BRISTOL, TN - OCTOBER 14: Dave Hart(L), Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Athletic Director, and Butch Jones, Tennessee Head Coach, speak during a press conference at Bristol Motor Speedway on October 14, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. Bristol Motor Speedway plans to transform the legendary Speedway into the world's largest football stadium for the inaugural Battle at Bristol, College Football's Biggest EVER game to be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The event will feature a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers and is projected to set the NCAA record for highest single-game attendance. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for Bristol Motor Speedway)

Tennessee AD announces retirement effective in 2017


Dave Hart has been the athletic director at Tennessee since 2011 and was responsible for the hiring of football coach Butch Jones. He's also had to deal with some profile cases against the school involving Title IX and sexual assault allegations. He's now announcing his retirement that will be effective June 30, 2017.

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Hart had previously held leadership roles in athletics administration at East Carolina University, Florida State University and the University of Alabama. The last couple of years have been rough with the sexual assault scandal and a lot of change in the higher levels of administration at the school.

RELATED: Chris Spognardi 'relieved of duties'


Director of football operations Chris Spognardi was also relieved of his duties and is currently on paid administrative leave for a "personal matter." A financial audit found irregularities related to his job, which is why he is no longer performing his duties as DOFO. When asked about what this meant for the school going forward, Hart said he intends to just focus on the short-term.

"I really only look short-term. My focus right now is on this year, this academic and athletic year. That's where my focus is. I still have the same energy level that I probably had 15 years ago, so it's not a matter of energy or anything of that nature. I'm looking forward to this year. Like a lot of people, our fan base included, I'm really excited about this academic and athletic year," Hart said.

Tennessee is now in search of candidates to fill the roles of both chancellor and athletic director, as Jimmy Cheek (the chancellor) announced his plans to step down last June.


[h/t Saturday Down South]