6 notable quotes from Scott Stricklin's introduction as Florida athletic director

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday September 27, 2016

Scott Stricklin was introduced as Florida’s new athletic director on Tuesday, and he made it clear it was a tough decision and a long process.

Stricklin will earn $1.076 million annually on a six-year deal, with a $150,000 signing bonus. That’s double his salary at Mississippi State, but what it cost to lure him away from his alma mater. The Clarion-Ledger previously reported Sticklin turned down Florida’s first offer.

Current Florida AD Jeremy Foley will stay in the role through October, rather than step down on Oct. 1 as originally planned. Stricklin will begin on Nov. 1. This move is the 21st AD change of 2016.

Here were 6 notable quotes from Stricklin’s introduction:

On what made the Florida job different:

“I’d get calls from time to time the last few years from search firms, asking if I’d have any interest in a job. I had never pursued any of those. I finally told them recently, there may be two or three jobs in the country I might be interested in leaving Mississippi State for, and those jobs may never call, and that’s OK, because I’ve got a good deal.

“Then this job came open. Going through this process, it became obvious to me that there was only one job I’d leave Mississippi State for, and that is to be a Florida Gator. That says something about what Mississippi State means to me, but it says something special about the University of Florida.”

On the timeline of the process, it took a few months:

“I think I first got a phone call some time in June, so it was after Jeremy announced. Had some on-and-off conversations throughout the summer, and it picked up somewhere in August. The reason for the timing, there are a lot of factors in play. I had some factors, UF had some factors. Candidly, Florida was kind enough to work with Mississippi State on some factors that needed to be considered, which I appreciated. That shows respect the institutions have for one-another and the respect the institutions in this league have for one-another.

“From mid-August on, I had a chance to really focus in and figure out if this was an opportunity I was willing to look into and pursue. I decided it was.”

Stricklin says the positive of following Foley outweighs any pressure:

“If you spend any time in the SEC, you get used to challenges. This is a big, hairy conference. Every day, you have to be ready to get after it. I admire what has happened here. It’s more excitement than trepidation. It’s better starting at a place that’s accustomed to success, knows how to exhibit that success, have the right people in place.”

Facilities have been an issue at Florida, but Stricklin likes the direction:

“I do think it’s important to make sure facilities are at a level that, when a prospective student-athlete comes on this campus, when your current student-athletes walk into their facilities, when your coaches those, that they know we’re putting a priority in what those young people are doing. We’re putting a priority on what the staff is a part of.

“I don’t know that we need gold-plated toilets. I don’t know that you have to have waterfalls in the locker room. I think you need to have really nice facilities. I’ll be honest: I think we have really good facilities here. You’re always trying to push forward and improve upon that.”

On discipline for off-field behavior, such as Jeremy Simmons at Mississippi State:

“You’re going to have young people mess up from time to time, and when that happens, you have to make sure you take steps that modify behavior. Hopefully, you can do that in a positive way. Sometimes, you have to do it in a negative way with consequences. … I don’t think this is a situation where you walk in and expect something bad to happen, but if something does happen, we’ll be prepared to handle it.”

An SEC football head coaching job is already open, but Stricklin doesn’t want to have knee-jerk reactions when making personnel decisions:

“I do think we have a lot more impatience than we used to, which is unfortunate, because the commitment schools are making to coaches is a lot greater than it used to be, from a financial standpoint. I’m going to be really patient if I feel I have the right person in place. If we have the right person working with a plan, working hard, committed to this place, yeah, you can be patient with that.

“If you don’t have the right person, you might be a little less patient. We have great coaches here right now, and there will be opportunity to support them.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.