Knoxville – The University of Tennessee and suspended Athletics Director John Currie, after several strange months of limbo, have agreed to officially part ways. The two reached a $2.5 million settlement referred to as “an amicable resolution.” The payout will exclusively come from the Tennessee Athletics Department.
On Twitter, Currie released a brief statement pertaining to the settlement:
It was an honor to work again with the outstanding @UTKnoxville student-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty & fans. Our family wishes Chancellor Davenport & Coach Fulmer continued success as we all begin this next chapter. Go #Vols & #LadyVols pic.twitter.com/BCf4ewv7pA
— John Currie (@John_Currie) March 23, 2018
The 46-year-old Currie leaves behind a short, complicated legacy at Tennessee. Hired in February of 2017, he spearheaded a popular plan to execute long-overdue upgrades to Neyland Stadium, restored the Lady Vols brand, and eventually got to be the guy to fire Butch Jones.
Wipespread frustrations over the delay in firing Jones were briefly put aside by fans when Currie promised a thorough, tireless search to hire the best available coach to lead the Vols. But what happened after that will haunt the dreams of Vol fans for years to come, as Currie proceeded to go through the clumsiest coaching search maybe in sports history. The search would ultimately result in Currie fake-hiring Ohio State’s Greg Schiano, orange-hued unrest in the streets, wildfire across social media, Currie being called home after borrowing a Kansas State booster jet to go off-grid to Los Angeles and fake-hire Washington State’s Mike Leach. He was then immediately suspended and replaced as Athletics Director by Vol legend and former head coach Phillip Fulmer.
It’s still hard to believe that’s a true story, but it is. And it has finally reached a conclusion.
Here’s the full text of the statement from UT:
“Today, the University of Tennessee announced it has completed an amicable resolution parting ways with former Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics John Currie.
The University has agreed to pay John Currie $2.5 million payable as follows: Currie will be paid $2,220,454.60 no later than April 1, Currie has already been paid his salary for December 2017 through February 2018, and Currie will be paid his salary through March 22, 2018. The separation payment will be paid in its entirety by the Athletics Department. No taxpayer dollars, no student tuition or fees, and no donor funds will be used to fund the separation payment.
The separation agreement with Currie was approved by the UTK Chancellor, the UT System Chief Financial Officer, the UT System President, and the Audit and Compliance Committee of the UT Board of Trustees.
Regarding Currie’s departure, UT Knoxville Chancellor Dr. Beverly Davenport said, “We wish John and his family well in their future endeavors. We are grateful for his contributions to the University of Tennessee which began more than two decades ago.”
Currie returned to UT on April 1, 2017, following eight-years as Director of Athletics at Kansas State. He previously served at UT in various capacities from 1997-2009.
While at UT, Currie successfully completed hires in baseball and men’s tennis while also hiring several key senior administrators. He helped UT restore the Lady Vols name and logo, advanced the Master Plan for a $180 million renovation to historic Neyland Stadium, and worked on fostering productive relationships with the academic enterprise.
“Mary Lawrence and I were blessed with the opportunity to return to the city where our three children were born and once again be part of the University of Tennessee family as Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics,” said Currie. “It was my honor to work alongside our first-class UT athletics staff, coaches and student-athletes as well as our faculty, donors and many wonderful people throughout the University community. I look forward to seeing continued progress for the Vols and Lady Vols under Chancellor Davenport and Coach Fulmer’s leadership.”