UGA Athletic Board Spring Meeting Highlights – Day One

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UGA Athletic Board Spring Meeting Highlights – Day One

Greg McGarity
Greg McGarity

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Reports by University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, and an update on current and future facilities projects highlighted the first day of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors annual spring meeting here Thursday.

Also on the first-day agenda was a special presentation, led by Deputy Director for Athletics Darrice Griffin, which described in detail the key objectives in the areas of student-athlete experience, compliance, community and academic success.  Also presenting were Executive Associate AD Will Lawler (Compliance) and Deputy AD Magdi El Shahawy (Academics and Student Development).

In his report, McGarity called attention to a number of athletic successes in the past year, some of which remain ongoing in post-season competition.  In particular:

• The baseball team, under head coach Scott Stricklin, is headed toward its second straight NCAA Tournament berth.

• Other teams whose seasons are still in progress include the men’s golf, and track & field squads.

• Also praised by McGarity for their successes were the Gymnastics, Equestrian, Football, Women’s Tennis and Softball teams, as well as the Men’s Basketball program, whose highly-rated recruiting class has generated much excitement in advance of the 2019-20 season.

Deputy Director for Operations Josh Brooks updated the Board on three facility projects including:

• The UGA Equestrian complex in Bishop, Ga., which will include meeting, sports medicine and locker rooms, as well as coaches’ offices, is projected for a September 2019 completion.

• Construction of the new grandstand at the Magill Tennis Complex has begun.  Completion of this project is scheduled for February of 2020.

• UGA is currently in the midst of the schematic and conceptual design phase of the Butts-Mehre expansion and renovation project.

Retired UGA professor Bill Barstow gave a presentation on the ‘’SilverDawgs,’’ a year-old hospitality group that he helped organized and still directs.  The group is comprised mostly from UGA’s chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and provides assistance to visitors at various on-campus events, including home football games, UGA commencement and other athletic contests.  Barstow said the group — the idea of which was borne from a similar group that received visitors at the 2017 UGA football game at Notre Dame —  had grown from its initial membership of 30 to the current total of 100 for the 2019 football season.

In other first-day Board activity, Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley presented the academic report. His remarks included the following highlights:

• The men’s cross country squad compiled a 3.44 GPA for Spring semester, the highest among all Bulldog athletic teams.

• The Georgia Volleyball and Men’s Basketball programs received public recognition for having Academic Progress Rates (APR) that placed them among the top 10 percent nationally for their sports.

• Ninety-seven student-athletes received their degrees at Spring commencement on May 10.

Day two of the annual meeting on Friday will include reports from the Student Wellness Committee, the board’s student representatives and a review of the fiscal year 2020 budget, as well as a fundraising update from Deputy AD Matt Borman.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.