For the first time in two and a half decades the University of Florida is looking to fill the role of Athletic Director. Jeremy Foley announced that he will retire, effective October 1, and this week we learned that his successor will not come from inside the University Athletic Association.
We’ve gotten a number of questions asking about internal interest in the job,” Senior Associate AD Steve McClain said in a statement. “Each of the internal people have made a decision not to pursue the athletic director position for their own individual reasons.”
Early on Executive AD Mike Hill was seen as one of the favorites to replace Foley. Hill has spent a considerable amount of time at Florida under Foley and has passed up other opportunities, most recently Clemson’s AD position, to stay at Florida. Chip Howard and Lynda Tealer were also seen as potential candidates prior to the announcement. Tealer is part of the search committee, looking for Florida’s next athletic director.
“Our next athletics director will assume leadership of a strong organization with a tradition of excellence,” Florida President Kent Fuchs said in a statement on June 22. “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.”
At his going away press conference, Foley said that he would be involved with the search for his replacement, but not actively. The search, and ultimately the final decision, will be Fuchs’ to make.
I’ve been around for so long and because I do know so many people and I do know how it works and been involved with a lot of searches myself, Kent has indicated to me that he will use me as a resource. But at the end of the day, the process gets put in place will be Kent’s and the decision will be Kent’s.