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Director of Women’s Athletics Joan Cronan was honored at the UT Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, June 21, for her commitment to student-athletes, UT, and the community.

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek announced the university will remove “interim” from before Cronan’s title of vice chancellor and director of athletics, the position she held from June 9 to September 5, 2011, prior to Dave Hart’s appointment. The move makes Cronan the first person in UT history to hold that position.

Cronan has spent more than twenty-eight years with Tennessee Athletics. In that time, the Lady Vols have become one of the most visible and well-respected programs in the country, amassing ten NCAA national championship titles, forty-six top-five NCAA finishes, and twenty-nine Southeastern Conference regular-season championships.

“She has led with humility and grace and demands excellence from everybody that works with her,” said Cheek. “She’s built a powerhouse of a program that also graduates and educates young ladies.”

Cronan will retire at the end of this month and will serve as women’s athletics director emeritus effective July 1. She will spend two years working with the university and community through speaking engagements and other activities.

“When you work with coaches, they’re always focused on the championships,” Cronan told the board. “I’ve always preached, ‘enjoy the journey.’ I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed the journey at the University of Tennessee. And I look forward to the two years in representing the university and I hope I will always represent the university.”

Cheek presented Cronan with a plaque commemorating her service to UT and listing her among all the athletics directors in the university’s history. A larger plaque will be displayed in the athletic director’s suite in the new Football Training Center.