It’s going to be very difficult for anybody to fill the shoes of Jeremy Foley. But UF has found their man to give it a shot.
Meet Scott Stricklin, the 14th Athletic Director of the University of Florida. Stricklin comes over from Mississippi State, where he served as AD since 2010. He also served as senior assistant AD at MSU for two years before that, playing a role in hiring Dan Mullen as their football coach to replace the ineffective Sylvester Croom. And most notably, he is responsible for keeping Mullen in Starkville despite enticing job openings elsewhere (Oregon, Florida, Michigan and Texas, among others, have found new football coaches since 2012 alone.)
Stricklin has also overseen success in other big sports, too: MSU’s baseball team is consistently among the best in the country, and he recently grabbed former UCLA men’s basketball coach Ben Howland (who you may remember for losing in consecutive years to Florida in the national championship game and national semifinal… but the flip side of that is that he led back to back teams to the Final Four) to run the Bulldogs’ basketball program.
And most importantly for a place like Florida, he puts emphasis on all his sports programs. Seven different teams finished the 2015-16 academic year ranked in the Top 25, while eight teams did so the year before.
The fact that Stricklin decided to leave his alma mater, a place he served at for seven years, shows just how interested he is in continuing to build the fine athletic program in Gainesville that Jeremy Foley constructed. And his track record at MSU indicates that he’s more than capable of doing so.