(Click here for full report on Adams’ news conference.)
ATHENS — University of Georgia President Michael Adams on Tuesday named Frank Crumley interim athletics director and appointed a search committee to seek a permanent successor to Damon Evans.
Adams said the search for a new AD could last as long as six to 12 months, and he said UGA would look first at outside candidates for the position. In the meantime, Crumley, who had been executive associate AD for finance and administration under Evans, will oversee the athletics department.
While acknowledging the difficulty and sadness of recent days, Adams said: “We still have important work to do, and it is time for us to move on.”
He named UGA law professor and faculty athletics representative David Shipley to serve as chairman of the search committee. Also on the committee: Swann Seiler, a member of the UGA Athletic Board; Jack Bauerle, UGA’s swim coach; Tom Landrum, UGA’s senior vice president for external affairs; Carla Williams, the senior associate athletics director; and student representative Robert “Trey” Sinyard.
Shipley said that, given the academic calendar and the “caliber of candidates we’re going to be getting,” he expects the process to be protracted.
“To say we could get somebody much earlier than the New Year would be really, really optimistic,” he said.
One revelation from Tuesday’s news conference was Adams’ inclination to hire Evans’ successor from elsewhere, although he did not rule out the possibility of Crumley or others on the current staff eventually becoming candidates.
“I think we have three or four people currently on the staff who are very, very strong people,” Adams said. “But my first look in this case is going to be outside.”
The reason, he said, is that “I want an outside opinion to take a hard look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. As well as we’re doing it, can we do it better?”
He said he’s seeking a person with a high level of athletics experience, although he stopped short of limiting the field to someone who is or has been a major-college athletics director.
“This is one of the five or six best AD jobs in America, in my opinion, and I can assure you there’s no shortage of interest,” Adams said.
As the search committee does its work, Crumley will be in charge.
He has worked in the Georgia athletics administration in a variety of roles since 1991 and was chief financial officer under Evans. Georgia has one of the nation’s strongest athletics programs financially, with current cash reserves of about $60 million. Crumley also has been responsible for day-to-day operations.
Crumley said Adams asked him Sunday if he’d step in as interim AD.
“I said, ‘Yes,’ and he said, ‘Do you want to sleep on it?’” Crumley said. “I said, ‘Absolutely not. I’ll do whatever I can.’
“If anything comes up,” Crumley said, “I’ll lean on the president and the senior VPs and the Athletic Board for guidance. And other than that, we’ll chug along.”