Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin is the leading candidate for the same job at Florida, sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday. The sources indicated Stricklin could become the Gators' AD soon assuming nothing blows up during final checks / negotiations.
The news comes after reports surfaced Tuesday Kansas State AD John Currie was in Gainesville to interview for the job. Currie, however, is in Dallas at the D1 Athletics Directors meetings.
Stricklin has been Mississippi State's AD since 2010 and overseen major facility enhancements to Davis Wade Stadium and the Bulldogs' baseball stadium, Dudy Noble Field. In addition to the facilities projects, Stricklin's highlights include pushing eight Bulldogs teams into the top 25, aiding 11 teams to reach their respective NCAA tournaments, reaching the highest department-wide GPA in school history, achieving 30 straight sellouts of Davis Wade Stadium and increasing donations to the Bulldog Club.
Accomplishing those feats at a university with among the least natural resources in the SEC naturally leads the mind to wander about what Stricklin could accomplish at Florida, one of the most naturally-advantageous programs both in the SEC and college sports as a whole.
Stricklin is seen in the industry as one of the leaders among the new generation of ADs. He's very active on Twitter, a stark contrast from outgoing Gators AD Jeremy Foley.
A complicating factor, reportedly, in Florida's search has been the fact that Foley will remain involved after his retirement becomes official. Wrote USA Today's Dan Wolken:
In conversations with people familiar with the matter, one potential issue has come up several times: Foley’s continued presence at Florida in an emeritus position. Essentially, some higher-profile athletics directors who might have been interested in the job aren’t sure about the dynamics of having Foley, who was credited for much of Florida’s athletics success during his 25-year run, right down the hall.
Stricklin inherited the Mississippi State job from Greg Byrne, who had been contacted by Florida but has said he is staying at Arizona.
In an another ironic twist of fate, Stricklin would leave behind Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, whom the Bulldogs hired away from Florida in 2009.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
The Clarion Ledger is now confirming the news we reported:
Michael Bonner of the Clarion Ledger is now adding that Stricklin has been offered "at least $1 million but could be upwards of $1.4 million" per year at Florida. At Mississippi State Stricklin makes approximately $500,000 per Bonner.