By JOEL COLEMAN
Scott Stricklin will leave his position as athletic director at Mississippi State to take the same job at the University of Florida according to multiple media reports on Monday.
USA Today first reported that Stricklin is expected to be named athletic director at Florida during a press conference Tuesday. The outlet also reported Stricklin was in Gainesville, Florida, on Monday finalizing the deal.
Stricklin didn’t immediately respond to multiple requests for comment by the Starkville Daily News. A message to MSU chief communications officer Sid Salter also went unreturned.
Stricklin fills the vacancy at Florida left behind by outgoing athletic director Jeremy Foley. Foley is retiring effective Oct. 1.
Football Scoop first reported last week that Stricklin was the leading candidate to be the next athletic director at Florida. The Clarion-Ledger, citing an unnamed source, then reported that Florida had presented Stricklin with an offer for at least $1 million per year and possibly upwards of $1.4 million. Stricklin made approximately $500,000 per year at MSU.
Stricklin had served as Mississippi State’s athletic director since 2010. As a Jackson native and 1992 graduate of MSU, Stricklin is leaving behind strong roots in Starkville. In addition, Stricklin’s wife, Anne, is the youngest daughter of former MSU basketball star and Basketball Hall of Fame member Bailey Howell.
Despite all that, Stricklin earned his opportunity at Florida behind a resume that is highlighted by more than 28 years of experience on the collegiate level serving in various capacities at five separate universities.
Stricklin has overseen unprecedented success at Mississippi State over the last six years. In his tenure, MSU has invested nearly $140 million in facilities and seen the athletic department receive significant increases in Bulldog Club memberships and donations.
This past year, MSU achieved the highest-ever Learfield Director’s Cup finish for any school from the state of Mississippi while seeing the majority of its teams compete in postseason championship events. For his efforts, Stricklin was presented the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Stricklin’s departure leaves Mississippi State searching for a new leader. It’s still unknown at this time if State will look to hire from within or conduct a wider search.
Since the hire of Larry Templeton as MSU athletic director in 1987, every State athletic director has come from within the program.
Greg Byrne was promoted from within to take over for Templeton in 2008. When Byrne left MSU for Arizona two years later, Stricklin was promoted.