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.