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Sunshine State Report

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What are Florida Gators' biggest issues for Jeremy Foley's successor?

15

June

We've written a lot about the upcoming retirement of Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley. A few final odds and ends:

* UF president Kent Fuchs said facilities upgrades will be the most pressing issue for Foley's successor. "We need to raise a lot of money and invest in facilities, and Jeremy mentioned some of those," Fuchs said.

Specifically, those are football, baseball and softball. Details haven't been announced, but UF is drafting a master plan for them and might even take on debt to complete the projects.

"We need to raise a lot of money and invest in facilities, and we'll do that," Fuchs said. ‘Jeremy's going to help with that, and I'm communicating as well." 

* Foley's successor will also have other issues to address in the coming years, which is why Gator Boosters president Len Johnson hopes the next AD has a strong background in athletic administration.

"There are lots of challenges," said Johnson, who lives in Dade City. "Financial challenges. What is the makeup of the competitive landscape going forward? Is it different conferences? How is that going to shake out? I think you have to be pretty nimble to stay up with all of that...

"I think we've got to have somebody who really understands how that all happens and works very diligently to keep that the right way. We haven't stretched very often on borrowing funds for facilities. Generally we step out there and raise them. That's not saying that's what you have to do and that's the only way to do it going forward."

* Foley's departure will also lead a void in the SEC. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity - who spent 18 years under Foley at UF - called him a visionary for his ability to prepare for things like Power 5 autonomy.

"He always had the ability to look down the road and try to prepare, especially in the conference meetings..." McGarity said. "Jeremy has always had the ability to bring clarity to maybe some complex issues, then provide recommendations on what steps to take, or what steps not to take.

"He just had such a depth of knowledge and was very persuasive, very knowledgeable. It always made sense. He was a powerful voice in our meetings, and everybody loves and respected him."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 9:56am]

    

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