Florida is finalizing a deal with Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin that will install him in the same position with the Gators, and is expected to announce the hiring in a Tuesday news conference, reports Dan Wolken of USA TODAY Sports.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy confirmed Wolken’s report later Monday afternoon.
Wolken reports that Stricklin is on campus in Gainesville and finalizing a deal with Florida on Monday. A source told Alligator Army that Stricklin was on campus Monday afternoon, and Gator Country’s Andrew Spivey reports that Stricklin is expected to meet with “the senior group of (Florida) advisors” at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Stricklin’s candidacy for the job being vacated by Jeremy Foley and Florida’s pursuit of him as its current top candidate were both reported widely last week, with reports suggesting that Stricklin turned down an initial offer, leading the Gators to return with one that might increase his Mississippi State salary by close to a million dollars.
While that news was reported early in the week, nothing transpired by week’s end — possibly due in part to Mississippi State’s football team traveling to Gillette Stadium for a game against UMass on Saturday, a trip to the region where New Hampshire native Dan Mullen grew up and a special occasion the Bulldogs celebrated by wearing New England Patriots-inspired uniforms.
Stricklin made that trip with the Bulldogs, maybe his last in an official capacity in Mississippi State maroon.
Florida’s decision to push back its men’s basketball media day from Tuesday to next week provided another hint that big news was forthcoming on Monday. And it appears that Stricklin is widely expected to take the job: Football Scoop is hinting that Mississippi State is already in the process of finding Stricklin’s replacement.
Stricklin, 46, is renowned as one of the best young athletic directors in America, and has been at the forefront of significant fundraising and facilities improvements at Mississippi State, where he succeeded current Arizona athletic director — and reported fellow Florida target — Greg Byrne, something of a mentor to Stricklin, in May 2010.