Knoxville, (WVLT-TV), Volunteer-TV Sports Overtime has learned that
longtime University of Tennessee women's Athletics Director Joan Cronan has been named Vice Chancellor/ Director of Athletics and will oversee both UT athletic departments until a permanent successor for Mike Hamilton can been found. Hamilton resigned abruptly from the position he's held for 8 years on Tuesday. UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek wanted to move quickly to name an interim director to oversee the department. He hopes to hire a new AD by the start of football season.
Cronan will play a critical role in the continuing consolidation of the men's and women's athletic departments at UT.
"Joan Cronan epitomizes the Volunteer spirit," Cheek said. "She has been a vital part of Tennessee Athletics for thirty years and will provide proven leadership during our transitional period. I appreciate her willingness to assume this responsibility."
Cronan has served UT for thirty years and has been in her current role of director of women's athletics since the 1983-84 season. She also was the head women's basketball coach from 1968 to 1970 before a ten-year stint at College of Charleston from 1973 to 1983, where her service included being director of women's athletics, head women's basketball coach, head women’s tennis coach, and head volleyball coach.
"I am humbled and honored by this opportunity, and I greatly appreciate the chancellor’s faith in me," said Cronan. "This is an exciting time for Tennessee Athletics, as we have a great team of coaches, staff, and student-athletes. It has been a tremendous honor to serve this university for thirty years, and I am grateful for the chance to play an integral role in helping shape the bright future of Tennessee Athletics."
An industry leader who has served a variety of organizations in addition to her responsibilities at UT, Cronan was the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics from 2008 to 2009. Additionally, she was president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Administrators of Athletics (NACWAA) from 2007 to 2008. She also has served on the NCAA and SEC Executive Committees as well as on the NCAA's Management Council and Championship Cabinet.
The person who is named vice chancellor/director of athletics will serve as the senior administrator of the entire athletics department, with Cronan serving as the director of women's athletics and a member of the chancellor's cabinet until June 30, 2012, reporting to the chancellor. From July 1, 2012, until June 30, 2014, she will assume the role of senior adviser to the vice chancellor and chancellor.
Joan Cronan has been women’s athletic director at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville since 1983. She previously was at the College of Charleston.
In her position, she oversees all aspects of the Women’s Athletic Department.
Cronan was named National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators 2005 athletic director of the year. The previous year, she was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as its southeast region athletic director of the year. Under her direction, the Lady Vols program has captured the Southeastern Conference’s women’s all-sport award from the New York Times for three consecutive years.
Cronan is president of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, is active on the boards of First Tennessee Bank, Baptist Hospital, and the YMCA, and has served as vice chair of the Leadership Knoxville board. She works closely with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action, serving as a board member for her local FCA chapter and as a national trustee. In 2003, Cronan was inducted into the FCA Hall of Champions. She also is a deacon of her church.
Cronan is third vice president of NACDA and is president elect of the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administrators. She has served on the NCAA’s Executive Committee, Management Council, as well as the NCAA’s Council, and is a member of the NCAA Championship Cabinet. She has also been a member of the Southeastern Conference Executive Committee.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University and is a member of the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction. She lives in Knoxville. She and her late husband, Tom, have two daughters—both 1994 UT graduates—and four grandchildren.