Vols AD Danny White nominated for Athletic Director of the Year

On3 imageby:Grant Ramey03/14/23


Tennessee’s Danny White has been named a finalist for Athletic Director of the Year by the Sports Business Journal. White is a finalist for the Sports Business Award alongside Georgia’s Josh Brooks, Tulane’s Troy Dannen, Pitt’s Heather Lyke, Iowa State’s Jamie Pollard and San Diego State’s J.D. Wicker.

White was hired at Tennessee on January 21, 2021, coming to Knoxville from the University of Central Florida, and quickly went to work rebuilding the Vols. He hired Josh Heupel, his football coach at UCF, as head coach at Tennessee just six days after taking over as the new AD of the Vols. 

Heupel in Year 2 led Tennessee to an 11-win season for the first time since 2001 and a 10-win regular season for the first time since 2003. The Vols started 8-0, climbed to No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff Top 25 of the season and secured the 11th win the Orange Bowl, beating Clemson 31-14 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and finishing the year ranked No. 6 nationally. 

Tennessee Chancellor: ‘Danny White is an innovative leader in college athletics’

“Danny White is an innovative leader in college athletics with a strong track record in recruiting and developing leaders,” Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman said while introducing White in January 2021. “He brings the combination of winning attitude, competitive drive and dedication to integrity and academics that we are looking for.”

White was named the NACDA Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year in 2019 and was named by Sports Business Journal as one of the six most influential people in sports business in 2019. 

Tennessee teams have won a total of six SEC championships since White was named the new athletic director of the Vols. The five SEC titles won during the 2021-22 academic year where the school’s most since 2006-07.

Four Vols have won individual or relay championships during the White era.

White during his short time with the Vols has hired a new women’s golf coach ,Diana Cantu, a new soccer coach, Joe Kirt, a new track and field coach, Duane Ross, and a new cross country/distance coach, Sean Carlson.

White launched the ‘My All Campaign,’ a $500 million athletics fundraising initiative  introduced a new philanthropic giving society, the Shareholders Society, “for donors whose major-gift commitments rise above and beyond annual support tied to seating and parking.”

Danny White also overseeing multi-year Neyland Stadium renovation

He’s also overseeing major renovations to Neyland Stadium that started in 2022 and run through 2025. It started last year with the addition of the party deck and second videoboard in the north end zone upper deck, along with the new lower westside club.

Up next on Neyland Stadium’s list of renovations includes partially completed Wi-Fi capabilities, the removal of South Stadium Hall and strengthening of the stadium’s south end zone. The home of the Vols is also getting new brick cladding inside the stadium, new restrooms under the Gate 10 ramp and an extended footprint for the stadium’s sound endzone to expand the concourse.

In a press release on March 3, the Vols described the “campaign momentum” that is “closing more than 135 gifts of $25,000 or larger already this fiscal year”. There was also an all-the record set for donors in a fiscal year, with more than 19,000 people donating to the fundraising effort.

Stadium-wide Wi-Fi connectivity is scheduled for Fall 2024, along with a stadium kitchen, commissary and loading dock, new southeast elevators vertically connecting all concourse, a new Gate 4 entry plaza, renovations and upgrade for all stadium skyboxes and initial construction for the Westside Founders Suites.

Fall 2025 includes an expanded south concourse, with increased restrooms, enhances concessions and a wider concourse, along with completion of the Founders Suites and Tee Martin Drive shifting south of the Gate 10 ramp. 

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