Florida Gators officially name Scott Stricklin new AD
GAINESVILLE -- The Florida Gators have officially named Scott Stricklin their new athletic director, the school announced Tuesday morning.
Stricklin, who had been the AD at Mississippi State, will be formally introduced at 1 p.m. news conference. He has a six-year contract worth an average of $1.076 million annually, according to UF.
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"I'm so excited, and I'm really challenged by the opportunity to be a part of figuring out what's next at Florida - to figure out how we take this great platform that's been developed, and we keep building on it and supporting these people in a way to be really successful," Stricklin said during his introductory news conference Tuesday.
Stricklin, 46, took over the Bulldogs' program in May 2010 and has overseen facilities upgrades of more than $130 million. UF is undergoing its own infrastructure upgrades; the school announced plans for $100 million in renovations/construction, including a stand-alone football complex, earlier this month.
Stricklin worked his way up in the profession, beginning in the sports information department. He also worked at Auburn, Tulane, Baylor and Kentucky before coming back to Mississippi State, his alma mater.
"Scott Stricklin is a strong leader with tremendous experience who shares the University of Florida's most treasured values, from the success and well-being of our student athletes to excellence across the breadth of both men's and women's sports," UF president Kent Fuchs said in the school's announcement. "We're confident that he will build on Jeremy Foley's legacy to take UF's program to even greater heights while leading the way in shaping the future of collegiate athletics nationally."
Stricklin replaces Jeremy Foley, who is retiring. Foley had been set to retire on Oct. 1 but will stay on until Nov. 1 when Stricklin takes over.
"I couldn't have left for any other place but Florida" Stricklin said. "It's just a special place not only in the world of the SEC, but in college athletics because of the success they've had and the way they've had it with the integrity. Florida holds a leadership position in college athletics. And you look at the academic reputation, it's one of the best universities in the country. That's a pretty hard combination to not take the opportunity if it's offered to you."
The financial breakdown of his deal, according to UF:
Base salary: $500,000
Signing incentive: $150,000
Retention bonuses of $250,000 every two years
Travel allowance: $40,000
Performance bonuses: Up to $200,000
UF began with a pool of about 122 candidates - basically every Division I-A AD. The Gators narrowed that search to 22 people, which was "highly diverse," search committee chair Manny Fernandez said. The field was then narrowed to six candidates who were visited and two finalists who met with Fuchs.