University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor Dr. Roger Brown announced Laura Herron as the Interim Director of Athletics today. Herron will fill in for outgoing Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Rick Hart, who was announced as the new Director of Athletics at SMU earlier this afternoon.
Herron is currently a Senior Associate Athletics Director and the Senior Woman Administrator at UTC. She is entering her 19th season with the Mocs and has a wealth of experience in athletics administration.
"Laura Herron has proven herself to be an invaluable member of the athletics administration during her tenure at UTC," stated Dr. Brown. "She shows a great compassion and concern for the overall growth of our student-athletes. This is a strong and healthy athletics program, and I am confident in her leadership during this time of transition."
Hart just wrapped up his sixth year at UTC. During his tenure, the Mocs enjoyed record growth and performances in the classroom, on the court and in the community. UTC student-athletes increased their overall grade-point-average in seven of the last eight semesters, including tying a program high with a 2.97 in the spring. The Mocs also had 11 programs score a perfect 1000 in the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores released from the NCAA.
Athletically, UTC won 17 regular season and 22 Southern Conference Tournament Championships in Hart's tenure, far more than any other school in the league. UTC also took home its first Germann Cup in 2007-08 for the top women's program in the SoCon, and set a school record with a 99th place finish in the 2008-09 Learfield Sports Director's Cup.
Chattanooga student-athletes have also established a strong reputation for their work in the community under Hart's leadership. From the week-long feature on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, to volunteering with the Special Olympics, the Mocs are excellent representatives of the University and the Chattanooga community.
"Chattanooga athletics is a competitive program with an outstanding reputation, so we certainly anticipate a number of interested candidates," added Dr. Brown. "That said, I want to move as quickly as possible to find the best candidate for this position with the hope of having someone identified by the beginning of our football season."
Laura Herron Bio
Laura Herron is in her 19th year working in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletics Department and has served the University in a variety of capacities during her tenure. She is currently the Interim Director of Athletics, as announced by UTC Chancellor Dr. Roger Brown on July 16, 2012.
Herron was the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Administration and served as the Mocs' Senior Woman Administrator. She plans to return to this position once the new Director of Athletics is in place.
Herron has oversight and supervision of the UTC compliance office staff, serves as sport administrator for five sports and oversees student-athlete welfare. She is the director of gameday operations for volleyball, women's basketball and softball and has served as Tournament Director for several NCAA and Southern Conference postseason events.
Herron has also led the Mocs efforts for improving their Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores over the last five years. She worked to develop and implement a long-term strategy that resulted in record APR scores in the most recent update for the NCAA. UTC had 11 programs score a perfect 1000 in the 2010-11 data, including the Mocs' first multi-year 1000 earned by the men's golf team.
Herron began her time at Chattanooga as an Assistant Athletic Trainer from 1994-04, adding the title of Senior Woman Administrator in 1999. She was promoted to Assistant Athletics Director/SWA in 2003 and moved out of the Training Room and into the Compliance Office in 2004. She has held her current position as Senior Associate Athletics Director/SWA since July 2010.
Prior to her arrival at UTC, Herron was the Head Women's Athletic Trainer at Florida Southern College. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Fitness and Recreation from the University of West Georgia in 1991. While working as a graduate assistant trainer at Troy University, Herron earned her master's degree in Foundations of Education in 1993.
A native of Rising Fawn, Ga., Herron worked with USA Softball for five years as the athletic trainer. From 1999-2003, she accompanied the National Team to several international tournaments in San Diego, Hawaii and Canada. In the summer of 2000, she put her athletic training skills to work for the Olympic Gold-Medal winning USA Softball Team as it prepared for the 2000 Summer Olympics with its "Central Park to Sydney" U.S. Tour. In 2001, Herron interned at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.