Thursday, October 23, 2014 · 1:10 a.m.

Tennessee extends AD Dave Hart's contract

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KNOXVILLE – Tennessee has extended the contact of Athletics Director Dave Hart, the school announced Monday afternoon.

Previously a six-year deal, Hart’s deal has now been stretched to seven years and will expire on Sept. 18, 2018. He will receive a $50,000 retention bonus for his seventh year.

His salary will remain at just under $600,000 per year.

"[Hart] has worked hard to develop a more efficient financial model and has put the right people in place, including coaches, to help reach UT's aggressive goals," UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said.

"I am pleased that Dave has made this commitment to the University of Tennessee. I look forward to continued progress in our Athletics Department in our quest for comprehensive excellence both on and off the field.”

Hart was hired in the fall of 2011 to help UT dig out of financial and NCAA troubles and to return men’s basketball and football to national prominence.

In his nearly two years on the job he has consolidated the men’s and women’s athletic programs into one and has trimmed the number of Athletic Department employees among other cost-saving maneuvers.

The success on the field hasn’t returned yet, though. Tennessee just went through its first two-year span without a bowl or NCAA tournament appearance since 1963-64. Hart fired former football coach Derek Dooley and hired Butch Jones from Cincinnati in December in an effort to revive that program.

"I appreciate the confidence and commitment Chancellor Cheek has demonstrated by extending my contract," Hart said. "Tennessee is a special place and I am committed to the goals we have set and the opportunities we have to make a difference."

Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga

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