GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Scott Stricklin has been named as Florida’s 14th athletics director in school history.
UF president Dr. Kent Fuchs announced the news Tuesday after the University Athletic Association board unanimously approved Stricklin’s hire. He signed a six-year deal worth $1.076 million annually.
“Scott Stricklin is a strong leader with tremendous experience who shares the University of Florida’s most treasured values, from the success and well-being of our student athletes to excellence across the breadth of both men’s and women’s sports,” Fuchs said in a press release. “We’re confident that he will build on Jeremy Foley’s legacy to take UF’s program to even greater heights while leading the way in shaping the future of collegiate athletics nationally.”
Stricklin has spent the past six years as athletics director at his alma mater, Mississippi State. But he could not pass up the chance to succeed Foley, who will retire on Nov. 1 after 25 years with the Gators.
“I couldn’t have left for any other place but Florida,” Stricklin said. “It’s just a special place not only in the world of the SEC, but in college athletics because of the success they’ve had and the way they’ve had it with the integrity. Florida holds a leadership position in college athletics. And you look at the academic reputation, it’s one of the best universities in the country. That’s a pretty hard combination to not take the opportunity if it’s offered to you.”
The Jackson, Miss., native, has 28-plus years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, 23 of which have been in the SEC. He spearheaded more than $140 million in facility improvements at MSU and the led the school to its highest-ever finish in the Learfield Director’s Cup.
Florida has finished in the top 10 annually since the award originated in 1993, including four second-place finishes in the last seven years.
“I’m an SEC guy. I understand the position Florida holds in college athletics,” Stricklin said. “I’m excited to come and be part of the department. It’s a great staff here to work with. I love college towns. The opportunity to come and get invested in another community, with my family, you start balancing all that and you understand at this point in my career, this is an opportunity you just can’t not do.”
Stricklin won the 2015-16 Athletic Director of the Year Award from the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Foley had high praise for the Stricklin hire.
“I’ve known Scott on a personal and professional level for a long, long time,” Foley said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Scott and what he has accomplished at Mississippi State and the other institutions where he has worked. Scott is a wonderful leader, and a great person. He has passion for student-athletes and loves working with and supporting coaches. Those two qualities alone make him a great fit for Florida.
“Scott is about the right things and running the business the right way. I have the utmost confidence that Scott will help the Gators carry out our mission to provide a championship experience with integrity. We’ve sat in the room together at AD meetings for several years now, and I’ve seen firsthand that Scott brings a deep understanding and appreciation for what it takes to run a successful athletic program, particularly in the Southeastern Conference. I couldn’t be more excited to have Scott serve as the next athletic director at the University of Florida.”
The Stricklin File
* May 7, 2010-Present: Mississippi State [Athletic Director]
* 2008-2010: Mississippi State [External Affairs]
* 2003-2008: Kentucky [Media Relations]
* 1999-2003: Baylor [Communications & Marketing]
* 1998: Tulane [Media Relations]
* 1993-1998: Auburn [Media Relations]
* 1990-1992: Mississippi State [Media Relations (baseball)]
AWARDS & LEADERSHIP:
* 2015-16 NACDA Athletic Director of the Year Award (FBS)
* SEC representative on NCAA Division I Leadership Council (2013-2014). The Council identifies issues important to the future of Division I and offers its expertise in defining appropriate action items.
* Chair of SEC’s Working Group on Fan Experience (2013-present)
* Member of SEC’s Working Group on Student-Athlete Conduct (2015-present)
Mississippi State, 1992, Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing
DATE OF BIRTH:
May 8, 1970 in Jackson, Miss.
Married to former Anne Howell, the youngest daughter of Basketball Hall of Fame member Bailey Howell. The couple has two daughters, Abby and Sophie.
Special to SEC Country.