ATHENS – Florida associate athletic director Greg McGarity and long-time NFL executive Jim Steeg are among 49 people who have asked to be considered for the vacant athletic-director position at the University of Georgia.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday obtained, under Georgia’s Open Records Act, copies of e-mails, letters and resumes submitted to UGA by McGarity, Steeg and others applying for the position vacated by the resignation last month of Damon Evans.
McGarity — an Athens native, a UGA graduate and the No. 2 athletics official at Florida -– made a pitch for the job in a letter to Tom Gausvik, UGA’s associate vice president for human resources.
“I have been very fortunate to work alongside the very best in collegiate athletics at two outstanding institutions, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida, over the last three decades,” McGarity wrote. “I know what it takes to lead and direct an athletic program at the highest level, and am ready to lead the University of Georgia Athletic Association into the future.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to compete for this position.”
Steeg, who recently resigned as president of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, wrote to UGA President Michael Adams, asking to be considered for the job despite having no experience in college athletics.
“I have read that you are looking to fill the opening … with someone with intercollegiate experience,” Steeg wrote to Adams. “I would like to offer an alternative that can continue the success the University of Georgia has had, but can take the department to greater success.
“Although I have not worked in intercollegiate athletics, I believe that my managerial skills, interpersonal skills and professional contacts are not only transferable, but can bring a unique perspective.”
Before joining the Chargers, Steeg worked 26 years in the NFL office, where he was senior vice president in charge of special events, including the Super Bowl.
Also expressing interest in the Georgia position: businessman Mark Lewis, a former UGA football player who is the son of former Georgia Tech head football coach (and former Georgia assistant coach) Bill Lewis.
Mark Lewis interviewed for the Georgia AD job before Evans was hired in 2003. At the time, Lewis was vice president for Olympic sponsorships at General Electric. He now is president of Jet Set Sports, a provider of Olympic hospitality packages.
Among others who have sent in application materials are Steve Dennis, athletic director at Troy and a former Georgia football player and assistant coach; Lin Dawson, athletic director at Grambling; and Bill Schmidt, president of a sports marketing company in Knoxville and a former executive with Gatorade.
Many of the people who have contacted UGA about the job have little or no background in sports management. Applications have come from lawyers, sales managers and chief financial officers, among others.
The documents obtained by the AJC also include some letters of recommendation for candidates.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., wrote to Adams to “enthusiastically recommend” McGarity. “He is ready to get back to his hometown and to serve his alma mater in this distinguished position,” Kingston wrote.