FOOTBALL

Foley Hall of Champions at new Heavener Center honors former athletic director Jeremy Foley

Kevin Brockway
Gator Sports

The entrance to the newly built James "Bill" Heavener Football Training Center honors  Florida's championships in all sports.

The area has been named the Foley Hall of Champions, a nod to Emeritus Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, who retired in fall of 2016. Banners celebrating the program’s championships are in a dining and amenities area for Gator student-athletes across all sports. 

They include UF's’ 45 national and 266 conference titles. Foley celebrated more than half of Florida’s national team titles, as the Gators claimed 27 crowns during his 25 seasons as athletic director, including UF's first football national title (1996) and men's basketball national title (2006).

Banners for the Jeremy Foley Hall of Champions at the new Heavener Football Training Facility, on the University of Florida campus, in Gainesville, Fla., August 22, 2022.

“It’s hard for me to put into words how meaningful this is to me," Foley said. "Not only the recognition, but the way it embodies what I believe and what they still believe at the University of Florida; that all sports matter and all will compete at the highest level. It just ties a bow on my career and I’m so appreciative.”

New center:Florida football team moves into $85 million Heavener Football Training Center

Track title:Florida Gators women's track and field team wins first national championship in 30 years

Foley Hall of Champions honors AD's success

A championship culture developed during Foley’s tenure. When he started as athletic director in March 1992, Florida trailed Tennessee by 10 in total SEC titles. Foley saw the Gators claim 130 SEC titles during his tenure to lead all programs by 75 league team crowns.

Three women’s sports that weren’t even among Florida’s varsity offerings when Foley first started — soccer, softball and lacrosse — have banners showcasing league-leading conference title totals.

Jeremy Foley, University of Florida athletic director, speaks during a news conference at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, on Nov. 17, 2014.

The best of the conference? Which SEC program has best claim to being an 'Everything School?'

“For several years we’ve been trying to come up with a way to have all team championships in one location and to tie Jeremy’s name to those championships," Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said. "When we were going through the design of the Heavener Center, we had a really dramatic space in the entrance, with the dining center, the lobby and the recreation and amenity space.

"It just worked on a lot of levels. And now, every time we take those banners down to update them, we’ll recognize how important a championship is and recognize someone who helped us win a bunch of them."