John Currie hired as UT athletic director

Tennessee hired Kansas State athletic director John Currie as the program’s successor to Dave Hart on Tuesday.

Photo by Ben Proffitt.

Tennessee color guard members carry flags representing the University of Tennessee before the Vols' game against Missouri in Neyland Stadium on Nov. 19, 2016.

The search for Tennessee’s next athletic director has finally come to an end.

After months of speculation among media and fans on who Dave Hart’s successor would be, Jimmy Hyams reported midday Tuesday that John Currie was awarded the job. Not too long after, the Tennessee Athletics Twitter account confirmed the news. Currie’s first day on the job is April 1.

“As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I know how much UT athletics means to the people in the state, and I look forward to serving all of the Big Orange Nation, its wonderful coaches, staff and student-athletes, for many years to come,” Currie said in a media release through the university on Tuesday.

What to know about Currie:

He has Tennessee ties

Vol Nation yearned for a candidate who held ties with its beloved university. With Currie, they have exactly that. Although Currie graduated from Wake Forest University in 1993 with a degree in history and a minor in politics, he eventually earned his Master’s in sports management in 2003 while attending the University of Tennessee.

At the time, he was six years into his stint with the program’s athletic department. From 1997 until 2008, Currie worked in Knoxville as the program’s executive associate athletic director, senior associate athletic director, associate athletic director for external operations and associate director for development, among other titles.

He has athletic director Experience

In addition to his ties with the University of Tennessee, Currie also possesses the necessary experience to take on such a high-profile job. Currie left Knoxville in 2008 to accept the job as Kansas State’s AD. He’ll officially begin his new role on April 1, 2017.

He was a successful AD at Kansas State

More than the experience itself, Currie experienced real success during his seven years at Manhattan. According to the program’s athletic website, Currie helped complete “$210 million in comprehensive facility improvements benefiting all 16 Wildcat teams.” In addition, under Currie’s guidance, the Kansas State athletic program “operated with a budget surplus in each of the last seven years, allowing for annual investments and budget growth from $44 million to $73 million.”

The increase in both budget and investments was met with improved performances across most sports. In the past seven seasons, the Wildcats have seen 137 student-athletes receive All-American honors, with nine winning individual NCAA titles and a total of 50 Big 12 titles.

An introductory press conference will be held on Thursday, March 2 on Thompson-Boling Arena.

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Follow me @DavidJBradford1 on Twitter, email me at dbradfo2@vols.utk.edu for any questions.