After 25 years as Athletic Director at the University of Florida, Jeremy N. Foley ’74 announced that he will retire from his position on Oct. 1. Under Foley’s leadership, Florida’s teams have won 27 national titles and 130 Southeastern Conference titles during his tenure.
In 2008, Foley was awarded the Hobart Medal of Excellence, the Hobart Alumni Association’s highest honor, on the heels of leading Florida’s athletic program to national titles in both men’s basketball and football in the same calendar year. He is the first and only athletic director to do so. Foley is also the only Athletic Director in Division I history to win multiple national championships in football (1996, 2006, 2008) and men’s basketball (2006, 2007).
“You always want to leave an organization in good shape. Right now, we obviously have a great group of coaches. We have had a good year and we’ve got things moving in the right direction. I just think that makes it a good time to transition,” Foley said.
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated stated that during his tenure, Foley was the ideal standard for contemporary athletic directors. “No matter who gets the job next, they’ll be replacing the man who provided the model for the modern athletic director,” Staples said.
“He changed my life,” Billy Donovan told the Tampa Bay Times. As the current coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Donovan won two national championships and made four trips to the final four with the Gators under Foley. “He took a chance on me. I don’t lose sight and perspective. A lot of people can say, yeah you won some games. It’s not about that. It’s about the opportunity and how thankful I am for what he was able to do for me.”
In an interview with ESPN, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs also praised Foley “for recruiting the nation’s most talented coaches and building an athletic association that is recognized as among the very best in the country.”
Foley’s success with the Gators also included finishing in the top five nationally in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings 17 times, and winning the GateHouse Media Southeastern Conference All-Sports trophy in every year but one during his tenure.
At Hobart, Foley was a psychology major, a member of Kappa Sigma and played on the football and lacrosse teams. After graduation, he coached and scouted for the Hobart lacrosse program and earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University.
The photo above features Jeremy Foley ’74 during the Hobart Medal of Excellence in 2008.