Former UK employee heads south to Rocky Top



A former UK employee is trading blue for his alma mater’s orange.

Jimmy Stanton has been UK’s public relations and marketing executive director for the past 21 months, but he begins work Thursday as the University of Tennessee’s associate athletic director of communications.

He has a Master of Science in sports management from Tennessee.

Stanton worked at UK for 21 months and said his position allowed him to work with some great leaders.

He said when he was interviewing for the job at UK, his meetings with some of these leaders confirmed his wishes to work at UK.

“As soon as I met the president, I was completely sold,” Stanton said.

Tom Harris, UK’s vice president of external affairs, said Stanton contributed strong leadership to the public relations department and that the public relations staff is in as good a shape as he’s seen at UK.

“He’s done a good job managing that group,” Harris said.

Though Stanton has only been at UK for less than two years, Harris said he has made improvements.

“He made a lot of progress in a short time,” Harris said.

Chris Fuller, Tennessee’s senior associate athletic director for external affairs, headed the committee that selected Stanton for his new position.

Fuller said Tennessee posted the job opening on July 2 and received 230 applicants.

“Out of the 230…there were some that surfaced quickly,” Fuller said.

The committee narrowed the number of applicants from the 230 to 12 -15, of which Jimmy was one before conducting phone interviews and finally bringing three applicants to campus, Fuller said.

Tennessee’s public relations staff had two staff members leave over the summer, so Fuller said the position is taking over was created to restructure athletic communication.

Since Stanton’s new position is with the athletic department, his background working in sports was appealing, Fuller said.

“It was what he’s done professionally that carried more weight than him having gone to Tennessee,” Fuller said.

However, Fuller said that Stanton’s connection to Tennessee would be nice when announcing him for the new position.

“(It’s) always great to be able to say it’s one of your own,” Fuller said.

Harris said UK has already begun reviewing applicants for Stanton’s former position and said he hoped it would be filled quickly.

Stanton said he would not leave UK for many schools other than Tennessee, and that he knew UK would keep moving forward.

“It’s a place I’ve always wanted to work,” Stanton said. “(There are only) a handful of places that I would have left for.”