July 22, 2003
Tennessee Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton named David Blackburn, an 11-year veteran of the department, Tuesday to the post of Assistant Athletics Director for Development. Blackburn served the last five years as Assistant Athletics Director for Football Administration, working closely with head football coach Phillip Fulmer.
Blackburn's new duties will revolve around the Volunteer Athletic Scholarship Fund's annual giving program, its network of volunteers and related activities. He will be responsible for donor services such as the assignment of season football and basketball tickets for VASF contributors and oversight operation of the Coca-Cola Big Orange Caravan each spring.
"David's longtime affiliation and devotion to Tennessee, along with his understanding of the football program, is a great asset," said John Currie, Associate Athletics Director for Development. "He will help us build and maintain relationships with our fans while assuring that the VASF keeps providing our student-athletes with the best possible environment for competing at the elite level."
A native of Loudon, Blackburn graduated from UT in 1989. The 37-year-old caught the attention of Vols football coaches when he served as head student manager in 1988-89. His first full-time position on the football staff was as assistant recruiting coordinator, followed by an assignment of dual responsibility. He was administrative assistant for football as well as manager of recruiting compliance for all men's teams.
NCAA regulations eliminated recruiting positions for athletics departments, but Blackburn was retained and elevated to the post of Assistant Athletics Director on the Vols staff to carry out administrative responsibilities as assigned by then athletics director Doug Dickey.
Two key areas of Blackburn's duties included handling administrative functions of the football department and helping manage the football department with compliance issues. He was charged with keeping the coaches current about the rules established by the NCAA, the SEC and the University of Tennessee. In 1998, David was elevated to Assistant Athletics Director handling Football Administration.
Blackburn is the father of one daughter, Emma.
"David knows what our student-athletes and coaches need to compete and can communicate that message to our fans," Currie said. "VASF donors continue to make a huge collective impact on the UT athletics program and the development program is coming off another record year. David will strengthen this ever increasingly important effort."
A search to fill Blackburn's position will begin immediately.