McGarity is the right man at the right time for Georgia

 For a long, long time the athletics directors chair, particularly in the South, was kept warm for the successful head football coach who wanted to be his own boss and to eventually have a comfortable place to land after he hung up his whistle.

It really wasn’t that tough of a job. The budgets were small and the demands of the fan base outside of football weren’t that big. The head coach/athletics director would hire a strong No. 2 guy to run the department on a day-to-day basis while he made the big decisions. Those decisions consisted of hiring coaches and making sure the football program had all the resources it needed.

The job began to change in the 80s about the time that Vince Dooley took on both roles at Georgia. Now the budgets were bigger. Women’s sports were starting to explode. Television contracts started paying real money and the fan base wanted to win at EVERYTHING. Dooley is in the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. His peers will tell you that he was an even better athletics director.

Today, the big-time college athletics department has a budget of over $100 million and the theory goes that you just need a very sharp person to run it like any other business.

That’s not true. College athletics IS a business but it is unlike any other business. Today’s athletics director has to be comfortable at crunching numbers, but he also has to be in tune with his alumni base. They have to trust him with their money and with their loyalty. He has to reward them with success and the ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of the university and its reputation. He doesn’t have to be a graduate of the institution, but he does have to have a strong sense of the place and its value system. You can’t plug a Harvard MBA into one of these jobs and expect it to work.

Which is why, at this particular point in its history, Greg McGarity is the perfect athletics director for the University of Georgia.

McGarity knows the nuts and bolts of the job.  He worked for Dooley at Georgia and then spent 19 years as the right hand man for Florida’s Jeremy Foley. You know what Florida has done across the board in its athletics department in that time.  McGarity knows how to do this job. That was never an issue.

But McGarity is also an Athens boy. He went to Georgia and played tennis for Dan Magill, the greatest Bulldog of them all. The DNA of the place is running through his veins. He understands the Georgia people from Blairsville to Savannah and what their expectations are. It is a very delicate balance.

They want to win. They want to win very badly. But they don’t want to be embarrassed, either. They want to beat Florida in football and compete for the SEC championship on a regular basis.  But they don’t want to hire a Lane Kiffin to do it.

They were profoundly embarrassed by the Damon Evans episode, which was an unspeakable human tragedy.

Here is where we give credit to Dr. Michael Adams, the president at Georgia, for understanding that McGarity was the right man at the right time for this job. Yes, Adams had an ugly public clash with Dooley back in 2003-2004 and there was concern that McGarity might not be in this mix because of his ties to Dooley. Dr. Adams deserves praise for his swift handling of the Damon Evans episode and for hiring the best person to help the athletics department move forward.

At the end of the day, the Georgia people just need reassurance that things are moving forward and that the future is bright. And the future is very bright at Georgia. The athletics department is in great shape financially thanks to the foundation built by Dooley and six really good years of work by Evans and his staff. Does Georgia need to start beating Florida in football again? You bet. But that is another discussion for another day.

McGarity’s quiet competence, vision, and love of Georgia will give the Bulldog Nation that reassurance starting today.

Welcome home, Greg.

 

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283 comments Add your comment

Shug

August 13th, 2010
8:11 am

An unspeakable human tragedy???? Give me a break.

mike

August 13th, 2010
8:15 am

CB

August 13th, 2010
8:19 am

He appears to be the right man for the job..Lets hope his heart heart bleeds red and black like it did when he was here before..

Gator-man

August 13th, 2010
8:21 am

Had to go to Gainesville to get an AD, huh? Not surprising, and it still won’t have an affect come late October.

lucky21

August 13th, 2010
8:21 am

Adams actually did something right for once what is the world coming to.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 13th, 2010
8:23 am

Cheers, way to go Georgia Boozedawgs!!!

DS

August 13th, 2010
8:23 am

Gawd 2 ga articles back to back. And you call yourself mr college football. You are NOT him. Your a paid schill for ga. Go back to your redneck upbringing and leave the college sports to real writers.

Gen Neyland

August 13th, 2010
8:24 am

Before a post shows up about him knowing his way around police headquarters or something else off the wall, I’d like to offer up my best wishes to McGarity. He appears to be a good fit for UGA at this time…

Beast from the East

August 13th, 2010
8:24 am

Great hire by UGA. Congrats!
But, Tony, I have to agree with Shug about the “human tragedy”. More like a piss-poor decision by someone who should know better.

5IML

August 13th, 2010
8:24 am

This is a really good move for UGA. McGarity is accustomed to winning and may not tolerate mediocrity.

82Dawg

August 13th, 2010
8:25 am

Gator-man …your a idiot he is from UGA, just worked for UF for a while. I guess we could say it took a Dawg to turn the UF program around. Isn’t it time for you to get your mullet cut for the season………..

JB

August 13th, 2010
8:26 am

Ignore all the haters today…..They all have their own problems and we could spend all day pointing them out…..But life is about moving forward, for there is nothing we can do or say about how Mr Evans shamed the University, but we can talk about today. Florida has not only had a great football program the last 20 years, but a profitable, well run Athletic Department. Greg has been a big part of that, and as many a fine Assit. Coach has gone on to be great Head coach, we look forward to the McGarity era at UGA. He bleeds red and black, and would love nothing more to put us in a position to be competitive with the Gators in Football year in and year out. I’m sure he is totally in tune with that desire from Dawg Alum and fans. Secondary sports do well in Athens, and I’m sure that will continue. The best part of this hire, He won’t be a yes man for Adams. I like it.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 13th, 2010
8:26 am

“An unspeakable human tragedy”

Shug’s got it right.

Gator-man

August 13th, 2010
8:28 am

But at UF they teach us the difference between your and you’re…

I’m pretty sure Foley has been firmly praised as bringing the Gators to prominence. Glad we could keeping pups employed though.

Grantland Rice

August 13th, 2010
8:30 am

“Women’s sports were starting to explode.”

Wasn’t it more like Title IX was crammed down every school’s throat?

JB

August 13th, 2010
8:30 am

82Dawg……Well said……interesting that Florida won NOTHING in football till 1991…… About the time Greg showed up………

DeepDiver

August 13th, 2010
8:32 am

Red panties — unspeakable. Damon Evans — human tragedy. Pshaw.

Just Like January 2013

August 13th, 2010
8:32 am

Just like in January of 2013, this is another example of how a “respectable US citizen” will have to step in to clean up the inordinate mess left by an unqualified, unscrupulous, dishonest, immoral, jive-talking, Affirmative Action-like placement.

Go, Dawgs!

Don

August 13th, 2010
8:33 am

“unspeakable human tradegy”
Are you this retarded? He made a mistake. Quit being a dramatic fool. A tradegy would be if he wrecked his car and killed himself or the girl you putz.

93Dawg

August 13th, 2010
8:36 am

Future’s so bright, I GATA wear shades! Congratulations Greg and welcome back to God’s Country!

JB

August 13th, 2010
8:36 am

Ramble on, a human tragedy was THE ACC Champs getting waxed by a no Name Iowa team in your first BCS bowl game since they started BCS bowl games. Way to represent the State of Georgia and the ACC.
A wax job I tell ya…………Choke is what I saw…..But I heard how good you were…..LOL

KR

August 13th, 2010
8:36 am

Count me in with Shug, Beast and Ramble… “unspeakable human tragedy,” aside from being totally wrong, is a little over the top.

Best of luck to Mr. McGarity.

TommyJack

August 13th, 2010
8:43 am

TB: Love you man. But “unspeakable human tragedy” is a bit rich.

hirsutedawg

August 13th, 2010
8:43 am

Great article Tony thank you. Don’t let buffoons like Gator, DS and especially the racist jacka$$ Just Like January 2013 tell you any different. HBTD!!!!!!

Mickey Channell

August 13th, 2010
8:44 am

Old Dawg

August 13th, 2010
8:44 am

DS: It’s “you’re” not “your.” So go back to your OWN redneck up-bringing.

DP

August 13th, 2010
8:46 am

What a load of hyperbole.

SimpleDawg

August 13th, 2010
8:47 am

Boy, there sure seems to be an awful lot of critics, haters, and people who got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning commenting today.

If y’all hate Barnhart so much, why do you continue to read his articles? Just change the channel, Stupid.

To you GIT folks….change your tampons, and go school, work, or whatever street corner is your hang-out.

McGarity was a good choice.

And why is a man who had it all going for him and then screwing it all up not a tragedy?

SOGADOG

August 13th, 2010
8:48 am

Mr. Barnhart, I am glad we hired Mr. McGarity, but it is irresponsible journalism for the AJC to print this story before the official announcement based upon an “anonymous source”. You have probably placed Mr. McGarity in a tough spot since one of his friends or someone close to him spilled the beans and tipped you off. I hope this does not cause UGA to reconsider hiring Mr. McGarity, and I am disappointed with you and the AJC.

5IML

August 13th, 2010
8:48 am

Finally, UGA has a winner within its athletics department. The cupboard had been bare since the gymnastics coach retired.

CT_Jacket

August 13th, 2010
8:49 am

“an unspeakable human tragedy”

People, it’s called hyperbole. He is exaggerating for effect. I’m sure, at the moment, it felt that way for a lot of UGA fans. What Evans did showed extremely poor judgment. I’m glad Dr. Adams removed him quickly; it would have been very hypocritical to have kept him. It looks like their program is in good hands with McGarity.

BTW, THWUGA

hammerhead

August 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Y’all give Tony a break… “unspeakable human tragedy” was a little over the top, but the fact remains, Georgia is now in great hands with McGarity at the helm. Will it help us beat the Gators. Nope. Great players and great coaches will beat the Gators. Welcome back to Athens, Mr. McGarity.

hammerhead

August 13th, 2010
8:51 am

Dangit! Forgot the “?” ^^

GeoffDawg

August 13th, 2010
8:51 am

Great, great hire by Georgia. I’m excited to see how the next decade shapes up under his stewardship.

Also, I agree that calling the Damon Evans fiasco an “unspeakable human tragedy” is way too strong. It’s certainly embarrassing and unfortunate for all involved but he put himself into that situation. It would’ve been a tragedy if he’d killed someone like that Governor’s intern at Atlantic Station.

T.O

August 13th, 2010
8:52 am

Great hire by the Dawgs!! We got this one right!

Dawg House

August 13th, 2010
8:52 am

Its a GREAT day (as always) to be a Dawg!!!

Hate on Haters!!!!!!!

rocketfuel

August 13th, 2010
8:53 am

DS= AssClown

Investigation? Hmmm?

August 13th, 2010
8:58 am

So Timmy Tebow bought himself a hyperbaric chamber his sophomore or junior year of college for $20,000. His parents are missionaries and he can’t afford it. Where did that money come from? Hmmmmm? When asked WWJD, Jesus replied “go buy a hyperbaric chamber and some kleenex.”

JB

August 13th, 2010
8:58 am

Tech hiring O’Leary with a Bogus resume was a Teachable moment for all colleges………Please check his Resume for facts….nothing worse than hiring a liar……….Right Tech fans?

Gaytor Posters

August 13th, 2010
8:58 am

I just love reading the narcissism and superiority complex in the gaytor posters. Keep it up! Fun to read.

Big Al

August 13th, 2010
8:58 am

Well doesn’t look promising to having the Ga vs. Fl. in Athens—-just saying. Worked for Flordia for 19 years but a Gs. guy??

Chris

August 13th, 2010
9:00 am

Don’t worry georgia fans, the future is bright, so bright. It is in your new AD’s contract that he must wear blue panties and not red ones. How’s that for reassurance Tony. Why don’t you just become the Georgia beat writer already?

1eyedJack

August 13th, 2010
9:02 am

“Does Georgia need to start beating Florida in football again? You bet. But that is another discussion for another day.”

Tony, I’d say that is THE discussion EVERY day. Don’t you read your own blogs?

Coach Cool

August 13th, 2010
9:02 am

Doesn’t everyone feel are warm and fuzzy?!?!

Thanks for the love letter, Homer!!

JB

August 13th, 2010
9:02 am

Chris, why don’t you wash the oil out of your mullet and go get back on your shrimp boat…..

Tony's Guardian Angle

August 13th, 2010
9:02 am

Tony writes what he feels and we read it. He doesn’t take offense if you disagree. He wouldn’t even notice if you stopped reading his column. You always have the option to not read his column and save your nasty comments.

Tek fans don’t like him because a tek graduate never got a job writing anything.

word accuracy nerd

August 13th, 2010
9:04 am

“unspeakable human tragedy”

Auschwitz. Sudan. Damon Evans Red Panty Raid.

BamaDawg

August 13th, 2010
9:05 am

Great hire but I have one question: What is Damon Evans up to and is he still in Athens??

Gville dawg

August 13th, 2010
9:05 am

Mr. Tony,

Very well written column sir. You had 2 exceptional lines in here. “Dan McGill,the greatest Bulldog of them all” nuff said. And “He understands the Georgia people from Blairsville to Savannah and what their expectations are” only a true Georgia boy can understand how far and wide that quote incompasses. Great column

1eyedJack

August 13th, 2010
9:07 am

“‘Bama misspells ‘Mississippi’ on football tickets”. Who’d a thunk it?