Scott Stricklin did his first Gator chomp this afternoon, soon after he was officially named the University of Florida’s new athletic director at a 1 p.m. press conference.
“This is the best job in college athletics,” he told reporters gathered at the Otis Hawkins Center in Farrior Hall on UF’s campus.
The announcement makes Stricklin UF’s 14th athletic director. He comes from his alma mater, Mississippi State University, where he has worked as athletic director since 2010.
— Grace King (@GraceLeilaniii) September 27, 2016
Starting Nov. 1, Stricklin will officially replace longtime Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, who has been with UF for 40 years, 25 of which were as athletic director.
“It’s kind of hard just to walk away, but I’ll be around,” said Foley, who will remain at UF as emeritus athletic director.
At the press conference, Stricklin said Florida has set a standard in not only the Southeastern Conference but also the country.
Florida #Gators announce a six-year, $6.46 million deal for new AD Scott Stricklin ($1.076M per). Doubles his Mississippi State salary.
— Only Gators .com (@onlygators) September 27, 2016
Meeting and talking with former Gator football coach Steve Spurrier, who now serves as a consultant and ambassador for the athletics department, was one of the most exciting moments in the process of becoming athletic director, Stricklin said.
“There might be two or three jobs in the country I might be interested in leaving Mississippi State for,” he said, “and those jobs may never call. … And then this job came up, and going through this process, it became obvious to me that there’d really only be one job I’d leave Mississippi State for.
“And that is to be a Florida Gator.”