The University of Central Florida has named head football coach George O’Leary as its interim athletic director. John Taylor of NBC Sports’ College Football Talk reported the story.
O’Leary would assume AD duties on July 11 and remain in that position through the end of the year. He would be replacing former AD Todd Stansbury, who accepted the same position at Oregon State.
University president John C. Hitt acknowledged the decision and spoke highly of O’Leary, who has been the head coach of the Knights since 2004.
“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 C. Hitt said in a statement. “His national connections will also help us continue building the Knights’ reputation around the country.”
Of course, O’Leary voiced his pleasure at the decision as well.
“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,” O’Leary said. “I have a great interest in the total package as far as UCF is concerned. …
“There are two important things you need to do in this job. You have to win so that UCF has the opportunity to become a top national program. And you have to bring in good kids and, hopefully, help make them great young men and women when they graduate.”
It should also be noted that O’Leary is 68 years old, so perhaps he’s thinking of retiring from the coaching game and heading into administration for the rest of his career. It should be noted that longtime Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne retired from the sidelines in 1997 at age 60, only to become the university’s AD a decade later at age 70.
Perhaps O’Leary is headed for a similar path, as he has a coaching career that dates back to 1968. Across stints at Georgia Tech and UCF, with a muddied stop at Notre Dame in between, O’Leary owns a record of 133-93 and has gone 5-6 in bowl games.
If he is destined to become an administrator, doing so at the university whose program he rebuilt from the ground up is the perfect place to do so.
UCF went 9-4 (7-1 AAC) in 2013 and lost to N.C. State in the St. Petersburg Bowl. The team opens the 2015 season at home against FIU on September 3.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports