Tennessee is not only looking to replace Jeremy Pruitt, they’re also looking for their fifth athletics director since 2011. Obviously this hire will have to be made first, and boy-oh-boy does Tennessee need to get this one right for once.
John Brice at FootballScoop.com gave us several names to watch on Monday afternoon.
On Rocky Top: Potential candidates to be Tennessee athletics director https://t.co/IgUlrKV2eH— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 18, 2021
John Gilbert and Mark Ingram seem to be the leading names at this point, with Gilbert getting the most buzz.
Gilbert worked at Tennessee as a member of Dave Hart’s staff, overseeing basketball. He has a strong connection with Rick Barnes from that time, and his son is currently a walk-on on the basketball team. Gilbert took the ECU AD job back in 2018, and now has two years worth of experience on the job. He also has administrative experience at Alabama.
Ingram is currently serving as the AD at UAB, where he’s been since 2015. Ingram is a former Tennessee walk-on long snapper, and now has administrative experience at Georgia, Missouri, Temple and Tennessee. During his time at UAB, he’s helped bring the football program back to life, which includes a new stadium that is set to debut in 2021. During his time at Temple, Ingram was involved in the hiring of Matt Rhule.
Other names to know
- Western Kentucky’s Todd Stewart, ETSU’s Scott Carter and Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart are other sitting AD’s with direct ties to Tennessee.
- Reid Sigmon, Tennessee’s current No. 2 man in the athletics department, is a logical in-house option.
- Former Chattanooga AD David Blackburn is a name that we all know, and was in the mix last time Tennessee went through a search. He’s currently at MTSU, serving as the Senior Associate AD.
Expect Tennessee act quickly here. They’ve hired The Parker Group as a search firm to help out in hopes of getting this done, so the football search can get underway.