UTC's Wharton Announces Staff Changes, Additions

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton announced changes in titles and responsibilities, along with additions to the Mocs athletics staff today. 

Senior Associate Athletics Director Scott Altizer is now UTC’s Deputy Athletics Director, and Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) Laura Herron is now the Executive Associate Athletics Director/SWA. 

“Having individuals with Scott and Laura’s knowledge and experience has been a tremendous asset in my transition to Chattanooga,” stated Wharton, who joined the Mocs in September.  “They both have spent time as Interim A.D., and they both know what it takes to run an outstanding athletics department.


Altizer is in his fourth season as the Mocs’ lead administrator for internal operations.  In addition to his previous responsibilities, he now oversees all business affairs for Chattanooga Athletics.  Altizer served as UTC’s Interim A.D. from June–September 2017.  He spent the previous 20 years in various roles in the football program at the University of Tennessee. 

Herron is in her 23rd year at UTC, serving in a number of capacities during her tenure.  She has oversight of UTC’s compliance and sports medicine departments, serves as sport administrator for various sports, and oversees student-athlete welfare.

Herron is adding human resources to her list of responsibilities, which also include director of gameday operations for volleyball, women's basketball and softball and Tournament Director for several NCAA and Southern Conference postseason events.  She was previously Interim AD during the 2012-13 season after the departure of Rick Hart.

Dr. Emily Blackman is in her ninth season as the Associate Athletics Director of Student Support Services at UTC.  She has been promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director and will continue to oversee all of the academic support for the Mocs student-athletes, as well as the sport administrator for the women’s tennis program.

The Mocs have set or tied school-records for student-athlete grade-point-averages in 10 of Dr. Blackman's 16 semesters at UTC.  This includes a school-record 3.113 overall GPA in the fall of 2015, and a current streak of eight consecutive semesters over a 3.0 GPA.  Over half of all UTC student-athletes have made the Athletics Director's Honor Roll with a 3.0 GPA greater in each term since she joined the Mocs.

“We have outstanding people in place at UTC and Dr. Blackman has certainly earned this promotion,” added Wharton.  “The academic success of our student athletes is one of our crown jewels and she has been the driving force in the growth in this area.”

Lee Roberts joins the Mocs as the Associate Athletics Director for Development.  He was most recently the Director of Development for the Eastern States Region in the University of Michigan Athletics Department. 

Roberts spent five seasons at Michigan, working his way up in the Wolverine’s Development Office.  Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant in the Rams Club at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Also new to the athletics program is Director of Business Affairs Beth Luehrs.  She joins Mocs after spending the previous year as a business manager in the UTC College of Business.  Prior to that, she worked as financial consultant director at UNUM. 

Other changes to the athletics executive team include Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Operations Andrew Horton adding spring oversight of men’s basketball and soccer to his duties, while Dr. Jay Blackman’s title has been adjusted to Senior Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications.

“As we continue our mission of comprehensive excellence for our 300 student-athletes, in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the Chattanooga community, I feel strongly that we have an extremely talented executive team to ensure our success at the highest levels,” concluded Wharton.  “The additions of Lee and Beth complete our team and I am excited about the future of Chattanooga Athletics.”

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