Tennessee’s inept AD quits. Will Radakovich get a Vol call?

From left: Dan Radakovich, hoops coach Brian Gregory and SID Dean Buchan. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Dan Radakovich, Brian Gregory and Tech SID Dean Buchan. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Mike Hamilton hired Lane Kiffin to coach Tennessee football. Mike Hamilton hired Bruce Pearl to coach Tennessee basketball.

In a not-so-shocking development, Mike Hamilton announced today he is resigning as Tennessee’s athletic director.

Tennessee is about to appear before the NCAA committee on infractions, which is what happens when you hire Lane Kiffin to coach football and Bruce Pearl to coach basketball. (Tennessee baseball is also under scrutiny, too.)

Hamilton said today he wanted the Vols to be able to plead their case to the NCAA with a “clean slate,” which seemed an odd choice of words. But the football coach, the basketball coach, the baseball coach and the AD who presided over this mischief-making are all gone or going, which might mitigate things a bit. (And Tennessee always gets away with everything. Right, Bama fans?)

A couple of thoughts: Derek Dooley’s job, which was never going to be easy, gets even tougher. He was a surprising hire in the first place, coming from Louisiana Tech after three seasons (two of them losing) to the massive stadium on the banks of the Tennessee River, and now the man who chose him is out. The son of Vince needs to win big soon, and with the talent at hand and post-Kiffin probation apt to descend, he might not be able.

Also: Philip Fulmer, whom Hamilton pushed aside to make room for Kiffin, will get support as Hamilton’s replacement, but a local-to-Atlanta candidate might arise. Dan Radakovich is the Georgia Tech AD and seems happy here, but he has worked at SEC schools (LSU and South Carolina) and knows the league well. When his name was mentioned in connection with Miami’s opening earlier this year, the in-house belief was that D-Rad would leave Tech only for an SEC job.

Well, there’s an SEC job open, and it’s a big one. (That massive stadium by the river seats 102,000, as you know.) Given the mess left by Hamilton and his crew, it’s also a tough one. But D-Rad is a capable man who’s held in high regard in his difficult industry. Don’t be surprised if he gets a call.

By Mark Bradley

159 comments Add your comment

Class

June 7th, 2011
1:34 pm

I hope not as a Tech man. He’s done so much for our Institution and athletic programs. If he does decide to go I wish him well.

GT BBall

June 7th, 2011
1:42 pm

Are you reporting the news or trying to create news?

RT IN NC

June 7th, 2011
1:42 pm

It won’t be a fun job, but then again cleaning up the mess his predecessor left him must have looked hard when he took the tech job. I’d like to see what he can do long term at Tech. If he leaves, I hope we hire a banker or a business man that would have taken one look at Hewitt’s contract and fired all his lawyers and accountants. If nothing else, we need to stop paying guys that don’t work for us anymore.

Dawglasville

June 7th, 2011
1:44 pm

I hope Fulmer is offered the job because he got jobbed by UT when he was let go. Here is their chance to fix that wrong.

GT Alum

June 7th, 2011
1:46 pm

Yeah, Radakovic is still hampered by paying both the basketball coach and the football coach his predecessor hired. It would be nice if he stayed around long enough to see what he could do without having two pay 2 coaches at once for both of the biggest money sports at a school.

misterwax

June 7th, 2011
1:46 pm

one more nice house for sale up here in East Cobb….just add it to the inventory.

Tech BuzZ

June 7th, 2011
1:48 pm

To keep Rad, Tech needs to bump his salary big time to beat anything UT can offer, no matter what it takes. Tech has plenty of cash to pay top dollar.

juvenal

June 7th, 2011
1:48 pm

busy since you’ve been back…..wish he’d fired cph when he lost those scholarships, Favors or no………

beanster

June 7th, 2011
1:48 pm

As a UGA fan, I think I’d rather see Radakovich than Fulmer as AD at UT. The latter is fairly frightening in my opinion.

Just Me

June 7th, 2011
1:49 pm

I think he will but I don’t think he will leave Tech of Hicks in the Hills.

joe

June 7th, 2011
1:52 pm

“and with the talent at hand…apt to descend”

This quote is more applicable to UGA than UT. Tennessee might surprise some people in the wide open east this year…unwise to rule them out. Dooley is doing a good job so far as with a couple breaks, he could have easily been 8-5 with an upset of LSU and UNC on his resume. Dooley will lead the Vols to some upsets this year, book it.

Johnny DangerDawg

June 7th, 2011
1:52 pm

Tennessee’s president is also pretty new. (He wasn’t yet the pres when Dooley was hired.) He seems to have faith that Dooley can get things going in the right direction.

Herschel Talker

June 7th, 2011
1:55 pm

MB:

You’re just churning ‘em out left and right.

HT

ab initio

June 7th, 2011
1:56 pm

God has been very kind to the University of Tennessee this day.

TommyJack

June 7th, 2011
1:56 pm

Hamilton made some mistakes. But to call him inept is over the top. Man raised a ton of money and accomplished some good things. Of course columnists never get accused of being balanced, do they?

CJ

June 7th, 2011
1:56 pm

Judging by the calls on Knoxville radio, support is the last thing Fulmer would get if hired. People are not too fond of him and blame him for the position that program is in.

sogadog

June 7th, 2011
1:57 pm

If given a chance Radakovich should leap at the opportunity to serve as AD at Tenn. Paul Johnson’s inability to recruit is going to catch up with the football program and they will not be able to compete for ACC or BCS championships. Tech’s basketball program has floundered as well and will be in transition with the new coach. At Tenn. Radakovich will find the foundation to develop a first class athletic program which is not present at Tech. Tech’s decision to leave the SEC was a huge mistake and it may never recover. Tenn’s athletic program is temporarily a mess but the foundation is strong.

Just Me

June 7th, 2011
1:58 pm

Tenn paying more isn’t always the thing. There is A Lot to be said for living in Atlanta Metro Area. Hicksville on the Cumberland River isn’t a great place to call home. More money doesn’t always do you better when you have to deal with the VOL fans.

GeoffDawg

June 7th, 2011
1:58 pm

GT BBall, Mark Bradley’s not a reporter, he’s an editorial writer. He’s paid to give an opinion and stir up debate. Don’t be so sensitive.

DawginLex

June 7th, 2011
2:00 pm

Word on the street is Tom Jurich from Louisville is going to get a call.

T3

June 7th, 2011
2:04 pm

Recent article on BloombergNews clearly shows UT’s Athletic Association is starting to have
“financial issues.” Season tix sales are falling badly and quickly. The economy in many places is in VERY BAD trouble. Even worse in Tenn.

D-Rad will not leave GT for another AD job,
even for high-paid one in the cesspool of cheating & fraud called the SEC.

His sights are set on being Commissioner of a D1 Conference.

ACC Commisioner John Swofford is a S-E-R-I-O-U-S moron.

The next ACC Commissioner will likely be D-Rad, in about 5 Years time.

GeoffDawg

June 7th, 2011
2:05 pm

Tech BuzZ, just curious since I don’t know much about Tech’s athletic department budget but can they legitimately compete with UT on salary?

vol now

June 7th, 2011
2:06 pm

dooley better start winning big real quick or he will not last. There’s no 5 year honeymoon anymore in college ball. Meyer and Stoops won the national title in their second year. Vol fans will not put up with another year of bad coaching like last year.

soda

June 7th, 2011
2:06 pm

Geez Mark are you just throwing mud up on the wall? Radakovich ? I don’t think so , but I can guarantee you , that you have a better chance of being named the AD , than does Phil Fulmer . Why on God’s green earth would they hire someone that had become too inept to get the job done as the football coach , to run to whole athletic department . I mean the ole dog gone , gosh shucks guy , is not going to be running the athletic department , as he can’t even get a bite to be a head coach .

Brew

June 7th, 2011
2:07 pm

If my university calls a man that kept Paul Hewitt well past his expiration date, I will take hostages. Hamilton did a fair job, not great, not good, fair. He hired the right football coach in Dooley. He hired the right basketball coach in Pearl until Pearl tried to do things the UK way without being given their latitude in BB rule breaking.
Most importantly, he fired Phil Fulmer. A few years late, but he fired him. BTW, have you seen the newly remodeled Neyland and Thompson-Boling Arena? Best in the SEC on both counts. To get those things done in this economic climate is astounding.

rduck

June 7th, 2011
2:09 pm

Hopefully DRad willstay at Tech and continue to build onto the progress that Tech sports has become. I would be very suprised to see him jump ship to a school that is in deep with the NCAA infraction committee.

atlvol55

June 7th, 2011
2:12 pm

At least some good news coming from Rocky Top. I’m sure Hamilton is a nice guy, but its amazing he has lasted this long. Kiffin, Pearl (whom I still like despite what he did, and Raleigh are baseball coach which turned a pretty good program that had gone to the College World Series like three times in the previous eight years, into the absolute laughing stock of the SEC. Our baseball team probably would have a hard time beating Oglethorpe on a regular basis.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Hamilton!

Don’t be surprise if Fulmer IS the next A.D. The only reason I would say no is because it would be pretty awkward to have him presiding over Dooley the way Fulmer was fired and is still pretty bitter about it

TommyJack

June 7th, 2011
2:16 pm

Just Me……Cumberland River? Geography major?

DawginLex

June 7th, 2011
2:16 pm

I thought coach Dooley did a pretty good job last year with what he had to work with. I would LOVE to see him welcome Muschamp to the SEC with a loss at home in the Swamp. Tall order though

Dawg? GONE!

June 7th, 2011
2:17 pm

This December, Jim Tressel will be able to have his pick of either Georgia or Georgia Tech.

Just Me

June 7th, 2011
2:17 pm

The new Vols AD should be the GREATEST COACH in Vol history.
Pat Head

atlvol55

June 7th, 2011
2:19 pm

I don’t know much about D-Rad other than he gave Paul Hewitt the most insane contract ever….I’m not sure that would go over to well with Tennessee fans. Hamilton was murdered by the fans for giving Kiffin practically a nothing buy out clause…(which incidentally made it even easier for Southern Cal).

Not sure D-Rad is a big enough draw. TN’s athletic budget is way larger than Georgia Tech’s. TN is the only school in the country in the top 5 in attendance in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball. While an AD isn’t as big as hiring a coach, I think TN fan’s are going to want someone from a school similiar in size. With everything going on the last couple of years…Kiffin, Fulmer, Pearl, NCAA, its a pretty fragile fan base at this point

Just Me

June 7th, 2011
2:19 pm

Dawg?
what are you smoking?
Tressel at TECH?
TECH would never call Tressel even if he was interested.
UGA and the SEC? Tressel would fight right in for damn sure.

404

June 7th, 2011
2:21 pm

As I have said repeatedly over the past 3 months, when the NCAA gets done
throwing Ohio State under the bus, their next stop will be in Auburn.

The stage has already been set for something really big.

1. NCAA threw a National title winning coach and “poster-child” D1 program under the bus.

2. Now, NCAA has just vacated the 2004 title for USC.

3. Heisman Committee demanded Reggie Bush’s trophy back.

4. Auburn recently told their #1 multi-millionaire benefactor, Bobby Lowder, to hit the road.
The seriousness of this shocking step by the Auburn Board of Trustees is a clear warning
that something really bad will happen to Auburn.

The stars are all lining up for something really bad to happen to Auburn.

I will say again for the record, Auburn fans should be scared to death of what comes next.

What the NCAA is going to do to Auburn will be a “near-death” experience for Auburn,
and the SEC is going to get severely “wounded.”

A Bad Moon is Rising on The Plains.

Just Me

June 7th, 2011
2:21 pm

atlvol55
June 7th, 2011
2:19 pm

I don’t know much about D-Rad other than he gave Paul Hewitt the most insane contract ever…

Stick to your knowledge of the Hicks in the Hills sports because you don’t know crap about TECH. D-Rad didn’t hire Hewitt. Dave Brainless did that contract on his way out the door. He did it to screw TECH a little I am sure. TECH just had a great NCAA run and Dave BRAINLESS wanted to lock up a “Great” coach at the time. Well, we know that was a mistake and why BrainLESS is gone and D-Rad was hired.

DawginLex

June 7th, 2011
2:25 pm

If Richt craps his pants, the enxt coach at Georgia will be…………………….

Wait for it

Wait for it

Paul Johnson

:) :) :)

bigstack19

June 7th, 2011
2:26 pm

I live in Tennessee and agree that Hamilton was inept. All of Tennessee’s athletic programs are under investigation as I understand it. His idiotic coaching decisions have left many here to wonder if he might have had a stroke and nobody told him. Firing Fulmer, replacing him with a goof like Kiffin from USC which is known for its problems from when Kiffin worked there with his mentor Pete Carrol, Letting Bruce Pearl run the men’s basketball program like he did which cost him his job. The baseball coach was fired after doing a lousy job replacing the previous coach who committed rules violations while at Tennessee. All of this happened under Hamilton’s watch and he should get the blame. As for raising money, the University of Tennessee can raise money just on the name. Hamilton didn’t have much to do with funds being raised. It was the Tennessee Volunteer brand that raised money along with names like Pat Summitt and Peyton Manning and the loyal Vol fans. So yes he was inept. In fact, that might be an understatement.

Beast from the East

June 7th, 2011
2:28 pm

Bring back Fulmer (aka “The Great Pumpkin”) as AD. He’d probably fire Dooley and annoint himelf as the “interim” HC for about 3 years. LOL! Seriously, how could he feel bitter about the way he was let go when he stabbed Majors in the back to get the job in the first place?

bamaguy

June 7th, 2011
2:29 pm

I agree that Pat Summit should be AD. Winningest coach is college sports. And I wouldn’t mess with her.

Beast from the East

June 7th, 2011
2:32 pm

bamaguy,
I agree that Pat Summit might not be a bad choice. Smart lady and a FIERCE competitor.

ted williams head

June 7th, 2011
2:37 pm

you have been gone over a week and this is all you can come up with? very weak

Dink

June 7th, 2011
2:40 pm

Isn’t Fulmer still on the Vols’ payroll to the tune of about $6 million?

BTW, welcome back Mark!

Ted M

June 7th, 2011
2:43 pm

I like Bruce Pearl.

BG

June 7th, 2011
2:46 pm

Cheating finally caught up with Mr. Hamilton.

T3

June 7th, 2011
2:53 pm

DawginLex:

CPJ to UGA ??

ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not in this century.

John Galt

June 7th, 2011
3:01 pm

It would be sweet to see Phat Phil return-

soda

June 7th, 2011
3:01 pm

404 ……….The NCAA had nothing to do with vacating USC’s 2004 title . That was stricyly the BCS that did that.

Mark Bradley

June 7th, 2011
3:02 pm

Thanks, Dink.

soda

June 7th, 2011
3:04 pm

“Don’t be surprise if Fulmer IS the next A.D. The only reason I would say no is because it would be pretty awkward to have him presiding over Dooley the way Fulmer was fired and is still pretty bitter about it”

I would be stunned , but it will never happen ………….bet the house on it .

NewnanDawg

June 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

Can we send Richt up to interview for that UT AD job?