The biggest news out of Gainesville today is only sort of about sports. University of Florida president Bernie Machen told the UF Board of Trustees at a Friday meeting that he will retire in 2013, ending a nine-year tenure as Florida's president.
Machen's not likely to be remembered widely as a dynamic, brilliant leader — forced to choose one thing from his time at Florida to keep in mind, I would pick either him probably having something to do with hiring Urban Meyer, given that both men worked together at the University of Utah before coming to Gainesville, or him endorsing John McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign — but there have likely been worse presidents in Florida's history, and no matter what a UF president does, he will probably end up venerated.
That "he" is possible because Florida's 11 presidents to date have all been men. It will be interesting to see if the search for Machen's successor, which will begin this summer with the goal of finding a new president in 2013, turns up a woman or a non-white man for the job.
Do you have any particular memories of Machen to share? Let us know in the comments.