Dave Hart operated as Tennessee’s Athletics Director from September 2011 till the end of March of 2017. He announced his intent to retire from the position in the fall of 2016 and vacated Tennessee’s AD office on March 31st of 2017. And now just barely under a year after his retirement from Tennessee, Hart has a new job.
According to a release from East Carolina University, they have hired Hart as a special advisor for athletics. Hart served as ECU’s Athletics Director from 1987-95.
Right now, ECU is going through a transition within the department. They currently have no interim AD after finalizing a buyout that will end AD Jeff Compher’s tenure on May 1st of this year. Hart was not hired as an interim AD but as a special advisor to Chancellor Cecil P. Stanton.
“During his more than 30 years in college athletic administration, Dave Hart led some of the most successful athletic programs in the country,” Stanton said in the release. “We believe his extraordinary experience combined with his knowledge of ECU will be uniquely helpful as we search for the best leadership for our athletics program in the coming years. I look forward to working with Dave and gaining from his insight in the coming months.”
According to a report from North State Journal, ECU has signed Hart to a six-month contract to “do a complete review of the Pirates’ athletic program.”
“I feel honored to be in a position to assist East Carolina University in the role of a special advisor to Chancellor Staton on athletics matters,” Hart said in the release. “ECU is a very special place to Pam and me. We have many great memories of the community, the people and the passion that surrounds East Carolina.”
Hart’s reign as AD at Tennessee was marred by failed coaching hires in just about every major athletic program at UT. Hart fired Derek Dooley early in his tenure and hired Butch Jones to replace him. He also hired Donnie Tyndall in basketball only to fire him a year later once the NCAA came calling due to improprieties on Tyndall’s part. Hart also hired Dave Serrano in baseball, and Serrano ultimately stepped down after the 2017 season after failing to move the needle significantly in six seasons.
Hart helped bring UTs athletic department out of the red in their financial situation, and he helped Tennessee land several neutral site games in the regular season in football. He also hired Rick Barnes to be the Vols’ head basketball coach. But he also infamously stripped all of UT’s women’s athletics teams (sans the women’s basketball team) of the Lady Vols moniker, and he settled a Title IX lawsuit for $2.48 million.
John Currie was hired to replace Hart and took over as UT’s AD on April 1st of 2017. Currie didn’t even last a whole year as Tennessee’s AD, though. He was put on administrative leave during Tennessee’s search for a head football coach, and former Vol head football coach Phillip Fulmer was named as his replacement.