SBD/July 17, 2012/Colleges

SMU Hires UT-Chattanooga's Rick Hart As AD; Kevin Anderson Staying At Maryland

Hart will help orchestrate SMU's move from Conference USA to the Big East
SMU yesterday named Univ. of Tennessee-Chattanooga AD Rick Hart “to the same post,” according to Richard Durrett of ESPN DALLAS. Hart is a “third-generation administrator in his family,” with his father Dave Hart currently serving as AD at the Univ. of Tennessee. Rick Hart replaces Steve Orsini at SMU, who was let go May 17. Hart has been the AD at Chattanooga, “which competes at the FCS level in football, since 2006.” Hart will be “charged with leading the SMU athletics program as it prepares for its final season in Conference USA before moving to the Big East in 2013” (ESPNDALLAS.com, 7/16). The AP’s Stephen Hawkins noted Hart was at Chattanooga “after seven years at Oklahoma," where he was Senior Associate AD. He also worked “in athletic administration at North Carolina, his alma mater, and East Carolina while serving with the U.S. Olympic committee.” Hart was the “final choice after an initial list of 30 candidates was trimmed to eight finalists.” SMU President Gerald Turner said, “We were looking for someone who had experience in fundraising, marketing and ticketing. Oklahoma people couldn't say enough about how he organized things there in a very significant way.” Hart is scheduled to begin working “full time at SMU on Aug. 13.” In the four weeks until then, he will “make the transition from Chattanooga and take a previously scheduled vacation with his wife and two young children” (AP, 7/16).

STAYING PUT: Univ. of Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said that he is “staying with the Terrapins.” Referring to a recent S.F. Chronicle report that he was in line to take the AD job in Palo Alto, Anderson said, “I have not been contacted by anyone at Stanford University.” ESPN.com’s Andy Katz noted Maryland two weeks ago announced that the school “would be cutting seven sports due to a projected revenue shortfall" (ESPN.com, 7/16). Anderson yesterday said, "I spent the majority of the afternoon calling -- talking to my president and to supporters of the athletic department and staff members. I had to put out a lot of fires." In Baltimore, Jeff Barker noted Anderson's contract with Maryland, "which began in 2010, was for five years." However, the contract "gets automatically extended by a year each Sept. 30 unless one of the parties objects. The deal was for $401,015 annually" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 7/16).

BEST CANDIDATE? In South Carolina, Ron Morris wrote the Univ. of South Carolina’s "'search' for a new athletics director was a sham, designed solely to make certain control of the athletics department returned to its rightful place with the university president and board of trustees. Unfortunately, we do not know if Ray Tanner was the best candidate for the athletics director job. We do not know that because USC president Harris Pastides never conducted a search for candidates” (Columbia STATE, 7/15).
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