Joan Cronan

Joan Cronan

March 14, 2014 -- Jennifer Molinoff
Women’s Athletic Director Emeritus / Consultant to Chancellor
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN

Joan Cronan has served for the past twenty-eight years as University of Tennessee Women’s Athletics Director. Under her leadership  the Lady Vols  became 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.A native of Opelousas, Louisiana, Cronan first came to Knoxville in 1968 to teach at the University of Tennessee and coach women's basketball. After serving as athletics director, coach, and professor at the College of Charleston from 1973 to 1983, she and her family returned to East Tennessee in 1983 to make Knoxville their permanent home.Taking over as women's athletics director at UT in 1983, she gradually expanded the program from seven to 11 sports, helped the department increase annual giving from $75,000 to $2 million per year and oversaw a budget that grew from $1.2 million to $5.2 million over a 13-year span.She has forged a highly decorated career in collegiate athletics as an administrator and advocate for student-athletes. She is respected nationally for her skills as a leader, motivator, strategic thinker, public speaker and team builder, and for the integrity with which she runs an organization.This success at Tennessee allowed her to serve in many distinguished and prominent leadership roles at the national athletics organizational levels.  In 2010 she was appointed to the NCAA Division I Leadership Council, and in the 2008-2009 academic year she was selected as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics by her peers. In 2011 she stepped in to serve as vice chancellor and interim director of UTK athletics for three months, the first person in UT history to hold that position.Cronan was named Women’s Athletic Director Emeritus effective July 2012, and continues to represent the university and community through speaking appearances and as a senior advisor.