Tennessee Hires UCF's Danny White As New Athletic Director

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Tennessee moved quickly to fill its vacant athletic director position by hiring UCF AD Danny White, the school announced on Thursday.

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

"We undertook this search with urgency and found strong interest from a robust candidate pool, enabling us to act quickly and with great confidence. I'm proud to say we found our leader, and I'd like to thank President Boyd, our trustees, and our staff for their support and hard work." 

The fast athletic director search was important for the Volunteers given the turmoil around the program. AD Phillip Fulmer announced his plans to retire on Monday, the same day Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause amid allegations of recruiting violations. 

Since then, the Vols have seen a mass exodus from the program, with four starters including leading tackler Henry To'o To'o and leading rusher Eric Gray entering the transfer portal in recent days. Hiring White allows the new athletic director to be involved in the coaching search and ensures Tennessee can search for a permanent replacement for Pruitt this year. 

White, the son of legendary Duke AD Kevin White, is considered a rising star nationally in college athletic administration. In his first athletic director job at the University of Buffalo, White hired a pair of future high-major basketball head coaches in Bobby Hurley (Arizona State) and Nate Oats (Alabama). 

After taking the UCF head job in 2015, White immediately sprung into action and hired Scott Frost as the football coach. The program was winless the year before his arrival, but Frost turned it around and led the Knights to an undefeated season in his second year. White later hired Josh Heupel to replace Frost, and Heupel took UCF to a New Year's Six bowl game in his first year on the job.