Florida hires former Auburn AD Jay Jacobs

Tuesday the Florida Gators announced the hiring of former Auburn University Athletic Director Jay Jacobs as an Executive Associate Athletic Director.

Jacobs spent more than 30 years in the Auburn athletic department including the last 13 as the Athletic Director. During that time Jacobs served as a graduate assistant, conditioning coach, assistant athletics director and associate athletics director for operations.

“Some people are fortunate to say they are coming home once in their careers, now I am lucky enough to say it twice,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Having attended high school in Jacksonville, I’m honored and privileged to join the UAA and continue to work in the nation’s best conference in the SEC. I am looking forward to working with Scott Stricklin and the rest of the staff to help serve the Gator student-athletes, coaches and fans of the Gator Nation.”

During his tenure Jacobs presided over $220 million in facility improvements, with an additional $96 million in stages of planning and execution on the table at the time of his retirement. He also oversaw the hiring of nutritionists, mental-health professionals and the construction of the South Donahue Residence Hall and Wellness Kitchen created to benefit the student-athlete experience.

Jacobs will serve as a member of Florida’s senior executive staff and oversee communications, marketing, ticketing and GatorVision departments. Jacobs is replacing Mike Hill, who left Florida to accept the Athletic Director job at UNC Charlotte.

“Florida Athletics is fortunate to have someone of Jay’s caliber joining the UAA,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “His character, vision, experience and ability to connect with people will be tremendous assets to our department. Additionally, having served in a leadership role in the SEC, Jay understands the great privilege and responsibility we have as a member of this wonderful conference. It’s exciting to have Jay joining the Gators.”

Auburn won 12 National Championships during Jacobs’ time as Athletic Director but he resigned amid controversy, including a Title IX investigation into the softball program, a wrongful termination suit brought by former baseball coach Sunny Galloway (the case was settled out of court), a federal discrimination lawsuit by former assistant track coach and a FBI arrest of former basketball assistant Chuck Person.

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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