Before the Vols game against UMass, WBIR 10Sports Anchor Patrick Murray followed Tennessee athletics director John Currie to see what the AD does on game day.
The day began at 9:30 a.m. at Currie's parking spot underneath Pratt Pavilion. Currie's snazzy leather topped Nike sneakers caught many eyes while he walked around campus in his orange tie and tan blazer.
The AD made it a point to talk to as many employees as possible - parking garage attendants, security personnel, ushers, concession stand workers - taking the time to stop and ask how long they've been working the job and offering his thanks for their work. Each greeting always began with "Welcome to Rocky Top."
Currie's path from Pratt to Neyland Stadium took us right through Circle Park where he stopped to greet former Vols assistant basketball coach Tony Jones and former Vols QB Tony Robinson, who was recently featured in ESPN's 30 for 30 film 'Year of the Scab.'
Currie stopped to talk to a few parents of UT students and made sure to encourage any teenagers he saw to attend school at UT.
After a brief chat with some season ticket holders and a quick hello with the family of Vol tight ends Ethan and Eli Wolf, Currie entered Neyland Stadium through Gate 9. He made a note that there was no line to get in that particular gate and shared part of his plan for fewer, but larger gates for the future of the stadium.
"One of the challenges long term, we have 26 gates and that's too many to have. We need bigger gates, like Gate 21 turned into a massive gate where we can get a lot of people through on game day," Currie said. "Over the next couple of years we hope to do a lot of improvements around this south endzone and clean this place up."
Currie made a trip around the inside of the stadium greeting concession stand workers, ushers and fans who had taken their seats early. One usher told Currie a story about his father who played for the Vols in the late 1930s and roomed with Peyton Manning's father-in-law.
Many people stopped to thank Currie for bringing back the Lady Vol name and brand to all women's sports.
After a trip around the concourse, Currie went down to the Lauricella Center for lettermen to see the 1967 national championship team, which Tennessee honored as the 'legends of the game' after the first quarter. He met up with the coach of that team, Doug Dickey, who served as the Vols athletic director from 1985-2002 and was a great mentor to Currie during his previous stint with the Vols.
Currie finished his pregame routine with a Vol Network radio appearance, a meeting with a Tennessee football recruit and a brief chat with a representative from the Orange Bowl.
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