GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – After about a year away from Northeast Tennessee, Josh Ealy has returned to TU to become the university’s next Director of Athletics.

Ealy, who will take over for long-time Pioneer baseball coach and administrator, Doug Jones, was re-introduced to coaches and student-athletes on Monday afternoon.

“Tusculum means so much to myself and my family – my wife and I both were student athletes here,” he said. “My family lives in Greenville, her family in Johnson City. So it means a lot to be back. And to be honest with you, it’s it’s hard to put into words right now.”

Ealy graduated from Tusculum in 2007 and first took up a role with the athletic department back in 2018. He spent three years as Director of Athletic Development, before transitioning to Assistant Athletic Director from 2020-22.

He was serving as Associate Athletic Director for External Operations at Charleston Southern University this past year, when he made the decision to come home.

He believes his familiarity, not only with the area, but with the coaches and student athletes, will give him a head start on forging important relationships.

 “A lot of the coaches that are in place, I had a hand in hiring on the search committee, so that kind of makes it a natural a natural comeback, so to speak,” he said. “I do think that that being here and understanding the university will help me. It will help me, but it’s going to take some help. And I have good people, good support system to help with that.”

Ealy’s first order of business is making a handful of staff hires, including bringing on a new women’s basketball coach. Once that’s taken care of – it’s back to the basics.

“I want to sit down with all of our head coaches, touch base with them, see what their needs are right now,” he said. “See how we can move into the off season with everybody. And then I want to get back with our with our community and our alums and talk to those people and share some stories again.”

Ealy will officially take over his role once Jones steps down on Sunday, April 16.