Joan Cronan named Vols' interim AD

Joan Cronan, Tennessee's longtime women's athletic director, will step in as the school's interim vice chancellor/director of athletics until a permanent replacement for Mike Hamilton is hired.

Hamilton announced his resignation Tuesday. Tennessee will appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions Saturday in Indianapolis and faces allegations of 12 major violations in its football and men's basketball programs.

According to university officials, Hamilton's replacement will become the senior administrator of Tennessee's entire athletic department, which has undergone a gradual consolidation of its men's and women's athletic departments the past several years. This move will effectively complete that consolidation.

Cronan will remain as women's athletic director and also will be a member of the chancellor's cabinet until June 30, 2012. From that point, she will take on an advisory role to the vice chancellor and chancellor until June 30, 2014.

"Joan Cronan epitomizes the Volunteer spirit," Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek said. "She has been a vital part of Tennessee athletics for 30 years and will provide proven leadership during our transitional period. I appreciate her willingness to assume this responsibility."

Cheek said earlier this week that he was hopeful of having a new athletic director in place by the start of the 2011 football season.

Cronan has been the Lady Vols' athletic director since 1983. She also was the Lady Vols' basketball coach from 1968 to 1970 before spending the next 10 years at the College of Charleston in several capacities, including director of women's athletics.

"I am humbled and honored by this opportunity, and I greatly appreciate the chancellor's faith in me," Cronan said. "This is an exciting time for Tennessee athletics, as we have a great team of coaches, staff and student-athletes. It has been a tremendous honor to serve this university for 30 years, and I am grateful for the chance to play an integral role in helping shape the bright future of Tennessee athletics."

Chris Low covers SEC football for ESPN.com.