Embattled University of Tennessee Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton resigned Tuesday.
The move is effective June 30.
According to the university, he will receive $1.335 million over the next 36 months as part of a separation agreement. UT officials promised a national search with a search firm to assist in the process.
Hamilton was appointed director of athletics in 2003.
“My family and I love the University of Tennessee, and we love Knoxville,” Hamilton said in a release announcing the move. “We have poured out our lives over the last 19 years to try to make this a better community, a better athletic program and a better university. We will forever cherish our time here and be eternally grateful to Doug Dickey for taking a chance on a young, 28-year-old in 1992.
“Serving as athletic director over the last eight years has been an incredible daily leadership lesson and a dream come true that I would never trade for anything. I appreciate everyone who has walked along that path with me. We have, without a doubt, the best staff, coaches, student-athletes, and fans in America.”
In recent months, Hamilton fired two high-profile coaches, basketball’s Bruce Pearl and baseball’s Todd Raleigh, he originally hired. He also hired controversial former football coach Lane Kiffin, who left less than a year later, to take a similar job with USC.
University officials have a hearing with the NCAA board of infractions scheduled for Saturday. Hamilton will be among the UT representatives.
The basketball and football programs face major violations. The baseball program reportedly was investigated as well but no potential issues regarding recruiting or extra benefits were found.
Hamilton joined the UT athletics department in 1992 as assistant athletics director for development and moved to two other positions before he became director of athletics.
“Mike is a man of high integrity and deep faith,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “His contributions to our campus and its faculty, staff, and students will live on for many decades, especially his positive influence on our student-athletes. We will miss him.”