Tennessee Vols athletic director Danny White badly wants to win.

And he expects the Vols to win under his leadership.

Sure, the same could be said of most athletic directors in the country. I mean, who doesn’t want to win, right?

But there’s something different about White. The energy he has, the way he carries himself. It’s infectious. And I believe it’s going to permeate through UT athletics.

It’s the way White talks. The subtle little things he throws in when he’s talking about Tennessee events.

On Thursday, for example, UT announced a 2025 matchup with Syracuse in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff game in Atlanta.

Atlanta, of course, is the location of the SEC Championship game each December. It’s also been the location of two College Football Playoff matchups.

Tennessee Vols

While announcing the matchup, White casually threw in a reference to Atlanta being a location that he hopes the Vols frequent in the coming years.

“I cannot wait for Tennessee fans to take over Atlanta for the weekend and support the Vols against a quality opponent in a venue we hope to frequent as Josh and his staff work to restore our program,” said White.

I know this may not seem like a big deal. But I think it’s extremely important to the future success of the Vols that there’s a unified expectation from the top of the department to the bottom that Tennessee competes for championships.

It’s clear that championships are on White’s mind. And there’s no doubt they’re on Vols head coach Josh Heupel’s mind.

At Alabama and Clemson, the expectation is to win a championship. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s still the expectation. If Tennessee wants to win a championship, that needs to be the expectation every single day.

It certainly sounds like that’s the case under White.

Featured image via UTsports.com/Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports