published Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Dave Hart upbeat on Vols football

KNOXVILLE — Dave Hart spent 40 minutes answering basketball questions Wednesday afternoon.

The Tennessee athletic director had roughly a minute to talk football following his appearance at the Big Orange Tipoff Club's weekly lunch meeting.

Since completing a round of interviews in December, the Volunteers' football program saw six changes on its coaching staff and signed a 22-player recruiting class.

"I'm impressed with our staff," Hart said. "Very impressed. We lost some good football coaches. There's no question some of those guys that left were very good football coaches, but I think these guys we have now are outstanding. I really like the chemistry of the staff."

Hart, who's been the leader of UT's athletic department for nearly five months, echoed the positive vibes coach Derek Dooley has been reiterating throughout the offseason. Hart added he and Dooley continue to build a great relationship.

"I think there's a new energy," Hart said. "I think that's what happened. I think we have a new level of energy, and I think people are really pointing toward the fall."

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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