David  Blackburn

David Blackburn

Senior Associate Athletics Director, Administration

  • David Blackburn has over two decades of intercollegiate experience in multiple sport oversight, fundraising, compliance, football operations, and athletic facility management.
  • Began his career at Tennessee in 1993 working with then-head football coach Phillip Fulmer and the football program in a variety of roles culminating in Tennessee winning the first-ever BCS national championship in 1998.
  • In a 10-year association with Fulmer's staff, Blackburn played an intricate role and held the titles of assistant director of compliance, director of football operations, and assistant athletic director for football operations.
  • During that time, Tennessee enjoyed its most successful run in the storied program's history with a record of 99-24, winning one national championship, two SEC championships, and playing in 10 consecutive bowl games.
  • Blackburn's leadership, guidance, knowledge and application of NCAA rules, and never-tiring work ethic helped the Vols football program soar to levels of achievement unseen on the gridiron in Knoxville.
  • In August of 2003, Blackburn made a transition into fundraising and became the assistant athletic director for development for the Volunteers. During his tenure working in fundraising, the Volunteer Athletic Scholarship Fund saw record growths in all areas. Most noted were total athletic gifts more than doubling from $19.5 million in 2003 to over 41 million in 2007. Also, he helped secure an $84 million multi-media rights contract with Host Communications.
  • Gaining a vast knowledge of the inter-workings of the VASF, Blackburn was charged with overseeing the entire development office staff and being directly involved in facility design/renovations, donor solicitation and prospecting, the gift-in-kind program, donor ticket and parking assignments, and coordinating special events for the development office and its donors.
  • In April 2007, Blackburn was rewarded with a promotion to associate athletic director for administration where he broadened his scope of athletic department management serving on then-athletic director Mike Hamilton's senior management team.
  • Included in that appointment was the oversight of the track & field program the swimming & diving teams, as well as serving as the senior sport administrator for the internal operations of facility operations, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, equipment operations, and event management offices within the athletic department.
  • Blackburn was also the athletic department liaison to the Thornton Center, Tennessee's student-athlete academic support unit. He was also appointed to participate in various search committees for head coaches and upper level departmental staff.
  • In September 2008, was given the position of senior associate athletic director for administration.
  • He kept many of the duties he already was performing and gained the role of directly overseeing the football program as its senior-level administrator where has been able to provide leadership, direction, and stability to the football program. His direct oversight over football operations and its budget, non-conference scheduling, coaches' contracts, and the design and construction of Tennessee's new $48 million football training center have yet again proved Blackburn an invaluable asset at Tennessee.
  • A native of Loudon, Tenn., Blackburn graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1990 after serving for two years as a student assistant in football under then-head coach Johnny Majors.
  • Blackburn, is married to the former Andrea Radel of Albion, Mich. They have two daughters, Emma and Charlee.


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