(press release) Athens, Ga. – Josh Brooks has been named J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics at the University of Georgia. Brooks will become UGA’s 12th athletic director, following the retirement of Greg McGarity, who held the position for 10 years.
“From visionary and strategist to contract negotiator, fundraiser, and champion for student-athletes—the modern-day athletic director must effectively wear many hats,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I am confident that Josh can wear all of these hats extraordinarily well, and I am excited to see our athletic program continue to evolve as one of the premier programs in the nation with him at the helm.”
Brooks joined the UGA staff in December 2016 as Executive Associate Director of Athletics. He was promoted to UGA Deputy Athletic Director in May 2018 and Senior Deputy Athletic Director in January 2020. Brooks is serving as Interim Athletic Director.
“First, I want to thank President Morehead for giving me this incredible opportunity,” said Brooks. “This is a dream come true, and I am excited to get started. To everyone who supports and represents Georgia athletics—from our student-athletes, donors, and fans to our coaches, staff, and administrators—you are the heart and soul of the Bulldog Nation, and I am honored to lead an organization that means so much to all of us. As athletic director, you can expect me to be visible, to be connected and engaged, and to be tirelessly devoted to the success of our student-athletes.”
The search process was overseen by an 11-person advisory committee, led by Chairman and CEO of Synovus Kessel Stelling, with assistance from Michael Luthi, who leads the UGA Search Group, and Todd Turner, Founder and President of Collegiate Sports Associates. Morehead and McGarity previously worked closely with Turner on the hiring of Tom Crean as the men’s basketball head coach.
“I want to thank the members of the advisory committee, particularly the committee chair, Kessel Stelling, for devoting much of their holiday season to carefully reviewing a large number of interested candidates who met my stated criteria,” said Morehead. “I also want to thank Michael Luthi, who provided excellent support to the committee, as well as Todd Turner, whose guidance was invaluable during the search process. I am pleased that, in the end, the committee was able to interview a highly-qualified and diverse pool of candidates for this position.”
The athletic director position at UGA is responsible for leading the institution’s entire intercollegiate athletic program, which includes 21 NCAA Division I sports teams (9 men’s and 12 women’s) and operates an annual budget of more than $150 million. The athletic director reports directly to the President of the University and serves as a member of University Cabinet.
“Todd and Michael brought a number of highly-qualified candidates before the advisory committee,” said Stelling, who also serves as a member of both the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors. “After an extensive evaluation process, the committee selected several top-tier candidates to interview. Following those interviews, we provided our perspectives on the qualifications of each to President Morehead, who conducted his interviews. I am delighted with the choice he has made.”
In addition to Stelling, other members of the advisory committee included:
- Paige Carmichael, Meigs Professor of Veterinary Pathology and member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors;
- Darrice Griffin, UGA Athletic Association Deputy Athletic Director for Administration;
- Mack Guest, Founder and President of LAD Truck Lines, President of the UGA Football Lettermen’s Club, and Emeritus Member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors;
- Sam Holmes, Vice Chairman of CBRE, Inc., member of the USG Board of Regents, and former Chairman of both the UGA Foundation and the UGA Real Estate Foundation;
- Kearis Jackson, UGA football student-athlete and member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors;
- Steve Jones, United States District Court Judge, member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, a UGA Foundation Trustee, and former President of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors;
- Swann Seiler, Manager of External Affairs, Southeast Region, at Georgia Power, Emeritus Trustee of the UGA Foundation, Emeritus Member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and former President of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors;
- David Shipley, Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Law, Faculty Athletics Representative and Secretary of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and Chair of the Executive Committee of University Council;
- Bonney Shuman, Co-founder and retired CEO of Stratix Corporation, UGA Foundation Treasurer, former member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and former President of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors;
- Bill Young, Partner at General Wholesale Company, member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and former Chairman of the UGA Foundation.
Morehead noted that Brooks will assume the role at a time when intercollegiate athletics is facing several major issues nationally. “A number of critical issues are surrounding intercollegiate athletics right now—from name, likeness, and image to governance to COVID-19,” said Morehead, who serves in several key governance roles in athletics, including Vice Chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Board of Directors and Vice President of the Southeastern Conference. “Over time, I will expect Josh not only to lead the UGA athletic department but also to become a leading contributor to the national conversations shaping the future of intercollegiate athletics.”
Brooks previously served as Deputy Athletics Director at the University of Louisiana Monroe from 2015-2016. He also held positions as Director of Athletics at Millsaps College (2014-2015) and Assistant and Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Operations at UGA during his first tenure in Athens (2012-2014).
A native of Hammond, La., Brooks graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology and completed a master’s degree in sport management from UGA. He and his wife Lillie have three sons, James, Jackson, and Davis.
Darrice Griffin will succeed Brooks as the Senior Deputy Director of Athletics. Griffin is currently serving as Interim Senior Deputy Director of Athletics. A native of Seagraves, Texas, Griffin joined the Georgia athletics staff in December 2017 as Deputy Director of Administration. She previously held administrative roles at the University of Massachusetts, where she was Senior Woman Administrator from 2015-2017, and at Columbia University, where she was Associate Athletics Director for Intercollegiate Sports Programs from 2012-2015.