Meet the SEC's Top Athletic Director

National championships and premiere NIL collectives may be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the top athletic directors. There is another however in Knoxville that is not necessarily top of the pile in either of these categories, but results provde that it would be very hard to argue against Danny White being the top athletic director in the SEC.
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Josh Heupel (University of Central Florida and Tennessee)

Coaching under Frost as his quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator, now Tennessee Volunteers head coach, Josh Heupel actually got his start as a head coach for the UCF Knights following frost.

While it is debatable if Heupel would have sustained the success with the Knight in Orlando after regressing each season, he did lead them to a 12-1 record in his first year as head coach, and a combined 28-8 record in his three years at the school.

Heupel would depart UCF after the 2020 season and be hired again by White for the job with the Tennessee Volunteers where he has been since.

In three seasons with the Vols so far, Heupel has gone 27-12.

White’s combined record of coaching hires on the basketball side during his time at the University of Buffalo was 138-63. And that is not even at a basketball powerhouse; quite impressive.

On the football side of things, the coaching records combined for those hired by white at their place of hire is a combined 111-60. And that is with three of the four hires coming into program rebuild situations. The only one that was not was Heupel at UCF, but White you could say was even responsible for that as he had hired his predecessor Frost, so the groundwork was White’s responsibility anyways.

Again, there are big names as athletic directors in the SEC that have hired names like Kirby Smart, Lane Kiffin and others. But if you are trying to find an athletic director that has had to make the right hires for rebuilds time after time, you would be hard pressed to find a better one in the SEC, let alone all of division one.