East Tennessee State has a new Director of Football Operations. David Blackburn, a former Chattanooga athletic director, will take over that position in March before spring practices begin.
“I have been privileged to know David Blackburn for many years and am delighted to welcome him to our staff,” newly appointed Buccaneers football coach George Quarles said in a press release. “David has had tremendous success in Tennessee as both director of operations and administrator, and has accomplished great things in both Chattanooga and Middle Tennessee.
“I know he will bring years of experience and knowledge to this team and I look forward to continuing our friendship here in East Tennessee.”
Blackburn recently completed a stint at Middle Tennessee State, where he retired as senior associate athletic director for external affairs. Blackburn was hired at MTSU in 2018 and played a key role in the department, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blackburn has many years of football experience and served on the University of Tennessee’s football staff from 1992 to 2002. At the UT he started as an assistant recruitment coordinator and for years he developed into director of football operations.
In Blackburn’s 10 years as a football manager, the volunteers have amassed an overall record of 108-28. They were 6-5 in bowl games during that period, finishing their 1998 national championship season with a 23-16 Fiesta Bowl win over the state of Florida.
Blackburn took an administrative position in the UT athletics department in 2003 and remained there until he was hired as athletic director at Chattanooga in 2013.
“I am so excited to welcome David Blackburn to our ETSU athletic family,” Carter said in a released statement. “He is respected across the country as one of the best in college athletics. David has been one of the most influential people in my life, both personally and professionally, and he will be an incredible asset to our football program and this university.”
Blackburn served as Chattanooga’s AD from 2013 to 2018, then made the move to Murfreesboro. Under his leadership in Chattanooga, the Mocs became the first SoCon school to win the conference title in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball in the same season.