The position change is effective June 30.
"It has always been my plan to return to full-time teaching," Larimore said. "Anybody who knows me knows that I've always planned to get out of administration and back to teaching before I retire, and this is the ideal time for that to occur. I have been a cabinet level administrator under Tennessee Tech presidents Arliss Roaden, Wallace Prescott, and Angelo Volpe. This is the end of Dr. Volpe's era, and it's time for the new president to form his own team," Larimore said.
Robert (Bob) Bell, who assumes the presidency of TTU on July 1, said he understands Larimore's desire to return to full-time teaching and asked him to remain at the helm of the athletic program as an additional responsibility.
"David made it clear that he thought this was a good time for him to implement his plan to return to teaching," said Bell. "That's the direction he wants to take, and we're very pleased that he will continue to direct our athletics program."
Volpe, who has worked with Larimore the entire 13 years of his tenure as president, expressed his appreciation for all Larimore has done and will continue to do for the university and its athletic program.
"Dave has not only been an effective vice president and athletic director, but he's also been one of my closest advisers and a great friend over the past 13 years," Volpe said. "I wish him nothing but the best of success in his decision to put a greater emphasis on teaching, and the fact that he will continue leading Tennessee Tech's athletics program bodes well for its continued success."
A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Larimore received his bachelor's degree in 1965 and master's in 1967 from North Carolina State University and his Ph.D. in 1969 from The Ohio State University.
Larimore, 60, was a faculty member and administrator for seven years at the University of Kentucky, where he held the rank of tenured associate professor and assistant dean in the College of Medicine. He arrived at Tech in 1977 as a tenured full professor of education and executive assistant to then-president Arliss Roaden.
As a full-time professor, Larimore will continue to teach courses in areas including educational research, quantitative methods and educational measurement in the College of Education. He will also consult with graduate students concerning their research.
Despite the change of emphasis from administration to teaching, Larimore will remain director of Tennessee Tech athletics, overseeing the 16-sport intercollegiate athletic program on a day-to-day basis.
"I will continue to oversee athletics until the university's budget situation has improved sufficiently to have a full-time director of athletics," Larimore said.
From the onset of his career at Tech, Larimore has held administrative responsibility for the athletic program, and he served as interim athletic director for two years after the departure of full-time director Dave Coffey in 1984. In 1986, in a cost-effective move, Larimore decided to leave the position vacant and continue to oversee athletics himself.
All the while, as vice president and athletic director, Larimore continued to teach part-time. "I've enjoyed my years as vice president and my duties in that role, but teaching is the one thing I've always enjoyed most," he said. "I've always insisted on carving out time to teach at least one course each semester, and I'm excited about returning to full-time teaching."
With that connection to the classroom, it's clear how Larimore has guided Tech's athletic program with a firm commitment toward strong academics among its student-athletes.
During Larimore's 14 years as athletic director, the university has been an academic leader within the Ohio Valley Conference, producing 45 academic all-district winners and 12 Academic All-Americans.
And it's also little wonder, given his background at such athletically strong institutions as North Carolina State, Ohio State and Kentucky, that he would also foster a desire for athletic success at Tech.
He has guided Tech through 14 productive seasons, including both a men's and women's OVC All-Sports Championship despite the university's comparatively low athletic funding and high academic standards.
Team successes have included 22 OVC championships in nine different sports since 1987. During that span, he has been a factor in adding women's soccer as an intercollegiate sport, restarting the women's track and field program after a 12-year absence, and building the women's golf and softball programs from fledgling programs into conference champions.
His portfolio as athletics director is also highlighted with the restructuring of Tech's season ticket policies and the continuing fulfillment of conference, NCAA and Title IX requirements. Tech was one of the first schools to receive NCAA certifications, and he has headed up the expansion of the overall athletic scholarship program.Larimore expressed his continued commitment to excellence in the university's athletic programs, and incoming President Bell says he fully supports his efforts in that role.