once again. Lets face it, Dave Hart came into a 6 alarm fire and anyone who thinks it was going to be easy to turn this around was crazy.

I do agree with a previous poster though and wonder why its necessary to extend a contract that is in force for another 5 years? I would like to see the turn before I go crazy and extend the AD.

As far as contract extension, I'm guessing since Hart's done a decent job so far, he may become a rather hot commodity, and UT, assuming the new extension is linked to a buyout clause, is protecting themselves. Furthermore, I think it shows UT is elated with Hart and an extension is a vote of confidence. Or, maybe it's just the going thing (other SEC schools do it and UT does it to compete).

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to thevoice:

Anyone who hires Butch Jones is okay in my other book.

That's pretty funny

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Keen observations, might the same be said for Joan Cronan?

Good point..Hmmmm??

tovolny writes:

Dooley was here when Hart came roll'n into Knoxville. Some posts above seemed to think Dooley was a Hart hire. Wow!

And Tennessee athletics made a profit of 34 million dollars last year after salaries and expenses. UT Knoxville was ninth in the the country and Texas was first with something around 103 million dollars in profit. Look it up. The cry of financial ruin was and is a bunch of malarkey or shinola...take your pick.

And, what we should be most concerned with right now is the FBI investigation of the Pilot Flying J rebate scandal. Hart may have to use a UT plane on his next visit to Vegas. Stay tuned, it gets worse.

volman2008 writes:

in response to FearTheVols1252:

The debt you're referring too began accumulating well before Hart came into the picture. Not to say he hasn't contributed to it, but he's done so in an effort to clean up some of Hamilton's mess.

He's definitely attempted to trim some fat, but only time will tell if he truly has UT on the right track.

We'll see...

The fat he trimed he gave himself a raise.

PHAT_VOL writes:

One Year Ext and a new car. He's earned it.
Now if he can just hire a new baseball coach.
How about Rob coming back?
GO VOLS!!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

One Year Ext and a new car. He's earned it.
Now if he can just hire a new baseball coach.
How about Rob coming back?
GO VOLS!!!!

If he's bringing coaches' back then BP should get another chance. But, your right about Rob, he was the best bb coach UT ever had.

jt45 writes:

Wish my CEO would throw an extra 50K my way just for doing my job. Wrong side of the tracks I guess.50 bucks would be a miracle for the blue collar working folks, yet all you hear about these days someone getting bonuses bigger than most folks make in a year. OK rant over !

As far as Im concerned, the only good thing about this is the so called truth squad will be pissed, and that I think is worth a good laugh.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ever repossess any televisions your clients refused payment on??

beartn#223846 writes:

The point made in an early post that no one needs an athletic director is absurd. This is a business with several hundred million dollars per year in revenues and expenses. It will not run itself. The factors that will determine Hart's effectiveness will be if football improves (Butch is his hire, and I really like what I see so far), and if our financial situation improves. It will take a few years to tell. Other than his haircut (and I am unlikely to have much hair when I reach that age), I don't have any complaints so far.

Geofffourmyle writes:

The fix is still in.

Maybe they gave "Your Cheating" Hart that money to defray the legal bills to which he is surely going to be liable.

Walt

UT '81

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to GatorHater1998:

He deserved it with the hire of butch!

The flaw in that argument is that he in no way sought out Coach Jones. He lucked out in getting him at all. Coach Jones could have gone to Colorado.

Walt

UT '81

MikeNPS writes:

In my opinion, he has yet to prove he is earning his salary. There is no basis whatsoever for a contract extension or a bonus at this point. Whoever made that decision to award the bonus and the contract extension should be fired for gross inresponsibility, in my humble opinion.

laraccoon writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i get the impression im not the only one who dunked your head in the toilet back in the day . Hart too ?

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If Hart and others have been sued by an individual, how on earth would you think that the "others" could walk away from a lawsuit by declaring that Hart is the lone defendant? That's flat out stupid, even by your pitiful standards.

"Yes, Ms. Plaintiff, I know you've sued all of us, but we think Mr. Hart should be the only defendant, so we'll be leaving now." Absurd.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are perfect record??

underthehill writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

The flaw in that argument is that he in no way sought out Coach Jones. He lucked out in getting him at all. Coach Jones could have gone to Colorado.

Walt

UT '81

I wonder if Peyton talked to him about coming to Colorado ..or going to UT....after the Sunseri disaster..how can anyone be stupid enough to think Hart made this hire..I don't think so..he had to have approval from the big dog..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to laraccoon:

i get the impression im not the only one who dunked your head in the toilet back in the day . Hart too ?

How did you dunk his head with it buried in his duodenum?

iowa_vol writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

One Year Ext and a new car. He's earned it.
Now if he can just hire a new baseball coach.
How about Rob coming back?
GO VOLS!!!!

If by saying "Rob" you mean ROD Delmonico, then you are a fool. ROD did win some games,but he was a grade a arse hole and we are much better off as a University without him. Even ROD was on a down hill projection when Hammy jetisoned him. Again, Serrano is left with a steaming pile of poo that he inherited from Todd Ralieigh... who by all accounts was another prince of a man.

Take a look at all of the offers that ROD has had since being fired from UT....can't think of one. The guy was a cancer that no one liked being around.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to HaplessVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wouldn't keep bragging about a degree from UT if their academics are that low..Just a thought from a Rhodes University alumnus.

UTvols33 writes:

The Truth Squad's rhetoric actually applies to the article this time! LOL! Unfortunately, I have to agree with them on this one, Hart did stumble into the Jones hire so we can't give him that much credit. Maybe it's media bias, but I notice a lot more spending than "fat trimming." The more I read about Cheek, the more I don't like him.

GO VOLS! BEAT FLORIDA!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to laraccoon:

i guess i will never understand the reason to extend a contract that does not even expire for 5 more years , seems like a fad only at UT .I do think up to this point Harts' performance has been satisfactory but extensions that far in advance have always baffled me , anything can happen and sour the whole deal, guess i would have to see the buyout clause to really know for sure . the word panic always comes to mind whenever i see extensions this far in advance .

Why does the athletic director have a contract to begin with?

How many administrative jobs do you know of that have that?

I understand why coaches have contracts. Recruits need to see that the coach who is recruiting them has some kind of job security that will mean they will probably still be there to coach the kid, and the coaching profession is very competitive (you don't want to lose your coach to another school). However, administrative wienies like Hart should just be normal, at will employees, like almost everybody else, who have to worry about keeping their job and don't have some contractual parachute that will make them rich even if they get fired. It's crazy!

He gets a five year contract that guarantees him a $50K raise every year -- just for being there! For those who aren't great at math, with a starting salary of $575K, that first $50K raise was almost 10% -- and he didn't have to do anything but be alive to earn it!

There are an aweful lot of people in our military with waaaaay more responsibility, and lives in the balance, who will be lucky to get a 1% increase next year (the smallest increase for the military in over 50 years, and quite a bit less than inflation).

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to UTvols33:

The Truth Squad's rhetoric actually applies to the article this time! LOL! Unfortunately, I have to agree with them on this one, Hart did stumble into the Jones hire so we can't give him that much credit. Maybe it's media bias, but I notice a lot more spending than "fat trimming." The more I read about Cheek, the more I don't like him.

GO VOLS! BEAT FLORIDA!

True, but Hart backed into Jones and Hamilton fell in the well on top of Dooley. There is a difference.

laraccoon writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

How did you dunk his head with it buried in his duodenum?

toddy has a tattoo of Dooley's colon on his arm with the words " Saban n Sunseri forever " emboldened .

cdamna1 writes:

This entire article makes me sick and is ridiculous.

Why on earth does an AD make $750,000 per year? And get $50,000 raises?

I am an alumnus ('95), but I stopped paying out the nose for season tickets when Fulmer was fired, stopped all contributions when Hamilton put us in the hole with Dooley's $5 million buy-out, and now I sincerely hope my kids decide to go somewhere else.

I will always be a Vol, but it's hard to financially support an institution that is so blind to real world economics.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to laraccoon:

toddy has a tattoo of Dooley's colon on his arm with the words " Saban n Sunseri forever " emboldened .

LMAO! That's a trip..

pcorange writes:

Congratulations to AD Hart on his contract extension. He is working hard to overcome the mess that his predecessor left him. His efforts have already brought us Butch Jones, who I believe will bring UT football back to the top, in due time. I used to subscribe to the Alabama conspiracy theories, but I have had a change of heart, no pun intended.

tvol71 writes:

Just seems a little early to be doing this to me, but maybe he has saved the University big bucks behind the scene.

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