Thomas J. Mattingly
August 20, 2018
Tom Mattingly (b. July 15, 1948, Pittsburgh, Pa.) has written for more than 40 years about issues important to the Knoxville and East Tennessee community, in the fields of energy, local government, and athletics, all with great verve and style. His is a strong vice, not only for his hometown, but also for the University of Tennessee, his alma mater.
He not only contributes to the literature of his day in his writings, but also with his assistance to other writers in preparation of their manuscripts and articles.
He began his writing career at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1974-77), then to the City of Knoxville (1977-84), University of Tennessee Athletic Department (1987-2005), the University of Tennessee Office of Special Occasions and President’s Office October 2005-July 2006, and as a local freelance writer and blogger for the Knoxville News Sentinel (2007-present).
He is the author of “Tennessee Football: The Peyton Manning Years” (1998) for UMI Publications, Charlotte, N.C, the “Tennessee Football Vault: The Story of Tennessee Football, 1891-2006” (2006) for Whitman Press, Atlanta, the “Tennessee Trivia Book” (2007) for Hill Street Press, Athens, Ga., the “Tennessee All-Access Football Vault” (2009), also for Whitman, and “Smokey: The True Stories behind Tennessee’s Beloved Mascot” (2012), with Smokey owner Earl C. Hudson, for the University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Along with Lois A. Martin, he penned a 1976 analysis of Ralph Nader’s “Critical Mass,” the mid-1970s movement against commercial nuclear power that appeared in the Nuclear Safety Journal published by the Nuclear Division at ORNL.
He was a speechwriter and administrative aide for Knoxville Mayor Randy Tyree. He also wrote about the impact of the World’s Fair on the city and became a quick study on the issues the city faced, from annexation to delivery of basic services. He was a top aide in Tyree’s 1982 Democratic gubernatorial campaign and in Congressional and Public Service Commission races in 1984 and 1986.
As editor of Volunteers Magazine, an official publication of the athletic department, he published game-related newsletters and general interest magazines with emphasis on Tennessee players, teams, and donors. He also had special assignments, such as covering and reporting on practice, overseeing the Hall of Fame Exhibit in the Neyland–Thompson Center, working with the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, writing speeches and press releases for Departmental personnel, and collecting for the annual Campus Chest fund drive.
The Knoxville News Sentinel regularly calls on him to craft obituary stories on University of Tennessee athletes and other community figures, life vignettes requiring extensive research and quick turn-around.
He has been a columnist for the Knoxville New Sentinel, 2007-present, and the Chattanooga Times-Free Press in 2013, and a member of the Knoxville Writers Guild
Mattingly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of Tennessee (1970) and a Master’s degree in public administration (1977). He and his wife Susan, a retired third-grade teacher, have two grown children: Samuel A. Compton III and Alice Compton McManus, and two grandsons Gavin Stewart McManus and Eli Thomas McManus.