Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity is set to retire on Dec. 31, the school announced on Monday. McGarity has been the athletic director at Georgia since 2010 when he replaced Damon Evans. Senior deputy athletic director Josh Brooks is set to serve as Georgia's interim athletic director until McGarity's permanent replacement is hired.
"I step down knowing that our Athletic Association is in great hands under his strong leadership," McGarity said in a statement. "To our coaches, athletic staff, and student-athletes -- you have made the last decade the very best of my career, and I thank you for your dedication to excellence in athletics. You are the heart and soul of our program, and it has truly been an honor to serve alongside you as athletic director. Finally, my thanks to our alumni, donors, and fans for your unyielding support of Georgia athletics. There is no better fan base in college sports than the Bulldog Nation."
McGarity has made several key decisions that have shaped the future of Georgia athletics. He chose to move on from Mark Richt following the 2015 football season in favor of former Bulldogs linebacker and Alabama assistant coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs have won three straight SEC East titles, the 2017 SEC Championship Game and played in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship following the 2017 season.
He also led the coaching search to replace men's basketball coach Mark Fox following the 2017-18 season. That search led to the hiring of former Indiana coach Tom Crean. The Bulldogs only went 16-16 in his second season in 2019-20, but Crean did recruit Anthony Edwards, who wound up being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
McGarity has been at the helm during several facility improvements at Georgia, including the construction of a new football facility and the renovation of Stegeman Coliseum, the school's basketball arena.
"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Greg for his outstanding service to the University of Georgia," university president Jere W. Morehead said in a statement. "While I had hoped Greg would continue to serve as our Athletic Director for a few more years, I understand and appreciate his and Sheryl's decision to begin a new chapter in their lives. Greg will leave behind a strong legacy of leadership and devotion to his alma mater, having further elevated our athletic program on the national stage. I have particularly appreciated the extraordinary leadership Greg has provided during the pandemic. His calm and steady voice will be missed here and in SEC meetings."
McGarity, 66, is a former Georgia tennis player who served as the school's women's tennis coach from 1977-81. He worked in various administrative roles within the athletic department until 1992, when was hired as the associate athletic director at rival Florida.