ESPN Gainesville confirmed that the University of Florida is set to name Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin as its new athletic director to replace the retiring Jeremy Foley. He is signing a six-year deal worth $1.073 million annually, double his salary at MSU. The official press conference is expected at 1 p.m. today.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity at Florida,” Stricklin said in a press release Tuesday morning. “I’m an SEC guy. I understand the position Florida holds in college athletics. 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 got his start in sports media and has created an impressive foundation while the athletic director at his alma mater, Mississippi State. He graduated from there in 1992 and has served as the athletic director since 2010. He has previously worked in media relations at Auburn and as an undergraduate at MSU, along with serving as the associate AD at Tulane, Baylor, and Kentucky.
Stricklin, 46, is best known for his work in facilities upgrades, as he is overseeing about $140 million in facility upgrades for the Bulldogs to renovate and improve their football, basketball and baseball facilities. These skills could come in handy at Florida, which is about to undertake an approximately $100 million facility upgrade project to improve the football, softball and baseball facilities on campus.
With the renovations has come better results on the athletic field for the Bulldogs. During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, MSU programs made it to the NCAA postseason including eight sports ranked in the top-25, highlighted by the top ranked women’s golf team.
“Scott is about the right things and running the business the right way,” Foley said. “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 a 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.”
Stricklin in the past has said it would take “something special” for him to leave his alma mater; apparently that something special has happened.
Foley’s tenure as athletic director is supposed to end on October 1 but that could change depending on when Stricklin can report for his new job.