(press release) ATHENS—–University of Georgia Director of Athletics Greg McGarity will retire on December 31, 2020, following 10 years of service as the UGA Athletic Association’s top administrator.
“First and foremost, on behalf of the entire Bulldog Nation, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Greg for his outstanding service to the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “While I had hoped Greg would continue to serve as our Athletic Director for a few more years, I understand and appreciate his and Sheryl’s decision to begin a new chapter in their lives. Greg will leave behind a strong legacy of leadership and devotion to his alma mater, having further elevated our athletic program on the national stage. I have particularly appreciated the extraordinary leadership Greg has provided during the pandemic. His calm and steady voice will be missed here and in SEC meetings.”
McGarity was a letterman on the 1973 Bulldog tennis team and began his career in athletics administration at UGA in 1977. He rose through the ranks to become Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Event Management in 1988. In 1992, McGarity joined the University of Florida, where he held several senior leadership roles in athletics before returning to UGA in 2010 as Athletic Director.
“I want to thank President Morehead for all of his support and guidance over the years,” said McGarity. “I step down knowing that our Athletic Association is in great hands under his strong leadership. To our coaches, athletic staff, and student-athletes—you have made the last decade the very best of my career, and I thank you for your dedication to excellence in athletics. You are the heart and soul of our program, and it has truly been an honor to serve alongside you as athletic director. Finally, my thanks to our alumni, donors, and fans for your unyielding support of Georgia athletics. There is no better fan base in college sports than the Bulldog Nation.”
Under McGarity’s tenure, the visibility and operations of UGA’s 21-sport athletic program have grown significantly. The annual budget of the Athletic Association has increased from $89 million in 2010 to $153 million today, and McGarity has overseen more than $200 million in facility improvements.
“Greg McGarity is one the most respected athletic directors in the Southeastern Conference,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, “and I have relied on him regularly for advice and counsel over the years. I wish Greg and Sheryl the very best on this exciting next step. Given President Morehead’s leadership roles and deep engagement in the SEC and NCAA, I am confident he will select a highly-qualified successor to lead UGA’s athletic program forward.”
Morehead serves as Vice President of the SEC and is a member of the NCAA Board of Governors and the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.
Morehead has named Josh Brooks, currently serving as Senior Deputy Director of Athletics, as the Interim Director of Athletics, effective January 1. Morehead also has tapped Darrice Griffin, currently serving as a Deputy Director of Athletics, to serve as the Interim Senior Deputy Director of Athletics, effective January 1. “I have great confidence in the abilities and skills of Josh and Darrice to provide effective leadership for our athletic program while this search process is underway,” Morehead stated. “Both individuals are highly respected within the Georgia Athletic Association and throughout intercollegiate athletics.”
Morehead has appointed an advisory committee to assist him in identifying UGA’s next athletic director. Kessel Stelling, who serves as Chairman and CEO of Synovus and a member of both the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents and the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, will chair the committee.