If “good-but-not-great” didn’t cut it for Mark Richt, should it for Greg McGarity?

Seth Emerson takes a look at Georgia athletics since McGarity became the AD.

It has now been six full school years since Greg McGarity took over as Georgia’s athletics director. While many will judge him ultimately by how the two most visible sports (football and men’s basketball) have fared, the school has a total of 21 sports. And looking at it on the whole, frankly, the needle has not moved much in either direction.

By one measure, things have slightly improved under McGarity: It went from 20th in the Director’s Cup standings – the NCAA’s all-sports annual measurement – the year McGarity arrived, to a few spots higher. Georgia ranked 12th in the most recent Director’s Cup standings, which include everything but baseball. McGarity expects Georgia will end up 15th in the final standings, and third among SEC schools, behind Florida and Texas A&M.

“We’ll finish ahead of some schools that people think of as premier programs,” McGarity said. “We’ll finish ahead of Oklahoma, and Notre Dame, Penn State, a lot of schools that we are in the conversation about as far as top programs in the country. So across the board it’s a great testimony to a great balanced sports program.”

But that’s still far from where Georgia was a decade ago. It routinely finished second to Florida among SEC schools, and occupied a spot in the top 10 seven times between 1999-2008. The Bulldogs were second in the nation in 1999 and third in 2001. And things have definitely improved since the low point of consecutive 20th-place finishes in 2010-11.

By another measure, things have slipped a bit: In Damon Evans’ six years as athletics director (July 1, 2004 until his ouster almost exactly six years later), Georgia teams won 11 NCAA titles and 23 SEC titles. In McGarity’s six years, there have been four NCAA titles and 19 SEC titles.

Some good, some bad.  Sound familiar?  How about this?

There were some fans already calling for Stricklin’s removal, but McGarity – who has yet to fire someone he himself hired – opted not to make Stricklin the first.

“These positions are not popularity contests, as we all know,” said McGarity, referring to his own. “They’re about making some tough decisions at times. And just doing the best you can.”

Shades of Willie Martinez.

Of course, this is all merely an exercise.  McGarity will be judged primarily on Kirby Smart’s success and secondarily on not bankrupting the athletic department.  All the rest is commentary, at most.

It’s the Georgia Way,  peeps.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

27 responses to “If “good-but-not-great” didn’t cut it for Mark Richt, should it for Greg McGarity?

  1. Bright Idea

    McGarity knows UGA alumni and fans really aren’t worried about anything other than football. We simply aren’t gonna get riled up if baseball or basketball is mediocre. Those sports have to get way into the gutter for anybody to react.

    • Ricky McDurden

      Well, three straight losing seasons and 5 straight seasons in which a once-perennial national contender has missed the postseason entirely is pretty damn close to the gutter. I know baseball is a distant third to basketball and football, but it’s still third. Given the HS baseball talent in this state, it’s almost moreso the principle of the matter than it is fan appeasement; UGA baseball should be great because it just should be. Anyone in the state should be able to casually drive over one Spring afternoon and catch a competitive, highly capable baseball squad take on the likes of LSU, Ole Miss, and Florida in a ballpark reflective of the talent and history of the program. They shouldn’t ever walk in the gate of a 3,000 seat pseudo-softball sandlot and wonder why the hell the 3 and 4 batters are just barely hitting over .300 and everyone else is struggling to get on base only 20% of their ABs. Nevermind the consistent wild pitches and blown leads from the mound.

      • aladawg

        +1000 . Just ask a season ticket holder who now HAS to donate to keep his tickets how important it is. Fire Stricklin and McGoofy!

      • Bright Idea

        Agreed but until more than just you and I give a damn McGarity won’t either. He should demand that every program be top 3-4 in SEC every year in spite of apathy by most UGA alums and fans.

  2. UGA85

    I basically agree with your last statement. McGarity will ultimately rise or fall with CKS. I see no danger of bankruptcy. But I do have this feeling that UGA, as a whole, underachieves athletically relative to its resources. Why can’t we be more balanced and field more winners, like Florida? Expectations should be higher, IMO.

    • Ricky McDurden

      What’s amazing about Florida under Foley, too, is that they’re arguably the only other athletic program in the SEC more stingy with respect to updating/building new facilities than we are. And yet, they picked hat particular “best at everything” mantle up about twenty years ago and haven’t ever looked back. Far be it for me (a lowly comment section denizen) to question the AD of a major college sports program, but McGarity’s judge of coaching talent has been highly suspect relative to his mentor’s (Muschamp and Zook hirings aside).

      • HVL Dawg

        So you are impressed with Jim McElwain?

        • Ricky McDurden

          He managed to outclass the likes of Richt, Butch Jones, Pinkel, Spurrier, and Hugh Freeze in his first season en route to winning UF’s first division title since Meyer and Tebow were still an item.

          Of course, he still got blown out by FSU and Michigan but then he also did NOT get blown out by a backup QB in Jacksonville unlike a certain 15 year HC that may or may not still be around a certain Classic City…

          Go ahead and label me as tentatively impressed (I’m still waiting for him to do something dickish and hateable; to this point, he has been far too likable to be the HC of Florida)

          • Otto

            He was on a backup QB against FSU and Michigan. I was impressed with McElwain but he was also on my short list to replace Richt.

          • McElwain has done a good job with the dumpster fire that Boom left him on offense. The question is whether he can maintain the defense that Agent Muschump had built.

  3. Big Shock

    Really thought that Stricklin would get the boot this year. I have no idea why the UGA baseball program can’t win more games. The rest of the SEC lives off of Georgia high school baseball. Four first round high schoolers from GA this year. Of the four, zero committed to UGA. Don’t imagine that any of them will ever play college baseball, but none the less, it give you an idea of where UGA stacks up in the eyes of elite talent in the state.

    But to the point of your post, if McGarity and the athletic board want to hold the football coach to the highest standard, it stands to reason that they should be held to the same standard. I don’t see a single McGarity hire that has been an upgrade over the previous coach…although I’m holding out hope for Kirby.

  4. HVL Dawg

    Hasn’t Florida slipped quite a bit since McGarity left?

    • Normaltown Mike

      shhhh, this is a hammer in search of a nail.

      these same people bitched and moaned in the 90’s when VD bragged about the success of UGA in the Director’s Cup.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      “Hasn’t Florida slipped quite a bit since McGarity left?”

      The football team was in the secc and the baseball team was just eliminated from the CWS. That’s slippin?

  5. Walt

    Remove our country club sports like swimming, tennis and golf and we look a lot worse, and most of those coaches were hired before McGarrity was AD. What have his hires done? Baseball, volleyball, soccer, women’s basketball and gymnastics haven’t noticeably improved. Looks like women’s golf and track & field are on the upswing. Football will make or break him no matter what, though.

    • Ricky McDurden

      To be fair, women’s basketball is still a little early to tell (doesn’t help, either, when your best player continues to get hurt). Track and Field will improve as the facilities continue to improve. The rest are completely fair game, though, and have had average to underwhelming results.

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Women’s gymnastics isn’t like it was when Suzanne was here, arguably the Nick Saban of gymnastics, but it’s much better than it was under Jay whathisname. That trend is positive. Same with track and field, but I think Arkansas is the Alabama of track and field. Baseball is a complete mystery because I felt like Stricklin was a good hire when it happened.

  6. Bright Idea

    Until more than just a few of us message board geeks give a crap about baseball and basketball McGarity won’t either. He knows few people care but he should demand excellence even when we won’t.

  7. Biggity Ben

    This is totally uninformed and no facts were checked, but Damn Evans got most of his titles with Suzanne Yoculan and Jack Bauerle, right?

  8. If “good-but-not-great” didn’t cut it for Mark Richt, should it for Greg McGarity?….NO…there my job is done here.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    McG has never been more than a bean counter, with absolutely no public relations skills. He comes up short of adequate in every aspect of his job. He’s an embarrassment.

    I find it hard to believe anyone would attribute our financial success to the actions of McG. McG does little to nothing for UGA.

    • BarneyDawg

      Exactamente. I cringde whenever I heard that McGarity was scheduled to do an interview…..nothing good could happen. It appears his interviewing has been curtailed lately, thank goodness. I could see him giving a quote like that dumbass jocksniffer DA in Monroe Louisiana did about air conditioning.

  10. ClydeBoogie

    I say don’t stop there Bradley and Schultz ain’t won no Pulitzer’s since they be there either I say can their sorry butts as well.

  11. Bulldog Joe

    The Georgia Way doesn’t measure success in wins or championships. It is measured in NET revenue sent to the university.

    Using this metric, McGarity has been stellar.

    Be sure to get those ‘athletic’ contributions in on time!