Esteemed colleague Tim Tucker is reporting that Greg McGarity will be named Georgia’s athletic director, which prompts the question: Will wonders never cease?
Because this would truly be a wonder. It would mean that Michael Adams, the president who cared nothing for what his constituency thought in regard to one AD seven years ago, is making a move that will delight those same constituents who came to hate his guts.
Greg McGarity, if you don’t know, is a Darn Good Dawg of long standing. He’s from Athens. He came to UGA to play tennis under the legendary Dan Magill. He coached tennis for a while, then turned to administration.
In his duties as assistant AD McGarity met and befriended an assistant AD from Florida, and when Jeremy Foley became the top man in Gainesville he hired his pal. The two have formed a famous partnership since 1992.
And now the tandem that has made Florida the model athletic department — Foley out front making the hires, McGarity making sure the electric bills at Reptile Central get paid — is apparently breaking up. And it would be a win-win for Georgia, which would be hiring a distinguished Bulldog and taking a considerable asset from the hated Gators.
It would also be a win-win for Adams, who has seized on an embarrassing turn of events — you might have heard about Damon Evans’ night on the town — to demonstrate a brand of leadership this correspondent wasn’t sure he had in him.
The belief here was that Adams would dismiss McGarity as a candidate simply because he came up under Vince Dooley, whom Adams brushed aside seven years ago. But if McGarity is indeed the choice, he’d be yet another indication that this president has grown in his stewardship to the extent that holding a grudge is less important than doing the right thing.
The day after accepting Evans’ resignation, Adams announced that his first look would be outside the department, that his preference was to find someone who’d worked at the highest level of collegiate athletics. On its face, those sentiments didn’t seem encouraging news to the McGarity Lobby. It sounded like Adams wanted someone who’d been an AD, not a No. 2, but if being No. 2 at Florida doesn’t stamp a man as first-class … well, what would?
As regrettable as Evans’ exit was, the advent of McGarity will essentially put that matter to rest. Evans was a rising star in the industry, but his successor is no less able. Not many schools would be able to swap out these men in the course of six weeks. It says something about Georgia. Says something about the UGA president, too.