UT names Phillip Fulmer as athletic director - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

UT names Phillip Fulmer as athletic director

Phillip Fulmer (Source: twitter.com/phillipfulmer) Phillip Fulmer (Source: twitter.com/phillipfulmer)
KNOXVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The University of Tennessee has named former head football coach Phillip Fulmer as its next athletic director.

University Chancellor Beverly Davenport held a press conference on Friday afternoon with Fulmer regarding this announcement.

"It has indeed been a difficult week, a difficult road ... and I regret deeply any hurt caused," Davenport said. "Our supporters have been passionate, vocal, but they have been steadfast about what makes this program exceptional." 

Friday morning, the university parted ways with Athletic Director John Currie after a tumultuous search for the next football coach. In a release, Davenport said Currie had been placed on leave with pay.

"Challenges require tough decisions," Davenport said. "This morning I decided to make a change in leadership of our athletic department. John Currie has been suspended ... and Phillip Fulmer has agreed to step in for the foreseeable future. Currie has worked tirelessly in his position and I thank him for his commitment."

After speaking, Davenport turned the press conference over to Fulmer. 

"Our football program has resources to play with anyone, anytime, and that's what we're going to do again," Fulmer said. "We all agree on the objective and the urgency of our objective. It's time we all pull together to be part of the solution."

Fulmer will continue the search for the next football coach but said he will not fill-in as the interim head coach himself. 

"Our first job is to turn around our football program -- all the while we have been supported by the best fan base in the country," Fulmer said. "It will take time, but we will succeed. First is to find a good coach that wants to be at Tennessee ... that is driven to succeed at the highest level, will honor our values and represent our state."

Fulmer coached the Volunteers from 1992-2008 and had an overall record of 152-52. He coached the team to a national championship in 1998.

Since June of this year, Fulmer has served as a special advisor to the university’s president.

"Everybody wants to be champions here. Everybody wants to win. What we need is cooperation and trust ... make sure we're on the same page going forward, not looking back at the past nine years," Fulmer continued. "I ask for energy, passion and focus from every Vol fan, coach, student and athlete. Let's go have fun winning championships."

Davenport declined to comment about the financial situation facing the athletic department, saying the university had not finalized any details at this time.

Watch the full press conference below:

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