Former Tennessee AD Currie to be resident at Robert Morris

Robert Morris University says former Tennessee athletic director John Currie will serve as executive-in-residence for a week at its business school.

Currie was suspended with pay by Tennessee on Dec. 1 in the midst of a search for a football coach, pending an investigation into termination for cause.

Robert Morris says Currie will participate in sport management courses, meet with RMU’s sports management advisory board, and interact with other university faculty and staff while at the school’s campus in suburban Pittsburgh.

Currie was the athletic director at Kansas State before taking over at Tennessee last year. He was in the job for eight months before he was removed during a search for a replacement for former football coach Butch Jones and replaced with Philip Fulmer.

“I’ve known John Currie since he was the athletic director at Kansas State University. Learning from someone with his achievements and experience will be invaluable to our students,” Robert Morris President Chris Howard said in a statement. Howard is also a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Before becoming AD a Kansas State in 2009, Currie served in a variety of roles at Tennessee, including executive associate athletics director. He began his career in athletic administration at Wake Forest, his alma mater, in 1993.

“I have extraordinary respect for Dr. Howard and I am very impressed at what RMU is achieving under his guidance,” Currie said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the university’s leadership and spending time in the wonderful city of Pittsburgh.”

Currie is still collecting on a five-year contract worth at least $900,000 annually, and his buyout terms indicated he’d be owed $5.5 million if he got fired without cause. If Currie is terminated for cause, the school would not owe him anything.

Tennessee suspended Currie during a coaching search that became a national embarrassment for the school, starting with a fan revolt against the hiring of former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who is currently defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

Currie and the Volunteers were then turned down by several other coaches, including Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and Dave Doeren from North Carolina State, over the course of several days.

After meeting with Washington State coach Mike Leach in California, Currie returned to Knoxville, Tennessee, and was replaced the next day and suspended by university chancellor Beverly Davenport.

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