published Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Four athletic directors deny UT interest

KNOXVILLE — The vacant athletic director position at Tennessee certainly has a high enough profile to attract considerable interest.

It’s been just one week since the job came open with the resignation of Mike Hamilton, though, and already four athletic directors, including two with UT ties, have publicly expressed no interest in it.

Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart, Boston College’s Gene DeFilippo, Louisville’s Tom Jurich and Georgia Tech’s Dan Radakovich all said Friday that they’d rather stay put.

“While I am a Tennessee graduate and love UT and Knoxville,” DeFilippo said in a released statement, “my heart is here at Boston College. I am very fortunate to have the only job I want. Anne and I will remain at BC for many years to come.”

While earning his master’s degree in educational administration (1973-74), DeFilippo was a graduate assistant coach for the Volunteers’ football team. He later was an assistant coach at Youngstown State and Vanderbilt. DeFilippo took the BC job in 1997 after four years at Villanova.

Barnhart spent more than a decade (1986-98) as UT’s senior associate athletic director before a four-year stint at Oregon State. He’s in his ninth year with the Wildcats.

“I don’t have any interest,” he told the Lexington Herald Leader. “I’ve got good coaches [at Kentucky]; I have a family that is settled in here; I have a son who is about to be a senior in high school. I said when I agreed to my last contract that [UK] is where I plan to be until I decide on my next path, something that will probably be outside athletics. I’ve got things I still want to accomplish here, and I’m excited about doing that.”

Since he became Louisville’s athletic director in 1997, Jurich has helped the Cardinals make the lucrative jump from Conference USA to the Big East, hired Rick Pitino as the school’s basketball coach and raised the funds to build a new basketball arena.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Jurich told the Louisville Courier Journal. “I have a job here, and I’m just going to focus on that.”

Radakovich, who signed a new five-year contract last June, spent more than a decade as an associate athletic director in the SEC at South Carolina and LSU, but he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he’s happy at Georgia Tech.

UT’s search might not truly begin until a new baseball coach is hired, which could happen this week.

“We’ll consider any candidate anywhere they’re located,” UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek said last week. “I think every time you have a position open, we want to go nationwide and find the very best person that can fit in the position that’s available.

Cheek said then that he’d like to have a new athletic director, who will oversee a newly combined men’s and women’s department, by September.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com or 901-581-7288. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/patrickbrownTFP

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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