UTC’s David Blackburn Stresses Good Groceries, Quality People and a Good Plan

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
UTC's Athletics Director David Blackburn
UTC's Athletics Director David Blackburn
- photo by UTC Sports Information

Chattanooga’s athletics director David Blackburn gets right to the point when discussing the present and future of UTC athletics.

He believes in good groceries, outstanding customer service, quality coaches, staff and student-athletes and a plan to have the Power C seen nationwide.

“You can’t have a good meal without good groceries so we have to get back to knowing what good is,” said Blackburn at Monday’s Chattanooga Quarterback Club luncheon.

After his first year at UTC, the groceries look good, yet can be improved upon with conference championships in football, wrestling and women’s basketball, an overall grade point average of 2.993 in the fall (best fall semester ever) and a big time apparel contract with Adidas.

Quality People: “I feel we have quality coaches who have recruited quality student-athletes who in turn represent the university well in all areas of their lives which is all part of that imagery of good groceries make a good meal,” Blackburn said.

Four Key Hires: One of the first items of business on Blackburn’s long “to-do” list was hire football and basketball operations directors and a strength and conditioning coach.

“Those four hires were crucial in helping our athletes be in better shape as well as help re-direct past responsibilities to the new staff members and away from our coaches to free them up to coach.”

Branding

“We are sitting on a gold mine here in Chattanooga with our athletic department and partnering with a world-class apparel company such as Adidas gives us a great platform in which to have the Power C be recognizable worldwide.”

“Branding is very important to us.”

The Adidas apparel deal includes all footwear, uniforms and additional clothing worn by the Mocs student-athletes, coaches and administrators.  It will also make Adidas an official provider of Mocs gear through numerous retail outlets in the area.

Solid Academics: “We are this close to an overall 3.0 grade point average,” said Blackburn as he held up his thumb and index finger an inch apart.

“Take out the Harvard’s and Stanford’s of the world and in terms of graduation rate we are in the nation’s top 15%.”

The UTC men's cross county team led the nation with a 6.71 GPA, while the UTC women runners had a 3.64 and ranked 18th.

Customer Service and the Entertainment Dollar: While producing winning programs in a variety of sports, Blackburn is well aware of the battle the athletic department faces to put fans in the seats at athletic contests.

“It’s easy to go to a movie or a high school contest so we have to make it as pain free as possible to come to our events,” Blackburn stated.

“Excellent customer service is vital to our success and we have to continue to improve in this area during home games whether it is better parking or quicker access into the venues with a walk up crowd.”

He sees little difference between good and great as well as good and bad.

“We have to raise the bar and we are constantly working to do just that.”

“We have a long way to go to reach some of our goals, but our revenues are up $7-8,000,000 from the past five years and we want to continue to look for ways to improve our facilities.

“There is money to be raised and I plan to be aggressive in fund raising in my second year here at UTC.”

A Worthy Cause: Blackburn believes high quality athletics at the university is a cause worth supporting, so it is worth raising funds to support our athletes, coaches and teams.

By the end of year two of the David Blackburn Era, many will again check the quality of the groceries as well as the quality of the meal itself.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


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