Sept. 5, 2011
KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee today named Dave Hart as the school's vice chancellor and director of athletics. Hart, who was the director of athletics at Florida State University for 12 years (1995-2007), currently serves as the Executive Director of Athletics at the University of Alabama, where he leads the day-to-day operations of the department.
"I am very pleased to have Dave as our new vice chancellor and director of athletics," University of Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said. "He has extensive experience as an athletics director, and he has the passion and drive to lead our great athletics program."
Comprehensive athletic success exemplified Hart's tenure as the Florida State athletic director, as a combined 35 ACC Championships were won by 10 different Seminole athletic programs during his tenure. Additionally, the Seminole football team won nine ACC titles and appeared in four national championship games, winning the 1999 BCS National Championship with a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
The men's outdoor track and field also claimed two national championships during that time, while the baseball program appeared in the College World Series five times and the softball program won nine ACC titles while playing the 2002 Women's College World Series. During Hart's last full year at Florida State, the Seminoles finished 15th in the Directors' Cup, an all-time high for the institution.
Additionally, during Hart's three years at Alabama, the Crimson Tide claimed the 2009 BCS National Championship and the individual athletic teams posted a combined eight top three finishes nationally over the last three years. He has 20 years of service as a director of athletics, including eight at East Carolina (1987-95), an athletic program he joined in 1983 after coaching and teaching at the high school following his graduation from Alabama.
"It is a privilege to be named Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee," Hart said. "To be entrusted to lead one of the nation's elite athletic programs is an exciting opportunity.
"I want to thank Chancellor Cheek, and all of those involved in this process for their confidence and commitment. I am anxious to demonstrate my passion for Tennessee and the Volunteer Nation."
Highly respected as a visionary and industry leader, Hart's career has featured service as the president of both the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the Division 1A Athletics Directors' Association. A former recipient of the Robert R. Neyland Award honoring lifetime achievement, Hart has also been named by his colleagues as the Athletic Director of the Year for the Southeast Region in both 2000 and 2005, one of a few select individual to receive the honor multiple times.
During his 13 years at Florida State, Hart negotiated unprecedented, multi-million dollar contracts for the department totaling in excess of $175 million. He also devised and executed an extensive and comprehensive facilities master plan for athletics that eclipsed the $150 million mark. Hart initiated a multi-faceted Student Development/Life Skills program for all student-athletes at FSU, an endeavor recognized nationally as a "Program of Excellence" by the Division I-A Athletics Directors' Association. He spearheaded the rewriting of the department's mission statement to put the student-athlete at the core of athletic department priorities in its goal to build comprehensive excellence throughout all components of the department.
"Dave is as good an athletic director as there is in the country," legendary Florida State Head Football Coach Bobby Bowden said. "He's as sharp of an AD as I've been around in 57 years. He knows what's important, and he's a builder."
Hart took a leadership role in FSU athletics department's first major Capital Campaign, in concert with Seminole Boosters, which raised more than $75 million for athletics facilities and served as the catalyst for a subsequent effort. Within the Facilities Master Plan, there were several state-of-the-art facilities constructed, including a soccer/softball facility, a state-of-the-art Golf Facility and Teaching Center, a Basketball Training Center, and major renovations to the tennis and volleyball facilities.
Additionally, the Moore Athletics Center and Dick Howser Baseball Stadium are among the nation's best, while a new aquatics facility and a renovation to the track building were finalized in 2008.
In recognizing Hart's position within intercollegiate athletics, ACC Commissioner John Swofford said, "Dave Hart is one of the best and most respected athletics administrators in the business. He thoroughly understands the nuances of major college athletics, and he has superb values to go along with his vast experience in the field. He is a proven leader at the conference and national levels."
While at FSU, Hart made many key head coaching hires, including the hiring of FSU's first African-American basketball coach in Leonard Hamilton. Under Hart's direction, FSU formalized a varsity club to encourage the participation of former student-athletes in athletic department activities. He also placed a significant focus on the growth of women's athletics at FSU, a commitment reflected in increased funding, competitive success and facility upgrades.
Academic success also accompanied Hart's time at FSU, as the school became home to the inaugural National Student-Athlete of the Year, a State of Florida Woman of the Year recipient and a Rhodes Scholar. A record number of FSU student-athletes made the ACC Academic Honor Roll, were recipients of NCAA post-graduate scholarship awards and obtained degrees. Student-athlete community service involvement became a priority under Hart with student-athletes contributing more than 5,000 hours in community outreach projects.
Hart has also earned the Athletics Directors' Award for advancing the quality and progress of student-athletes and the athletics program while at Florida State, and in 2008, he received the James J. Corbett Award, the highest honor bestowed by NACDA.
Hart's commitment to service includes considerable time on numerous national and conference committees, including the NCAA Council, the NCAA Honors and Awards Committee and the NCAA Special Events and Postseason Bowls Committee, and he has consulted to the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
"Highly respected by his peers, Dave Hart brings a wealth of experience and knowledge gained from his journey as a student-athlete, coach, administrator, and leader," said Joe Castiglione, Director of Athletics at the University of Oklahoma. "Dave and his wife, Pam, truly value people and the positive impact each person can make toward the success of a program.
"The wonderful fans of Tennessee will enjoy building these new relationships together as all work to enhance the future of Volunteer athletics."
Hart was one of 11 athletic directors nationally who worked as an advisory group to presidents and conference commissioners in ongoing meetings and discussions regarding Bowl Championship Series (BCS) format options and similar issues related to the football postseason. In addition to his prominent leadership roles nationally, Hart had direct involvement with the renegotiations of both of the ACC's football and basketball television contracts and chaired the ACC Television Committee as well as the ACC Men's Basketball and Football committees.
Hart also played an integral role in the ACC expansion process that resulted in the addition of three new members in Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College. He also served as Vice Chairman of the NCAA Football Board of Directors where he represented NACDA and served with commissioners of Division I-A conferences as well as past NCAA President Myles Brand.
Hart has served as Executive Director of Athletics at Alabama since August of 2008. Hart joined the UA Athletic Department after serving as an advisor to the Atlantic Coast Conference and ACC Commissioner John Swofford. A 1971 Alabama graduate, Hart played basketball for the Crimson Tide under legendary head coach C.M. Newton and earned a master's degree from UA in 1972 while working as a graduate assistant basketball coach.
A popular speaker at the national level, Hart has made numerous speaking presentations nationally and presented seminars on such topics as student-athlete welfare, marketing, gender equity, facility master planning, negotiation skills and personnel transition. He was an instructor at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Management Institute for 10 years and currently is an annual presenter at the Division I-A Athletics Directors' Institute sharing with peers his knowledge and experiences relating to athletics administration.
Hart met his wife, the former Pam Humble, while at Alabama. Pam is a 1970 graduate of The University of Alabama, and the couple has three children: Rick, who serves currently as the athletic director at UT Chattanooga, Jamie and Kelly. The Harts are the grandparents of five grandchildren: Trevor, Caroline, McKinley, Olivia and Kingsley.