WATCH: Georgia AD Greg McGarity stepping down, Josh Brooks early lead candidate

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity watches from the sideline during a game at Sanford Stadium. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

ATHENS — Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity is expected to retire at the end of the year following 10 years of service, according to the University of Georgia.

Josh Brooks, the Bulldogs’ deputy athletic director, has been named the interim director of athletics.

Brooks has been involved with  McGarity on many projects this fall and is widely considered the lead candidate to replace him.

The Georgia athletics department is in good shape thanks to McGarity’s leadership.

The Bulldogs were well-prepared for the COVID-19 global pandemic as well as any sports program in the nation, operating at full strength while other athletic departments were cutting programs and begging coaches to take paycuts.

RELATED: Georgia prepared for ‘what-if,’ $100 million in emergency fund

UGA President Jere Morehead released a statement on McGarity on Monday.

“First and foremost, on behalf of the entire Bulldog Nation, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Greg for his outstanding service to the University of Georgia,” Morehead said in a statement.  “While I had hoped Greg would continue to serve as our Athletic Director for a few more years, I understand and appreciate his and Sheryl’s decision to begin a new chapter in their lives.  Greg will leave behind a strong legacy of leadership and devotion to his alma mater, having further elevated our athletic program on the national stage.”

McGarity also released a statement.

“I want to thank President Morehead for all of his support and guidance over the years,” McGarity said in a statement.  “I step down knowing that our Athletic Association is in great hands under his strong leadership.  To our coaches, athletic staff, and student-athletes—you have made the last decade the very best of my career, and I thank you for your dedication to excellence in athletics.  You are the heart and soul of our program, and it has truly been an honor to serve alongside you as athletic director.

“Finally, my thanks to our alumni, donors, and fans for your unyielding support of Georgia athletics.  There is no better fan base in college sports than the Bulldog Nation.”

McGarity helped elevate  UGA’s 21-sport athletic program significantly. The athletic association budget increased from $89 million in 2010 to $153 million today, and McGarity has overseen more than $200 million in facility improvements.

McGarity has also worked hand in hand with football coach Kirby Smart, helping to deliver on the many demands Smart has made since taking over as head coach before the 2016 season.

Brooks, like McGarity, has a strong relationship with Smart and understanding of championship football operations.

Brooks is in his second stint at Georgia, returning in 2016 after his role as Director of Athletics at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., then working as Deputy Athletics Director at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Brooks was the Director of Football Operations for the Bulldogs prior to his AD stints in Mississippi and Louisiana.

DawgNation spoke with Brooks earlier this season about how he handled the socially distanced seating at Sanford Stadium amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other school issues.

RELATED: Deep dive into stadium seating with Josh Brooks

Brooks did such a good job with the seating that opposing fanbases accused UGA of having more than the permitted amount with SEC protocol in place.

Brooks, who attended LSU, was once equipment manager and student assistant coach for the Tigers football team. Brooks worked under Nick Saban during his LSU tenure, part of the program when the Tigers won the 2001 SEC title.

Ironically, Brooks was later the director of football operations at Louisiana-Monroe in 2004 and was on staff when the Warhawks upset Saban at Alabama in 2007.

Morehead said other outside sitting ADs will be consider for the Georgia job.

“We have some highly qualified administrators at UGA who are ready and able to take on this role, and the advisory committee knows that to be true,” Morehead said. “However, the committee also will be free to consider sitting athletic directors at other major universities who have significant experience managing college athletic programs.

“I have asked the committee to move with deliberate speed to ensure a successor is in place and ready to lead in the near future.”

Morehead has appointed a committee to be involved in the selection process for the next UGA athletic director.

Per the release, Kessel Stelling, who serves as Chairman and CEO of Synovus and a member of both the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents and the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, will chair the committee.  Other committee members include:

  • Paige Carmichael, Meigs Professor of Veterinary Pathology and member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors;
  • Darrice Griffin, UGA Athletic Association Deputy Athletic Director for Administration;
  • Mack Guest, Co-founder and President of LAD Truck Lines, President of the UGA Football Lettermen’s Club, and Emeritus Member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors;
  • Sam Holmes, Vice Chairman of CBRE, Inc., member of the USG Board of Regents, and former Chairman of both the UGA Foundation and the UGA Real Estate Foundation;
  • Kearis Jackson, UGA football student-athlete and member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors;
  • Steve Jones, United States District Court Judge, member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, a UGA Foundation Trustee, and former President of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors;
  • Swann Seiler, Manager of External Affairs, Southeast Region, at Georgia Power, Emeritus Trustee of the UGA Foundation, Emeritus Member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and former President of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors;
  • David Shipley, Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Law, Faculty Athletics Representative and Secretary of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and Chair of the Executive Committee of University Council;
  • Bonney Shuman, Co-founder and retired CEO of Stratix Corporation, UGA Foundation Treasurer, former member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and former President of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors; and
  • Bill Young, Partner at General Wholesale Company, member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors, and former Chairman of the UGA Foundation.

 

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