Dave Hart upbeat on Vols football

Dave Hart upbeat on Vols football

February 16th, 2012 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE - Dave Hart spent 40 minutes answering basketball questions Wednesday afternoon.

The Tennessee athletic director had roughly a minute to talk football following his appearance at the Big Orange Tipoff Club's weekly lunch meeting.

Since completing a round of interviews in December, the Volunteers' football program saw six changes on its coaching staff and signed a 22-player recruiting class.

"I'm impressed with our staff," Hart said. "Very impressed. We lost some good football coaches. There's no question some of those guys that left were very good football coaches, but I think these guys we have now are outstanding. I really like the chemistry of the staff."

Hart, who's been the leader of UT's athletic department for nearly five months, echoed the positive vibes coach Derek Dooley has been reiterating throughout the offseason. Hart added he and Dooley continue to build a great relationship.

"I think there's a new energy," Hart said. "I think that's what happened. I think we have a new level of energy, and I think people are really pointing toward the fall."