It’s almost football time in Tennessee, and former Vols athletics director Mike Hamilton admits he misses being in the thick of the action.
Hamilton, who resigned from UT in 2011, enjoyed the electric atmosphere at this time each year with the anticipation of another football season bearing down.
But thanks to Trevecca athletics director Mark Elliott, Hamilton has plenty to keep him busy.
Elliott reached out to Hamilton, who moved to Nashville after leaving UT, asking for his expertise in running an athletics department, even if it is one on a much smaller scale and without a football team.
“We had been introduced at some point and then after that Mark called me and said, ‘I know you’re here in town now, can I buy you a cheeseburger?’” Hamilton said. “So we went out and got to talking. He was leading Trevecca through the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II and sort of trying to get his head around what that might look like. We continued having lunch every now and then and then we started talking about some of the other things he’s got going on like trying to enhance their facilities and their capital fundraising campaign and I said, ‘I’d love to help you.’”
Hamilton has a passion for mission work. He moved his family to Nashville to become involved with Blood Water Mission, which fights AIDS and clean water shortages in Africa.
Then in December 2014, he was appointed executive director of Show Hope, an orphan care and adoption ministry started by Christian music entertainer Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth.
“I have a heart for that obviously because my (five) children are adopted,” Hamilton said. “That’s what I do for my day job, and they’re nice enough to give me enough latitude to help out with some special projects like the one I’m doing with Trevecca to keep me stay engaged in the athletic flare that I enjoy being a part of.”
At UT, Hamilton was in charge of a $105 million budget. Trevecca’s budget is $3.8 million.
But there still are basic essentials that work on any level.
“Fundraising is fundraising; it’s relationship-driven, it’s process-driven,” Hamilton said. “It’s about having a plan and following the plan. It’s about casting a vision and utilizing your assets, whatever they are. You can truncate the zeros, but the reality is that there are some things that are very fundamental and exist across the board.”
Elliott said his relationship with Hamilton already is paying off.
“Here’s an unbelievable resource that’s been at the top of an athletic director pyramid at a time when their football team was ranked No. 1, their basketball team was ranked No. 1 for awhile and all of the money that he raised and all of the stuff that he did,” Elliott said. “I just wanted to introduce myself and say, ‘Hey let’s become friends, or at least acquaintances, and see what happens.’”
Hamilton also is serving on Nashville’s NHL All-Star Game Fundraising Committee.
Hamilton still has a link to Tennessee. His oldest daughter Madison is headed into her sophomore year there and he was in Knoxville this past week helping her move into an apartment.
“I miss Saturdays and the nervousness that comes along with competition on the field when you’re standing in front of a full stadium in the Southeastern Conference,” said Hamilton, who plans to attend the Vols’ game against Georgia on Oct. 10 at Neyland Stadium. “That’s a pretty special thing that not many people get to experience. There are parts of that I miss, and then there are things that I don’t miss, too.”
Temple statue set to be unveiled Aug. 28
The unveiling of the statue of legendary Tennessee State and Olympic women’s track coach Ed Temple is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 28.
The statue is located near the right field entrance to First Tennessee Park.
Temple will speak at the unveiling along with Mayor Karl Dean and Bo Roberts, who led the 15-year effort to honor Temple.
The 9-foot tall bronze statue with a 13,000-ton granite base was made by renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon.
The public is invited to attend the unveiling.
NFL preseason beats World Series on TV
The NFL Hall of Fame Game (Steelers-Vikings) on Sunday earned a 12.0 local TV rating (120,336 households).
Compare that to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, which earned a 10.9.
Ex-Belmont star Mann signs pro contract in Germany
Former Belmont basketball standout J.J. Mann signed a contract this past week with Phoenix Hagen of the German Bundesliga League.
The 6-foot-6 forward set a number of Belmont records including single-season scoring (660 points in 2014), games played (139), victories (109) and steals (208).
He is one of five former Bruins currently playing professionally. Ian Clark is with the Golden State Warriors, Kerron Johnson is playing in France, Trevor Noack in Denmark and Alex Renfroe in Germany.
Wood-Chandler claims Municipal Amateur title
Former Vanderbilt golfer Courtney Wood-Chandler from Brentwood won the 20th annual James H. Fyke Women’s Municipal Amateur Championship last week.
The tournament was played at McCabe and Harpeth Hills courses.
Wood-Chandler posted a two-day total of 144 and edged out Sam Burrus (147), a sophomore at Lee University from Franklin Road Academy.
The senior champion was Carol Summer (147).
Corbin given Distinguished American award
Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin received the National Football Foundation (Middle Tennessee Chapter) Fred Russell Distinguished American Award on Thursday at the University Club.
Past winners include Temple, former Vanderbilt football coaches Fred Pancoast and Art Guepe, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who played football at Mt. Juliet High and Tennessee Tech, former Middle Tennessee State football coach Charles “Bubber” Murphy along with former Tennessean editor and publisher John Seigenthaler and sports writer Jimmy Davy.
Two basketball players transfer to same school
Former TSU starting point guard Charles “Cha Cha” Tucker and former Motlow guard Terry Holt from East Nashville High have transferred to Panola College in Carthage, Texas.
Tucker started in 18 games and played in all 31 last season. He led the Tigers in assists (2.2) while also averaging 5.1 points and 1.3 rebounds.
Holt is a 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds for Motlow.
At East Nashville, Holt led the Eagles to a runner-up finish in the Class 2A state tournament, averaging 21 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Zimmer leaving broadcast booth after this season
Larry Zimmer, a graduate of Columbia Military Academy, is headed into his 50th and final season as a college football play-by-play radio announcer.
Zimmer, 79, is in his 42nd year calling games for the University of Colorado, which is coached by former Brentwood Academy, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech player Mike MacIntyre.
Zimmer called Colorado State games for three years and Michigan games for five.
One of his most famous calls came in 1994 when Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart completed a 64-yard Hail Mary pass to Michael Westbrook with time running out in a 27-26 win over Michigan.
Old Timers Baseball golf tourney in September
The 18th annual Old Timers Baseball Association Scramble Golf Tournament is set for Sept. 17 at Ted Rhodes Golf Course.
There will be a shotgun start at noon.
The entry fee is $100, which includes a bar-b-cue dinner.
To sign up or for more information, call Rip Ryman 615-859-0409 or Bill Griggs 615-865-0399.
Fogler named All-America Scholar golfer again
Vanderbilt golfer Ben Fogler, the son of former Commodores basketball coach Eddie Fogler, was named an All-America Scholar for the second year by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Others named All-America Scholars: Tennessee’s Chad Merzbacher, Belmont’s Ted Moon, Scott Barnhart and Ashton Van Horne, and Tennessee Tech’s Mason Griffin, Bryce Kendrick and Mitchell Thomas.
Kids Triathlon is Sunday
The inaugural Nolensville Kids Triathlon is Sunday at the Williamson County Recreation Complex.
The USTA Triathlon-sanctioned event is for boys and girls ages 5-15. The event starts at 7 a.m.
Ages 5-7 will swim 50 yards, bike 2.5 miles and run 0.7 miles. Ages 8-11 will swim 100 yards, bike 2.5 miles and run 0.7 miles. Ages 12-15 will swim 150 yards, bike five miles and run 1.5 miles.
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter, contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPORTS ON NASHVILLE TV
The top five ratings for local sporting events on television for Aug. 3-9.
1. NFL preseason: Steelers-Vikings, 12.0 rating
2. NASCAR: Watkins Glen, 5.7 rating
3. PGA: NEC (final round), 4.0 rating
4. PGA: NEC (third round), 3.4 rating
5. NASCAR: Watkins Glen/Infinity Series, 1.5 rating
Each rating point is equal to 10,028 Nashville households. Local ratings for the SEC Network not available.
Source: Mark Binda, WTVF-5 program & research director