KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Former University of Tennessee Athletics Director Mike Hamilton died Friday, Women’s Athletic Director Emeritus Joan Cronan confirmed. He was 60 years old.
Hamilton served Tennessee Athletics for nearly 20 years after joining the university as an Assistant Athletics Director in 1992. He was named Director of Athletics in 2003, succeeding Doug Dickey in the role.
He was known for his efforts to create a more fan-friendly atmosphere and modernize the school’s athletic facilities, according to UTsports.com.
His efforts to increase fan outreach included the creation of the “Ask Mike” email hotline, which allowed fans to share their comments and concerns directly with him through the UT Athletics website. Under his leadership, informational booths were placed outside Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena to answer questions and help fans find their way around.
Hamilton met with more than 75 civic organizations, community groups, and university organizations across the state in his first full year as Athletics Director.
Tennessee’s facilities were transformed under Hamilton’s watch. He began efforts to renovate Neyland Stadium while keeping impact on the costs to fan at a minimum. Beginning in 2008, Thompson-Boling Arena underwent a two-phase, $35-milllion interior transformation, the first major renovation in the venue’s history.
Regal Soccer Stadium was dedicated in 2007. Built on the site of the old Tennessee Soccer Complex, the new facilities expanded fan capacity to 3,000.
Sherri Parker Lee Stadium, the home of Tennessee softball, opened in 2008. The Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center became one of the nation’s premier facilities for swimming and diving when it was completed in 2008.
Hamilton resigned from his leadership role in June 2011.
A native of Brevard, North Carolina, Hamilton served as assistant director of the Deacon Club at Wake Forest University before joining Tennessee.
Details about the cause of death and funeral arrangements were not immediately available.