MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - University of Memphis Athletic Director R.C. Johnson announced his retirement, effective June 2012.
The announcement was made at a November 28, 2011 press conference, just one day after head football coach Larry Porter was fired for going 3-21 over two seasons.
The 70-year-old Johnson said he had been speaking with his wife about retirement. He said and called his tenure a great ride. "It's a great, great thing to be an athletics director," Johnson said. "I've loved it, but it's time. It's time. I'm running out of ties. I have no new hair pieces left. It's time to move on."
Fans had lost interest in the struggling Tigers football team, with only about 2,500 people attending this year's home finale against Marshall on Nov. 17.
The basketball team, however, had some strong seasons under Johnson's tenure, winning several conference titles and losing the Final Four championship game in 2008 to Kansas under coach John Calipari. The team's 38 wins in the 2007-2008 season were later ordered vacated due to NCAA violations.
According to U of M President, Dr. Shirley Raines, the search for a new AD will be conducted in the spring by an outside firm.