University of Florida begins search for a new AD

For the first time in 25 years the University of Florida will search for a new Athletic Director.

The school announced on Wednesday that school President Kent Fuchs has assembled an eight-person team to find Foley’s replacement. Foley spent 40 years at the University of Florida, starting as an intern in the ticket office, working his way to Athletic Director. Under Foley’s watch the University of Florida won 27 National Championships in 13 different sports.

“Our next athletics director will assume leadership of a strong organization with a tradition of excellence,” Fuchs said in a statement. “It is important that we identify a slate of qualified candidates who can build on the UAA’s previous successes. I am confident the search committee, under the capable leadership of Manny Fernandez, will help us identify the very best.”

Executive Associate Athletics Director for Administration Lynda Tealer will serve as the UAA liaison to the search committee. The committee will assemble a list of finalists and then Florida’s head coaches and UAA staff will have a chance to meet with them.

Manny Fernandez, a former UF Trustee (2001-07) will chair the committee. Fernandez, from Ft. Myers, is the co-founder of SI Ventures, a venture capital fund. He was the Bard Chairman (2003-07) and an integral part behind the hire of former UF President Bernie Machen. Fernandez has served on the boards of Black & Decker, Brunswick and the Florida Research Consortium. He was also appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Fernandez will lead this team of seven members.

Cammy Abernathy — the UF Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, she also serves on the University Title IX committee.

Ron Coleman — The first African-American awarded a scholarship to the University of Florida in 1968 is currently President and CEO of Baronco Management Consultants, Inc., a human resource management and training firm. Coleman has served on the UAA Board of Directors, F-Club Committee and UF Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Andy Fawbush — The current President of the UAA Board. Fawbush is an attorney at the law firm of Smith, Gambrell and Russell. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the University of Florida Levin College of Law and for the University of Florida Alumni Association.

Virginia Maurer — Maurer is a Professor of Business Law and Legal Studies, Darden Restaurants Professor of Diversity Management and founding director of the Poe Center for Business Ethics. She served five terms on the Board of Directors of the University Athletic Association

W. Andrew McCollough — McCollough is Associate Provost for Teaching and Technology at the University of Florida and current chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

Tom Mitchell — The former Vice Chancellor of University Advancement and President of the Foundation at the University of California Irvine, Mitchell joined the University of Florida in 2010 as the Vice President of Advancement.

Michael Sagas — the department chair and professor for the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sports Management. He has been the faculty athletics representative to the SEC and the NCAA for the past five years.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC