Chattanooga athletic director David Blackburn, a fan favorite to succeed Dave Hart at Tennessee, did not get the job at his alma mater.
Instead, the job went to Kansas State athletic director John Currie, UT announced in a statement Tuesday.
Many reporters following the athletic director search believed Blackburn and former Vol football coach Phillip Fulmer would be among the final candidates for the job. However, Blackburn revealed Wednesday that he was not considered as heavily as fans may have thought.
Wednesday Blackburn released this statement about Tennessee's AD selection:
“After hearing the announcement of the new Director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee, I want to let everyone know I wish them well. It is no secret that my name was mentioned as a possible candidate, but I did not interview with the new chancellor [Beverly Davenport] or the search committee.
“I remain laser focused on the progression of Chattanooga Athletics and equipping our student-athletes for continued growth and success, in the classroom, in competition and in the community.”
In addition to releasing his statement, Blackburn tweeted, "We must be impassioned even when it's PAINFUL," likely in reference to missing out on the job opportunity at UT.
We must be impassioned even when it's painful! LEARN more,grow & RUN TO YOUR DESTINY! RUN,RUN! NEVER lose your will to seek to be the best!— David Blackburn (@DBlackburnUTC) March 1, 2017
Blackburn also reaffirmed his commitment to UTC, saying in one tweet, "I've tried to give great effort, but I'm now impassioned to give more effort."
UT Chattanooga has been so kind to me! I Love UT Chattanooga. I've tried to give great effort, but I'm now impassioned to give more effort!— David Blackburn (@DBlackburnUTC) March 1, 2017
So proud of our staff &student athletes!UTC & the town of Chattanooga are phenomenal!— David Blackburn (@DBlackburnUTC) March 1, 2017
We must keep improving & be driven to further heights!
The move comes afer Beverly Davenport became the new UTK chancellor in December 2016.