Tennessee hires Kansas State’s John Currie as athletic director

John Currie

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In a surprise move, Tennessee has hired John Currie as athletic director. Currie has been Kansas State’s AD since May 2009.

Terms of the agreement are not yet known. Currie will replace Dave Hart, who has announced his retirement effective June 30.

Currie, who turns 47 on April 1, served as UT’s assistant or associate athletic director from 1997-2009. He made $775,000 annually at K-State.

Currie was a late addition to the candidate pool. Other candidates were former football coach Phillip Fulmer, UT Chattanooga athletic director David Blackburn, North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham (who withdrew his name Monday), former Carolina Panthers president Danny Morrison and Cincinnati AD Mike Bohn.

Fulmer was interviewed by both the UT search committee and the search firm hired by UT, Turnkey. Blackburn also was interviewed by Turnkey.

Currie got his start at Wake Forest where he worked four years, the last two as assistant athletic director.

Under Currie, Kansas State’s athletic budget increased by $26 million to $71 million in about seven years. And K-State’s athletic budget has had a surplus for six years in a row.

He is considered an excellent fundraiser and was honored as one of four 2013 Under Armour Athletic Directors of the Year by the National Association of Directors of Athletics. He also has improved facilities at K-State, with the school completing more than $200 million worth of upgrades during Currie’s watch.

He had signed a two-year contract extension at K-State last April, through 2022.

(You can follow Jimmy Hyams on Twitter @JimmyHyams)

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