Richt was asked why he didn't just move up.
"I don't want lose my spot in line," Richt said.
Richt and Fox, the men's basketball coach, had never met McGarity before Friday.
"I just know that everybody that's met him and everybody associated with him is very, very excited to get him, and that he's here," Richt said. "That's a good sign."
Fox liked that McGarity worked at Florida, where the men's basketball team won two national titles in the mid-200s.
"He obviously has been at an institution where basketball and football have co-existed at a very high level. So I think that's important," Fox said. "He's an A.D. who's well-prepared for the job."
The Foley influence
McGarity's mentor at Florida since 1992 has been athletics director Jeremy Foley, who is known for hiring national-title winning coaches – Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan – but also being demanding. Foley has fired baseball and women's basketball coaches who had slipped after fairly recent success.
"His style to me is just like a blueprint," McGarity said. "He's very clear in expectations. We've got documents on what's expected of a coaching staff, what's expected of student-athletes, what's expected of the A.D. So there's really clear what are the expectations. He held people accountable. And he really wanted people to enjoy their work."
Georgia president Michael Adams said the search committee met with "a number" of candidates at an out-of-state location, and he personally spoke to "scores" of candidates. He estimated that there were more than 30 sitting Division I-A athletics directors they could have hired.
"I'd like to say with Greg sitting here that this was just a slam-dunk decision," Adams said. "But there were people of such caliber in this pool, that I had to weigh that very seriously."
McGarity said he didn't concern himself with who else was in the running – though his boss did.
"Jeremy kept asking me who else is in the hunt?" McGarity said. "And I said, Jeremy, I don't wanna know. … All that might do is direct some of my attention away from I could control. I couldn't control that. And I couldn't tell you today who else was a candidate."
McGarity pointed out that his son Alex is a senior at Florida.
"I'm not sure what he'll do this year in Jacksonville."