Jeremy Foley retiring as Florida’s A.D.

Jeremy Foley announced Monday that he will retire on October 1 as the Athletics Director at the University Florida.  The longest tenured A.D. in Florida’s history is also the winningest in terms of championships under his watch.

Foley released a statement on his leaving late Monday morning.

"After a long period of thought and consideration, I have made a decision to retire as the Athletics Director effective October 1, 2016. As difficult as a decision it has been to make, I know the time is right,” the statement read. “So many memories. Of championships won. Of teams setting goals and then achieving them. The passion shown by Florida fans across the state, nation and world. Those letters or emails from student-athletes after they receive their degrees, so appreciative of their Gator experience.

"Those are what I'll take with me because they are a part of me. This is a special place built by the effort, passion and drive of our coaches and student-athletes.

"What a privilege it has been to be a part of this athletic program. It's never been a job - the relentless energy from the student-athletes and coaches ensured that. I've worked with some of the best in the business and met some truly outstanding people. I've been part of some memorable Gator events and Championships. I came to work every day with a staff full of friends and we've shared every emotion along the way. I have been truly blessed with a career I have loved at a place I love.

"But now it is time for me to step aside. I firmly believe that after 25 years with one leader, new thoughts and new ideas will continue to move this program forward. Timing is as good as it can be because currently we have a tremendous group of coaches and professional staff. As good as there is in the country. New leadership will inherit an incredibly talented group of people. Our budget is in good shape.  All of our programs are achieving at the highest level.  We are being successful without sacrificing our integrity. We are a positive reflection on the institution.

"As hard as it is for me personally, as this organization and this career has been my life's work, it is time for me to personally move forward in a new direction.  I firmly believe my time as Athletics Director is ending so that I can move into the next phase of my life.  And I eagerly look forward to this next phase.

"But I'll still be watching - and cheering - because I'll always be a Gator."

Foley told all of the coaches at Florida of his plans early Monday. The 63-year old will work as the Athletics Director until October 1, when they hope to have a successor named. His current contract agreement calls for him to be named Emeritus Athletics Director which will allow him to stay involved in the program further.

Under Foley’s watch, 27 different Gator teams have been named National Championships which is tied for first among current athletic directors. He is the only AD in Division 1 history to have multiple national titles won in both football (1996, 2006, 2008) and men’s basketball (2006, 2007) under his watch.

There is no debating his prowess in developing an overall winning program in terms of All-Sports. Florida's ranked among nation's top 10 athletic program every year under Foley in top five nationally in all-sports rankings in 17 years of his 24 years at the helm of the program and in the top 10 every year. More than half of the program's 229 SEC titles have come under Foley, as Gator teams have claimed 130 league titles. The overall SEC All-Sports Trophy has gone to Florida 24 of Foley's 25 years.

UF President Kent Fuchs chimed in on Foley as well.

"Jeremy's amazing accomplishments as Athletics Director are well known, and the university is very grateful to him for the national championships, a winning sports program that is highly ranked year after year, and the growth of women's sports.  Jeremy also has a well-deserved reputation for recruiting the nation's most talented coaches and building an athletic association that is recognized as among the very best in the country.

"What I especially appreciate about Jeremy, however, is his integrity and his commitment to our students.  Success to Jeremy is a student athlete who graduates and wins championships in the right way.  That is the culture he created here over his 25-year career and it is what we will remember about his remarkable tenure as Athletics Director.

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