Following the departure of Central Florida athletic director Todd Stansbury to Oregon State, UCF has named head coach George O'Leary their interim athletics director.
In 2014, just weeks before the first game, Bruce Feldman reported that O'Leary was strongly considering resigning during the season and he specifically said that O'Leary might step down following UCF's opener against Penn State in Ireland. Feldman stated that O'Leary's "protege Brent Key" would take over the program. That report was quickly shot down by O'Leary.
O'Leary, who is entering his 12th season leading the Knights with an overall record of 81-60, joins the likes of Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) and Tom Osborne (Nebraska) as FBS head coaches who have taken on the role of athletic director.
“George’s leadership and knowledge of athletics, which includes programs beyond football, will keep UCF moving forward academically, competitively and in the community,” UCF President John Hitt told the Orlando Sentinel. “His national connections will also help us continue building the Knights’ reputation around the country.”
At 68 years old, a full-time athletic director position may be the next logical step for O'Leary, who got his start in the high school ranks in the 1960's and has been coaching football at the college level since 1980 (with a few years at the NFL level sprinkled in there).
“First of all, I appreciate President Hitt’s trusting me with this interim job. I love UCF and want to help us get better across the board. I have a great interest in the total package as far as UCF is concerned.” O’Leary added.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As always, we'll keep you posted on The Scoop.