EXCLUSIVE: Tennessee Athletic Director Danny White discusses 5-year plan for UT

University of Tennessee Athletic Director Danny White sat down with WVLT Sports Director Rick Russo to outline his 5-year strategic plan for UT Athletics.
University of Tennessee Athletic Director Danny White sat down with WVLT Sports Director Rick Russo to outline his 5-year strategic plan for UT Athletics.
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 10:00 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A bright future hardly ever comes by happen stance. That’s why UT Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Danny White is launching a strategic and aggressive 5-year plan for Tennessee Athletics.

The plan, called Rise Glorious, derived from UT’s alma mater song and representing the idea of achieving higher success, was made public Thursday by Danny White and his athletic staff.

White says the goal is to address what matters by being bold while holding themselves accountable in the area of fundraising.

White believes it’s in UT’s DNA to be a mover in college athletics and he wants to take the rest of Vol Nation along for the ride. He believes Tennessee has fallen off course along the way and wants to once again live up to the expectations he believes the University has the resources to achieve.

“Rise Glorious serves as a very clear roadmap for accomplishing Tennessee Athletics’ mission of leading the way in college sports,” White said. " This plan outlines why Tennessee Athletics exists and how we must approach each day in order to obtain all our specific goals for the next five years.”

The student athletes at Tennessee are playing a key role in the development and now execution of a plan he believes will help development the right championship culture for Vol athletes.

White as the student athletes, the coaches and the athletic administration are all committed to being aggressive about winning and for he and his staff it’s their livelihood and what they do every day.

While other universities across the country might be suffering a lack of support when it comes to athletics, White believes those trends may not apply to Vol Nation, especially after being around and observing the UT fan base over the past year and a half.

Tennessee initiated its Athletics strategic planning process in the summer of 2021, establishing a steering committee, along with six sub-committees, each focusing in on the following areas:

Mission, Vision and Core Values

Student-Athlete Success



Brand Advancement and Messaging

Competitive Excellence

While Tennessee’s 20 varsity sports are all crucial to the end goal, White says in no uncertain terms that football has got to be good to reach those goals. In his words, the rising tide that carries all ships.

Fundraising, season ticket sales, fan attendance at sporting events, they’re all important components to this plan’s overall success. but to sustain it, the infrastructure, UT’s facilities must be sustainable.

A bold plan with aggressive goals to get UT back where it belongs, atop the business side of college athletics. It’s a bold plan that’s 18 months in the making.

White adds that when goals are met, it’ll be time to adjust, continually tinkering and keeping fans in the loop. Tennessee’s hope is that this plan is impactful with the fan base showing them why it all matters and why their involvement can make a difference.

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