University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Interim Chancellor Dr. Grady Bogue and Chancellor-elect Dr. Steven Angle announced David Blackburn as the institution’s new Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics today. Blackburn most recently served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration at the University of Tennessee where he was member of the Volunteers’ executive staff.
“After an exhaustive search that produced an incredibly strong pool of highly qualified candidates, David Blackburn clearly distanced himself from the group as the right person to lead the Mocs,” stated Dr. Angle. “He has a proven track record of fundraising, administration and integrity that is a perfect fit for our University.”
Angle is scheduled to introduce Blackburn at a public reception on Tuesday, April 23, at 3:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) in the University Center on the UTC campus. He will officially begin his duties on April 24.
“David Blackburn is a talented and well-experienced athletics executive who is ready to put his initiative and imagination to work in continuing to build the strength of our program at UTC,” said Dr. Bogue. “We are proud to have him coming to the fellowship of UTC.”
A 1990 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Education, Blackburn has over two decades of experience in college athletics. He began his career at Tennessee in 1993 working with then-head football coach Phillip Fulmer, serving in a variety of roles within the program. He held his most recent position since 2008 as direct oversight of Vols football and its senior-level administrator.
“I am extremely grateful to Dr. Angle, (Interim Chancellor) Dr. Bogue and the search committee for the opportunity to lead the Mocs,” stated Blackburn. “UTC has a very strong athletics program that focuses on the comprehensive excellence of its student-athletes; academically, athletically and socially. This strong foundation provides tremendous opportunity and potential for growth.”
At Tennessee, Blackburn has served as the athletic department liaison to the Thornton Center, the student-athlete academic support unit. He was appointed to participate in various search committees for head coaches and upper level departmental staff. He also participated in the design and construction of Tennessee's new $48 million football training center.
In August of 2003, Blackburn made a transition into fundraising and became the Assistant Athletic Director for Development. During his tenure working in fundraising, the Volunteer Athletic Scholarship Fund saw record growths in all areas. Most noted were total athletic gifts more than doubling from $19.5 million in 2003 to over $41 million in 2007. Also, he helped secure an $84 million multi-media rights contract with Host Communications.
In 2007, Blackburn was promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Administration where he broadened his scope of athletic department management serving on then-Athletic Director Mike Hamilton's senior management team. That appointment included oversight of the track and field program, the swimming and diving teams, facility operations, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, equipment operations, and event management.
“I especially want to take a moment and thank the members of the search committee for their time and efforts to bring forward several strong candidates on an extremely aggressive schedule,” said Dr. Angle. “Led by Dr. Debbie Ingram, they were vigilant and dedicated in their review of candidates, and I believe the process resulted in the right choice.”
A native of Loudon, Tenn., Blackburn is married to the former Andrea Radel of Albion, Mich. They have two daughters, Emma and Charlee.