Georgia moved quickly to hire Damon Evans’ replacement as athletic director.
Florida associate athletic director Greg McGarity has been selected for the post, a person familiar with the search told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
McGarity, an Athens native and Georgia graduate, has worked at Florida since 1992. He was the senior executive assistant to athletic director Jeremy Foley, helping with the oversight of the school’s two biggest sports – football and men’s basketball.
Georgia needed only about five weeks to find a replacement for Evans, who resigned July 5 after an embarrassing late-night DUI arrest. The hiring of McGarity was first reported by WSB-TV in Atlanta.
McGarity played tennis for the Bulldogs and worked in the Georgia athletic department during Vince Dooley’s tenure before moving to Florida.
During McGarity’s nearly two decades in Gainesville, the Gators consistently had one of the top athletic departments in the country. They have finished No. 1 in football three times and captured back-to-back national championships in men’s basketball.
”I’ve known him since he was a little boy,” said Dan Magill, the former Georgia tennis coach and sports information director. ”He’ll be an outstanding athletic director if it’s true.”
Because of his ties to Georgia, McGarity was seen right away as being one of the favorites to take over for Evans, the first black AD in Southeastern Conference history.
Frank Crumley, who had been Evans’ top assistant, was promoted to interim athletic director and it was thought he would be in the post through the end of the year while Georgia searched for a permanent replacement.
As it turned out, university president Michael Adams and a six-person search committee didn’t need much time at all to settle on McGarity.
”He was assistant athletic director under coach Dooley,” Magill recalled. ”One of his jobs was to go down to Jacksonville every year to make arrangements for the Georgia team for the Georgia-Florida game. He met a fellow from Florida who had the same job, Jeremy Foley, and he became the athletic director at Florida and hired Greg.”
Evans was hired in 2004 to replace Dooley, who was forced out after being at the school as football coach and athletic director for 40 years. Adams hoped Evans would provide continuity as a long-term head of the athletic department, but those plans were ruined by Evans’ arrest and stunning downfall.
On June 30, minutes before starting a new five-year contract that raised his salary to $550,000, the 40-year-old Evans was pulled over in north Atlanta by a state trooper who said he was driving erratically. A married father with two children, he had a 28-year-old woman who is not his wife in the car.
The female passenger was arrested for disorderly conduct for allegedly ignoring repeated requests to stay in the car, and the arrest report noted that a pair of her red panties was found between Evans’ legs. The report also said that Evans repeatedly referred to his position at Georgia and asked if there was anything the officer could do without taking him to jail.
Evans’ received three months salary as severance when he quit. The former Georgia football player also got a $100,000 longevity bonus.
McGarity will be taking over a department that posted a record profit in 2005, beating out all other college athletic programs with $23.9 million in revenue.