New Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity is coming from a school (Florida) that won two BCS titles (2006, 2008) and two Final Fours (2006, 2007) in a span of three years. So the man is accustomed to success.
Amid media speculation that Mark Richt is feeling some heat for the Bulldogs’ disappointments of the last two seasons in the SEC, it seemed logical to ask him what his own expectations were of Georgia’s season. Without putting a number on it, McGarity said more than I expected. His expectations are high.
“We want to compete for championships,” he said. “There could be circumstances that lead you to not be in the hunt a certain year. But you want every sport at the university if Georgia to be in the conversation. In swimming, I think it’s safe to say Georgia’s in the hunt. You talk about tennis, softball, Georgia’s in the hunt. Football, I think Geogia’s in the hunt,. Some sports, Georgia’s on the way up.”
McGarity wasn’t asked directly about Richt, but he clearly then veered in that direction with this comment: “I think it would be unfair to coaches to tell them, ‘You’ve got to win 10 games, 11 games,’ or whatever that number is. It’s how people go about their work. Do you see improvements made? Do you see people giving 100 percent effort every day? Those are things I would look at more than number of wins. This conference is a meat grinder. There are so many great teams. I don’t know how many teams went to Birmingham [for SEC media days] feeling they can win the SEC championship. Nine schools, maybe? It’ll be interesting to watch.”
McGarity also had an interesting answer when asked about how, as the new athletic director, he feels the impact of the DUI arrest by former AD Damon Evans.
“It’s a huge responsibility — probably a life changing responsibility,” he said. “Regardless of what happened in the past, now with the advent of cellphone cameras and things of that nature, your life totally changes. I’ve been in sort of the shadows for 18 years. I could go into restaurants and nobody would know me. You didn’t know about some of the public things. Things have gotten out of hand. It’s a different set of eyes, and I knew that coming in. There’s no surprises there. You have to deal with it the best you can. We’re not all perfect. In the situation we’re in, you just have to do the best you can do in the way you conduct yourself.”
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