UTC Announces Changes To Athletics Department Leadership Group

Thursday, April 8, 2021
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor & Director of Athletics Mark Wharton announced a restructuring of his leadership group today.

Long-time administrator Andrew Horton assumes the role of Deputy Athletics Director for External Operations, while Dr.
JAy Blackman
 moves over to Deputy Athletics Director for Internal Operations.  Nate Barger is promoted to Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine and Jim Horten is now the Assistant Athletics Director for Strategic Communications.

"I am excited to have both Andrew and JAy fill the roles of Deputy Athletics Director," stated Wharton.  "They both have complimenting skill sets that align with my vision for an executive team and I look forward to continuing to grow with them as they expanded their responsibilities."

"Jim and Nate are also both ready to take their next steps at UTC.  They were already part of the senior staff and are adding to their duties within the department as we continue to move forward."

The recent departures of two members of Wharton's executive team led to some of the changes announced today.  Former Deputy A.D. Scott Altizer recently returned to his previous position within the Tennessee Volunteers football program as a part of Josh Heupel's new staff. He spent seven years with the Mocs after a 20-year run as Director of Football Relations at Tennessee.

Former Associate A.D. for Development Lee Roberts is now the Executive Associate A.D. for Philanthropy and Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh.  He spent three years running the Mocs Club in Chattanooga. 

"It was bittersweet to lose Scott and Lee, but they both had amazing opportunities at the Power 5 level," stated Wharton.  "Chattanooga has a strong reputation of hiring and retaining good people.  That makes our coaches and staff members prime targets for other schools to offer opportunities that are tough to turn down.  Scott and Lee are two of the best and we wish them well in the future.

"These openings allow for us to do some restructuring, but we still plan to hire another Mocs Club leader in the coming weeks."

Horton is in his 18th season at Chattanooga and has held many different positions since joining the program as an assistant ticket manager in 2003.  He continues to provide oversight for ticketing and sales, with a primary focus on marketing and licensing. He also serves as the sport oversight for the men's basketball and soccer programs.

"Andrew's experience at UTC is very diverse and he has been a part of this program for nearly two decades," stated Wharton. "He does an outstanding job leading our external units and will expand that role with his new title."

Blackman is in his 13th season at UTC and continues to oversee the Communications and MocsVision departments, as well as sport oversight of the wrestling program and Tournament Director of the Southern Scuffle.  In addition, he now oversees Athletic Performance, facility projects, other internal initiatives as needed and the Mocs' football program. 

"JAy is another veteran of the department and his knowledge and experience has been invaluable in leading our communications efforts throughout my tenure," added Wharton.  "He also has a diverse background which makes him a perfect fit as he moves into a more administrative role."

Barger is the newest member of the group but had one of the biggest impacts over the last year.  Hired in March of 2020, just days before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, Barger has been instrumental in keeping the Mocs going through the challenges of the past 12 months.  He has worked closely with University officials to put protocols in place that allowed UTC student-athletes to safely practice and compete during this challenging season.

"Nate has been unbelievable in leading our Sports Medicine efforts through unprecedented and unpredictable challenges," added Wharton.  "His new title is a reflection of the job he has done and a sign of the confidence we have in him to continue to direct our Sports Medicine efforts in future."

Horten takes over the day-to-day operations of the Strategic Communications Office.  He is in his 14th year at UTC and had stints running athletic communications at both Jacksonville University and Troy University.

"Jim has years of experience working in Communications and will continue to do a great job in that capacity," added Wharton.  "He has led collegiate media relations offices before and spent the last five years as our Director of Communications & Media Relations."

Dalton's Rebne SSAC Player Of The Year, Rickett Gets Coach's Honors

Dalton State Soccer Closes Out Season With 41- Loss At NAIA Regional

City Of Chattanooga Adult Softball Signup Information Announced


The SSAC released the year-end 2020-21 men's golf award winners Wednesday, highlighted by Dalton State's Ben Rebne being named Player of the Year for the third-straight season and Ben Rickett ... (click for more)

#5-ranked Dalton State saw their season come to an abrupt end with a 4-1 loss to (RV) St. Thomas (Fla.) in the Lawrenceville Regional of the NAIA Opening Round in Lawrenceville on Thursday afternoon. ... (click for more)

Here is information on the City of Chattanooga Adult Softball program: * Entry Fee - $450 * Registration period - April 23 through June 7 * $100 non-refundable deposit due (payable to ... (click for more)



Sports

Dalton's Rebne SSAC Player Of The Year, Rickett Gets Coach's Honors

The SSAC released the year-end 2020-21 men's golf award winners Wednesday, highlighted by Dalton State's Ben Rebne being named Player of the Year for the third-straight season and Ben Rickett being named Coach of the Year for the fourth time. Rebne is a four-time first-team all-conference selection, Cleary and Blake are three-time honorees and Nicholson and Martino are two-time ... (click for more)

Dalton State Soccer Closes Out Season With 41- Loss At NAIA Regional

#5-ranked Dalton State saw their season come to an abrupt end with a 4-1 loss to (RV) St. Thomas (Fla.) in the Lawrenceville Regional of the NAIA Opening Round in Lawrenceville on Thursday afternoon. HOW IT HAPPENED FIRST HALF (1-0 STU) STU: Alvaro Bode hit a cross that Joaquin Domber hit through center net in the 12'. SECOND HALF (2-0 STU) STU: Bode was ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Chattanooga Man Charged With Almost 50 Counts Of Aggravated Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

A Chattanooga man suspected of using Facebook and Snapchat to sexually exploit minors from around the country is now facing almost 50 counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. Chattanooga police began investigating Cadairyian Watt, 25, after being sent a sexual exploitation case from a deputy in New York. Police said he used a Facebook and Snapchat profile using a ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools Announce New Principals

As the district looks to the 2021-2022 school year, Hamilton County Schools announced several personnel updates Thursday, including new principals. Crystal Sorrells has been named the principal at Brainerd High School. She previously served as principal of East Ridge High School and was named 2021 Principal of the Year for Hamilton County Schools. Ms. Sorrells, a Brainerd ... (click for more)

Opinion

Aftermath Of The "George Floyd" Trial - And Response

It is not by mistake that African Americans saw it as Mr. Floyd being on trial - having to prove himself worthy of fairness - even beyond the grave. The death of injustice in America, from the first arrival of enslaved blacks from the motherland Africa, has always been the dream and prayer of the black man. It not only impacts black men, it also wrecks havoc on the black family ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Differing Views

For many reasons, I am infatuated with Constitutional law and, therefore, I was absorbed with the abject unfairness of the Derek Chauvin trial we just watched unfold in Minneapolis, Minn. Understand, my concern has nothing to do with the verdict. Instead, I am drawn to the nationwide circus that accompanied the outcome and how is it possible for the courtroom to be void of all emotion ... (click for more)