Florida Gators announce search committee to find new athletics director

Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley speaks on during an introductory press conference on December 6, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida. Jim McElwain has left Colorado State and replaces ex-Florida head coach Will Muschamp who was fired earlier this season.

Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley speaks on during an introductory press conference on December 6, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida. Jim McElwain has left Colorado State and replaces ex-Florida head coach Will Muschamp who was fired earlier this season.

University of Florida president Kent Fuchs has appointed a search committee to hire a new athletics director, the school announced Wednesday.

The eight-member committee consists of constituents within the university and athletic department. UF trustee and board chairman Manny Fernandez will chair the search.

“Our next athletics director will assume leadership of a strong organization with a tradition of excellence,” Fuchs said in a press release. “It is important that we identify a slate of qualified candidates who can build on the UAA’s previous successes. I am confident the search committee, under the capable leadership of Manny Fernandez, will help us identify the very best.”

[Recruit Jawaan Taylor lost nearly 50 pounds to land Gators offer]

Jeremy Foley announced this month that he will retire as athletics director on Oct. 1. He has spent 40 years in the University Athletic Association, including 25 as the AD.

Once the committee develops a list of candidates, they will meet with Florida head coaches and UAA staff. Executive associate athletics director for administration Lynda Tealer will serve as the UAA liaison to the committee, which will not use an executive search firm.

Search committee members are:

Manny Fernandez, from Ft. Meyers. Fernandez leads a venture capital fund, SI Ventures, and was an inaugural trustee and chaired the search committee that recommended the hiring of UF President Bernie Machen in 2003. Fernandez also serves on the board of three Fortune 500 companies.

Cammy Abernathy, from Gainesville. Abernathy is the UF Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Prior to being named to that position in 2009, Abernathy was associate dean for academic affairs and a professor in the department of material science and engineering at UF. She also serves on the University Title IX committee.

Ron Coleman, from Jacksonville. Coleman is the immediate past President of Gator Boosters, Inc. and was the first African-American student-athlete offered a scholarship at the University of Florida in June of 1968. He is currently President and CEO of Baronco Management Consultants, Inc., a human resource management and training firm. Among his past and present UF affiliations include the following – UAA Board of Directors, F-Club Committee (and Past President) and UF Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Andy Fawbush, from Jacksonville. Fawbush is the current President of the University Athletic Association Board. Fawbush is an attorney at the law firm of Smith, Gambrell and Russell. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the University of Florida Levin College of Law and for the University of Florida Alumni Association.

Virginia Maurer, from Gainesville. Maurer is a Professor of Business Law and Legal Studies, Darden Restaurants Professor of Diversity Management and founding director of the Poe Center for Business Ethics. She has been on the faculty of the university for 36 years. She served five terms on the Board of Directors of the University Athletic Association, Inc., including several years as chair of the finance committee and vice president of the board.

W. Andrew McCollough, from Gainesville. McCollough is Associate Provost for Teaching and Technology at the University of Florida and current chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. He has served as part of the UF Faculty since 1971 and served in the Army as an aviator.

Tom Mitchell, from Gainesville. Mitchell is Vice President for Advancement. He joined the University of Florida Foundation in June of 2010 after an eight-year career at the University of California, Irvine, where he was the Vice Chancellor of University Advancement and President of the Foundation.

Michael Sagas, from Gainesville. Sagas is Department Chair and Professor for the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sports Management and has been the Faculty Athletics Representative to the SEC and the NCAA for the past five years. He also serves on the University Athletic Association Board and the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee.