Florida Gators coaches, players react to retirement of AD Jeremy Foley

By Adam Silverstein
June 13, 2016
Florida Gators coaches, players react to retirement of AD Jeremy Foley

Image Credit: GatorVision

The unexpected announcement Monday that Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley will retire on Oct. 1 sent shock waves throughout college athletics and the Florida program.

In the hours following Foley’s announcement, Gators coaches and players — both former and present — took to social media to share their thoughts on his sterling career and eventual departure.

Former football coach Steve Spurrier: “27 Natioanl Titles in 25 years. He will go down as the greatest AD in UF history! Congrats to JF.”

Football coach Jim McElwain: “Jeremy Foley is a huge reason for the success of this athletic department at the University of Florida. His departure comes as a shock. he was a huge part of why we came to UF — I was honored to work with someone who meant so much to college athletics. Jeremy’s vision was more than creating a successful athletic department. What drew me to him was that he hadn’t lost focus of why we do what we do. For him, it was about the players and just as much their success off the field than on it. Jeremy has helped me in so many ways. I will miss our daily interactions, but I know he’ll always be there for us.”

Basketball coach Mike White: “Jeremy Foley brought me here to Gainesville, and I’ll always be grateful to him for the opportunity to coach at the University of Florida.I came here to be able to work with Jeremy, so this is obviously a sad day. He has built a culture of excellence in this athletic department and has done it with character and integrity.”

Volleyball coach Mary Wise: “The true testament to Jeremy’s loyalty and love for the Florida Gators is this timing. He leaves with every single sport on the upswing and on the verge of being the best of the best. UF is already one of the premier athletic programs in the country because of his leadership and now the job will be coveted by the top in the business. From a personal standpoint, his announcement shook my world. Jeremy has been a steady, guiding force whose support for volleyball has never wavered. He may not have hired me, but he is certainly the reason I have stayed.”

Soccer coach Becky Burleigh: “We’ve come a long way together, @JeremyFoleyUF! Thanks for taking a chance on me way back when!”

Lacrosse coach Amanda O’Leary: “I will forever be indebted to Jeremy for bringing me to the University of Florida and making our dream of building a women’s lacrosse program at Florida a reality. We built from the ground up, literally, and none of it would have been possible without his guidance and support. I saw firsthand his second-to-none leadership and the unwavering commitment to this entire university, and especially the athletics program. He has set the bar high. He is a man of his word, a man of great integrity. he is a fearless leader and he will be missed.”

Softball coach Tim Walton: “This is a very sad day for the Gators. When I think of the Florida Gators, I think of Jeremy Foley and his lifelong dedication to the Gators. I came to work at the University of Florida for Jeremy Foley and everything he established here, including an unbelievable standard, culture and winning environment. I was saddened when Jeremy told me he was retiring as I’m losing a mentor and a friend that I respect so much. However, I respect the timing of his announcement as he’s ending his run as the best Athletic Director in college athletics. … Thank you Jeremy. Thank you for hiring me. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for driving me. But most of all Thank you for who you have me helped me develop to be. You will be missed Jeremy. Go Gators!”

Gymnastics coach Jenny Rowland: “Amazing leader, mentor and friend! Wishing you all the best! #ThankYouJeremy #GoGators”

Women’s tennis coach Roland Thornqvist: “He led us with his vision of what a Florida program stands for – a championship experience with integrity”

Women’s basketball coach Amanda Butler: “Jeremy is definitely the best that there is. It has been a privilege to work under his leadership.”

Men’s golf coach J.C. Deacon: “Very sad day for all of us. Mr. Foley believed in me when I needed it most. He is the greatest leader I’ve ever seen.”

Former quarterback Tim Tebow:

Former wide receiver Chris Doering:

Former golfer Billy Horschel:

Former point guard Taurean Green:

Former gymnast Bridget Sloan:

Former swimmer Elizabeth Beisel:

Former tennis player Lauren Embree:

Former soccer defender Heather Mitts:

Former forward Delisha Milton-Jones:

Former running back Brady Ackerman:

Former tight end Jake McGee:

Former long snapper Drew Ferris:

Former softball player Taylore Fuller:

Former forward Steffi Sorensen:

Former gymnast Marissa King:

Executive associate athletics director Mike Hill: “Simply put, you’re the best. Thank you, Jeremy, for everything you’ve done for the Gators and for all of us whose lives you’ve touched.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey:

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