I'm sure they are both competent guys, but I doubt that the people being left behind are chopped liver. I don't see any reason why any of the assistants working in Bama's athletic department would be anything other than highly regarded. They can't afford to keep dead weight around. I don't imagine these guys left Alabama to take anything other than promotions, just like Hart.
Last month, Tennessee hired ex-Alabama athlete and assistant AD Dave Hart to run the Volunteer athletic department. Today, Hart announced that he will be bringing two other Bama employees to Knoxville with him.
Jon Gilbert and Mike Ward have been hired as executive senior associate athletics director and senior associate athletic director for administration and sports programs, respectively. Gilbert is 43 and Ward is 35.
Ward will oversee Tennessee’s compliance staff. Gilbert was on the executive leadership team that Hart put together in Tuscaloosa. In other words, these aren’t interns he’s bringing with him. According to The Birmingham News, “Both men were held in very high regard at Alabama.”
It’s not unusual for an alum of one school to take a job with a rival. And often, that person will take some folks with him. But those people usually aren’t key figures. Depending on how Hart, Ward and Gilbert handled the situation, there could be a bit of bad blood over these moves. Alabama has yet to make a comment on Hart’s raid.
If nothing else, this should prove to a few conspiracy theorist Vol fans that Hart’s loyalty lies with the school that’s paying his salary and not with the school he attended 40 years ago.