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The Florida Gators will name their new athletic director at a Tuesday press conference, a source close to the school has told OnlyGators.com. USA Today‘s Dan Wolken reports that Florida is expected to hire current Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin.
Wolken notes that Stricklin is currently on campus at the University of Florida finalizing his deal. He is likely meeting with the committee charged with hiring the replacement for AD Jeremy Foley, who is leaving the Gators after spending the last 40 years with the athletic department and the last 25 years running it.
The Gators earlier Monday moved a men’s basketball media day originally planned for Tuesday to next Thursday.
Stricklin, one of a few athletic directors targeted after Florida’s first round of conversations came up empty, was recently offered the job, according to the Clarion-Ledger, which notes that he initially turned down UF but returned to the table when the school upped its offer to between $1 million and $1.4 million per year.
Stricklin, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, worked with the Bulldogs out of college and returned to his alma mater in 2008 following stints at Auburn, Tulane, Baylor and Kentucky. He was named athletic director in 2010 and was awarded the 2015-16 Under Armour’s Athletic Director of the Year award after last season. The 45-year-old is known to be as a tremendous fundraiser who has improved nearly every athletic facility at Mississippi State. He’s considered to be young, engaging and innovative, and he is well-respected both within the SEC and nationally.
Foley, whose retirement is planned for Oct. 1, will remain at Florida as emeritus athletic director/senior advisory to the president for at least the next five years. The 63-year-old will also leave big shoes for Stricklin to fill.
The Gators have won 27 national titles under Foley’s leadership. Foley also hired some of the most successful coaches in each individual athletic program’s history. He’s overseen multiple renovations to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and a soon-to-be-completed facelift to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The final project he kicked off as athletic director is a $100 million investment in the program, including Florida’s first standalone football facility.