New Florida AD Scott Stricklin will soon officially assume the role of athletics director for one of the top college athletics programs in the nation. In fact, the former Mississippi State AD is scheduled to officially take the place of long-time Gators AD Jeremy Foley on Tuesday.
So it would make sense that the new Gators athletics boss would be in Jacksonville on Saturday to check out one of the school’s most cherished rivalries games against the Georgia Bulldogs. And it also would be no surprise to see the 46 year old tweet out a picture from the experience to share with friends and fans alike.
What he may not have been expecting was the response he received from that tweet. Stricklin sent out a simple message with his photo “Time for new experiences. #GoGators #UFvsUGA.”
It was received by the university’s official twitter account with a predictable response “Enjoy the game. It’s great to be a Florida Gator!” But it also was responded to by fans, one of which found a great way to bring some humor to the situation. Matt Roberts tweeted to Stricklin: “If we lose, you’re fired.” To which the Gators athletics account quickly quipped: “He gets more than one game, doesn’t he?”
While this is just a funny slice of life in the SEC, it’s not too far off the demanding expectations that Stricklin may face in his new role. Fans take winning very seriously at Florida, and the complaining may come early and often if things don’t meet a high level of expectations. After all, Foley set a very high standard for the role.
But Stricklin is no stranger to the SEC mentality on winning. Prior to making the decision to move to Florida, the Mississippi State alum spent the better part of seven years as the Bulldogs athletics director. Prior to that, he had stints as an associate AD at both Mississippi State and Kentucky, and had even more experience in the league as a media relations director at Mississippi State and Auburn.