published Saturday, August 11th, 2012

UTC chooses athletic director search committee

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga chancellor Roger Brown has his search committee to help him find a new athletic director.

Brown has assembled a 16-person group that includes UTC athletic department staff members, university faculty and numerous Mocs supporters from the community. Chairing the committee is Dr. Debbie Ingram, UC Foundation professor and director of clinical education in the physical therapy program.

Unlike the searches for a new chancellor and provost, the search for Rick Hart's replacement "is more focused on the community," Brown said. Hart recently left UTC after six years to be the AD at Southern Methodist University.

"I think that's a really important thing for a couple of reasons," Brown said of the community involvement. "Any candidate who's serious about coming here is going to ask the search committee, 'Who will I be working for?' The truth is, we don't know [because of Brown's announced retirement]. But what we do know is the community, and the Mocs fans have supported this athletic department for generations."

Representing the UT system on the committee is executive vice president Dr. David Millhorn. Among the other members Mocs fans might know are former UTC football player Don Lepard, president and CEO of Global Green Lighting, and Finley Stadium executive director Merrill Eckstein.

The bids from search firms are in and Brown said the committee will go through proposals and perhaps have a search firm hired within the next 10 days. Once the firm is hired, Brown said, the search process will really get going.

"I will be asking [the search firm] to see if we can get this done before the Christmas holiday, and hopefully a good bit before the Christmas holiday," he said. "But we'll have to see how the pool looks and how the search committee winnows them down."

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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