UTC's Hart: Dave Hart a "perfect fit" at Tennessee - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UTC's Hart: Dave Hart a "perfect fit" at Tennessee

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Dave Hart (right) was hired Monday as Tennessee's new athletic director Dave Hart (right) was hired Monday as Tennessee's new athletic director
Dave's son, Rick Hart, is the athletic director at UTC Dave's son, Rick Hart, is the athletic director at UTC

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Rick Hart is excited about the direction of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program, but at the same time he can't wait for basketball season.

The Mocs' early January visit to Knoxville will be the UTC athletic director's first chance to go head-to-head with his father, Dave, after the latter was hired this week by Tennessee.

"We'll have some fun with it, for sure, and my son will especially," Rick said with a smile. "He's the grandson, so he can get away with saying some things I can't."

The Mocs' leader is excited to have his parents in the state of Tennessee, and looks forward to making a few more calls than usual to the UT office.

"We'll probably interact a little more than your typical AD relationship, especially around the holidays," Rick said with a smile. "But with Mike Hamilton I had an open line of communication, and we were already competing with them in a variety of sports and had scheduled a football game a couple years out.

"I don't anticipate the operations of scheduling and other business decisions will change."

The younger Hart also doesn't think Vol Nation will see much of a change from the calm, confident demeanor his father displayed at Monday's introductory press conference.

"With him, what you see is what you get. He's a director person. Tough, but fair. He's very demanding, but he's also very loyal," Rick said. "I think the people in the department will enjoy working for him if they want to be excellent and be part of a program that strives for excellence."

Dave Hart said Monday he was fully committed to Tennessee despite graduating from Alabama and recently working for the Crimson Tide. Rick echoed that point, describing the Vols' post as an ideal opportunity.

"You look at Tennessee, it's one of the top athletics programs in the country," Rick said. "It's an opportunity for him to get back to leading a program in the South and the SEC and make a difference.

"I think it's a perfect fit. I think his background and capabilities and talents align well with where the program is right now, and what they need to move forward."

Now if only the calendar would move forward faster to January.

"We haven't delved that far into these questions yet," Rick said when asked what colors each family member would wear. "My son still hasn't quite accepted the fact that Orange may be a part of his color wheel. He's Blue and Gold all the way."

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