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UF's Stricklin named 2020 Athletic Director of the Year at Sports Business Award Show

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida's Scott Stricklin was named the 2020 Athletic Director of the Year during the annual Sports Business Award show Wednesday.

The University of Florida's Scott Stricklin was named the 2020 Athletic Director of the Year during the annual Sports Business Award show, which was held virtually Wednesday evening.

Stricklin was one of five finalists, 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 Feb. 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."

The most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rates released in October 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 2019.

Since Stricklin was hired at Florida in fall 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 also has 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 miliion 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.