John Currie will serve as the University of Tennessee's next athletics director.
UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport named Currie the school's athletics director on Tuesday.
"As I said when we began this process, we were looking for the best candidate, and we feel strongly that we have him in John Currie. John exemplifies all the qualities we were seeking in an athletics director," Davenport said in a UT release. "He is a man of high integrity, strong values, a progressive thinker, he fully understands the importance of being compliant in everything we do, and he is a leader who will put the well-being of our student-athletes above everything.
The university will introduce Currie at 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena. The introductory event is open to the public.
A news conference with media members will follow in the Ray Mears Room. Currie begins his duties at UT on April 1. He will also serve as the school's new vice chancellor.
Currie, 45, has worked as the athletics director at Kansas State University since May 2009. He worked at UT as an assistant athletics director from 1997-2009, and earned his master's degree in sports management from UT in 2003.
"It is a very exciting time for my family and me as we return to a place that remains very special to us," Currie said in a release. "We spent 10 years in Knoxville prior to taking the job at K-State, and I appreciate Chancellor Davenport and the University of Tennessee for providing us this special opportunity.
"As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I know how much UT athletics means to the people in the state, and I look forward to serving all of the Big Orange Nation, its wonderful coaches, staff and student-athletes, for many years to come. We are excited to return to Rocky Top."
WNML’s Jimmy Hyams first reported the news in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
BREAKING NEWS: Source: John Currie of Kansas State has been hired as Tennessee's new athletic director.— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) February 28, 2017
The details of Currie's contract are not immediately known. He received a five-year contract at a base salary of $350,000 per year when KSU hired him in 2009.
Currie replaces Dave Hart, who announced his retirement last August.
Former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer, Chattanooga athletics director David Blackburn and North Carolina athletics director Bubba Cunningham were also believed to be candidates to fill the open position.
Biggest surprise for me is that the search committee and new chancellor never gave Blackburn a formal interview. https://t.co/Uw4YddMKqG— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) February 28, 2017
One of the ironies of the Currie hire at Tennessee is that he was part of the regime there that pushed Fulmer out as head coach.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) February 28, 2017
"We would like to thank our internal search committee for all its hard work and dedication to the process," Davenport said. "Turnkey is recognized as the leading executive search firm spanning college and professional sports, and worked tenaciously to deliver an amazing result for the university."
Currie oversaw Big 12 championships in football (2012), men's basketball (2013) and baseball (2013) during his tenure at Kansas State.
KSU's football team has made seven consecutive bowl appearances under Currie and head coach Bill Snyder's leadership.
The Wildcats' men's basketball team has missed two consecutive NCAA tournaments under head coach Bruce Weber. Currie hired Weber in 2012 to replace Frank Martin, who left to coach South Carolina.
Kansas State completed $210 million privately funded athletic facility improvements under Currie's leadership.
Currie helped raise more than $200 million in cash contributions to Kansas State during his tenure.
Wildcats athletic programs had multi-year APR marks of at least .944. About half of the 450-plus Wildcat student-athletes achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher this past academic year.
Currie served under former UT athletics director Mike Hamilton, who worked at UT from 2003-2011.
Thrilled for John. GREAT hire. Smart, focused, driven, connected, high integrity, great family.https://t.co/opVT98nUeB— Michael Hamilton (@mikehamilton63) February 28, 2017
Hamilton and Currie led the coaching searches for basketball coach Bruce Pearl in March 2005, baseball coach Todd Raleigh in June 2007 and the football coach Lane Kiffin in November 2008.
Currie oversaw a number of multi-million dollar transactions while at UT, including:
- Negotiating an $84.3 million multimedia rights contract with Host Communications (now the Vol Network).
- Negotiating a $19.3 million all-sport contract with Adidas. Nike has outfitted UT’s athletic teams since July 2, 2015.
- Serving as a member of the facility planning team for UT’s $200 million master plan renovations for Neyland Stadium.
- Oversaw $36 million Thompson-Boling Arena renovation and basketball practice facility construction project, which was completed in fall 2007.
- Responsible for the athletic department's fundraising, marketing, ticketing, media relations, public relations, internet and broadcasting offices. Currie's management helped produce $84 million in revenue and gifts, according to UT.
- Helping the university secure $50 million in 2006 for academic and athletic needs, which represented the largest gift from one person in school history.
- Giving to Tennessee athletics doubled from $19.5 million in 2003 to $41.6 million in 2008.
Currie is a 1993 graduate of Wake Forest, where he began his career.