Scott Stricklin Named 2020 Athletic Director of the Year at Sports Business Award Show
Courtesy of University Athletic Association
The 2020 Athletic Director of the Year is the University of Florida’s Scott Stricklin. The honor was given at the annual Sports Business Award show, which was held virtually Wednesday evening.
Stricklin was one of five finalists for the award, along with Boise State’s Curt Apsey, Texas Tech’s Kirby Hocutt, Oregon’s Rob Mullens, and Baylor’s Mack Rhoades. The 2020 nominees and winners are being recognized for the period of March 1, 2019 through February 28, 2020.
During that time period, the Gators captured six conference championships and finished third in the 2018-19 Learfield IMG College Directors Cup.
“I can’t imagine a more deserving recipient of this award than Scott Stricklin,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “He is an exceptional athletic director who has guided UF’s student-athletes to new heights athletically and academically, significantly strengthened our athletic program, and is proving remarkably adept at leading the Gators in overcoming all the difficult challenges of COVID.”
Stricklin and his athletic department staff have partnered with UF Health, campus, community, and SEC leadership to navigate the challenges of COVID to promote a culture of safety for Gator staff, student-athletes and fans.
The most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rates released in October of 2019 showed that 88 percent of UF student-athletes completed their degree in the latest cycle. The GSR of 10 Gator teams were above the national average for their sport, with five women teams recording a perfect 100 GSR: golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Gator student-athletes also posted a 3.12 GPA for fall of 2019.
Since Stricklin was hired at Florida in the fall of 2016, 587 student-athletes have graduated, with 246 of those graduates winning a national or conference championship during their time at Florida. Of those graduates, 341 were recognized with Academic All-SEC Honors.
Stricklin has also continued the execution of the Facilities Master plan put in place by his predecessor Jeremy Foley. The three-phase plan has included the addition of the Gary Condron Family Indoor Practice Facility, Otis Hawkins Academic Center at Farrior Hall, the Florida Ballpark, and renovations to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Early site work continues on the James. W. “Bill” Heavener Football Training Center.
In parallel to the facility projects has been a $155-milion fundraising campaign that continues to have momentum even during COVID-19.
Launched in 2008, the Sports Business Awards were established by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily to celebrate the excellence in the business of sports.
The national award is the second for Stricklin as he also earned the 2015-16 Athletic Director of the Year Award from the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which highlights the efforts of athletic directors at all levels.
Stricklin is the second from UF to claim the honor, as Foley was Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal National Athletic Director of the Year in June of 2006.