Tennessee has officially made the decision to bring back John Currie back to Rocky Top, naming him the school’s new athletic director. Currie was previously the AD at Kansas State, where he served since 2009.

The school announced the hire Tuesday afternoon, which included a lengthy statement from recently hired Chancellor Beverly Davenport.

“We are extremely pleased to announce John as our new vice chancellor and director of athletics,” Davenport said in the statement. “This is truly an exciting day for the University of Tennessee and our athletics department. As I said when we began this process, we were looking for the best candidate, and we feel strongly that we have him in John Currie. John exemplifies all the qualities we were seeking in an athletics director. He is a man of high integrity, strong values, a progressive thinker, he fully understands the importance of being compliant in everything we do, and he is a leader who will put the well-being of our student-athletes above everything.

“We would like to thank our internal search committee for all its hard work and dedication to the process. In February, the university hired Turnkey Search, a division of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, to conduct a nationwide search for a new director of athletics. Turnkey is recognized as the leading executive search firm spanning college and professional sports and worked tenaciously to deliver an amazing result for the university.”

Tennessee’s new athletic director had a statement of his own included in the release.

“It is a very exciting time for my family and me as we return to a place that remains very special to us,” Currie said. “We spent 10 years in Knoxville prior to taking the job at K-State, and I appreciate Chancellor Davenport and the University of Tennessee for providing us this special opportunity. As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I know how much UT athletics means to the people in the state, and I look forward to serving all of the Big Orange Nation, its wonderful coaches, staff and student-athletes, for many years to come. We are excited to return to Rocky Top.”

While initial fan response seems to be generally negative toward the hire after Phillip Fulmer and David Blackburn had been discussed as potential candidates for the open athletic director position at Tennessee, many influential and familiar names have taken to Twitter to praise the hire.

While Chris Low of ESPN, who knows the Tennessee athletics program very well, shared this thought: