LAKE OCONEE, Ga. – University of Georgia Director of Athletics Josh Brooks was awarded a six year contract extension and a pay raise.
The extension was one of the highlights on Day 1 of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors annual spring meeting on Thursday.
President Morehead announced that Brooks’ contract will be extended six years, to June, 2029, with an increased compensation package of $1.025 million that will escalate $100,000 per year.
“I am extremely grateful,” Brooks said. “I got into this business 20-plus years ago as a student equipment manager. My first job at Louisiana Monroe was making $20,000 a year in football operations. I never got into this business to make money. I got into this because I love to serve student-athletes and work in college athletics.
“Working in Athens and at the University of Georgia is a dream for me. I want to spend the rest of my career here. I want to retire here. It’s a blessing and it is extremely gratifying to see your hard work be recognized. Again, it is not about the money for me. It is more about the years because I want to be here for a very long time.”
In his report, Brooks touched on a wide range of topics, including:
Academic Achievements of UGA Student-Athletes
-- Bulldog student-athletes boasted a record-setting 3.22 fall GPA and the second-highest spring GPA in Georgia history with a 3.18. Brooks also noted the 3.19 cumulative GPA for this academic year is the highest on record for Georgia student-athletes.
-- Callie Dickinson — a member of the Georgia women’s swimming and diving program — along with football student-athlete Jack Podlesny earned SEC postgraduate scholarships.
-- Dickinson also garnered the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, the highest honor a SEC student-athlete can receive. Brooks stated the Georgia men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs have earned this award nine times — more than any other program in the SEC. Georgia also ties for the conference lead with 11 overall winners.
-- Volleyball’s Sage Powell and track and field’s Matthew Boling were named SEC Brad Davis Award Winners. Boling also earned SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year for a record-breaking fourth time in his career.
-- Brooks highlighted the more than 50 student-athletes who have summer internships and five who will participate in study abroad programs.
Winter and Spring Athletic Achievements
-- Brooks noted the success of basketball coaches Mike White and Katie Abrahamson-Henderson in their first seasons leading Georgia basketball.
-- White’s team boasted the second-best win improvement in the nation last year and signed the No. 13-ranked recruiting class in the country for the upcoming season. Coach ABE — the Atlanta Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year — led the Lady Bulldogs to the program’s most wins in five years with 22 victories and a NCAA tournament berth.
-- Brooks also praised the success of Georgia’s men’s and women’s tennis teams that each won SEC titles and made deep runs in the NCAA tournament. Brooks noted that the men’s and women’s golf teams swept individual and team titles at NCAA regionals on their way to nationals.
-- Softball advanced to a Super Regional after a second-place finish in the SEC standings under the leadership of head coach Tony Baldwin.
-- Both track and field programs will compete in the NCAA outdoor championships after top-5 finishes in the indoor championships. Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert was named the USTFCCCA South Region Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year.
-- Brooks praised Keidane McAlpine for his leadership of the women’s soccer program, which signed the No. 1 returning player in women’s college soccer in Croix Bethune and Georgia native Hannah White.
-- Brooks also paid tribute to legendary women’s tennis head coach Jeff Wallace, who is retiring after leading Georgia to 819 wins, 20 SEC titles and six national championships in 38 seasons. He also welcomed new women’s tennis head coach Drake Bernstein.
-- He highlighted women’s golfer Jenny Bae, who finished runner-up at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and won the NCAA Athens Regional and also track and field’s Kyle Garland, who continues to excel in the decathlon.
-- Brooks recognized six teams currently ranked in the top-10 nationally, including women’s tennis (second), men’s tennis (seventh), softball (seventh), men’s track (third), women’s track (eighth) and equestrian (sixth).
Learfield Directors’ Cup
-- Brooks noted Georgia’s success in the Learfield Directors’ Cup. Although final rankings do not come out until June, Georgia is on pace to finish in the top-10 following a No. 27-ranking at the conclusion of the fall and a No. 13 mark in the winter.
SEC Coaches of the Year
-- Brooks recognized football’s Kirby Smart, men’s tennis’ Manny Diaz and volleyball’s Tom Black for earning SEC Coach of the Year honors.
-- Brooks gave an update on several facility projects, including the Bauerle Pool at the Ramsey Center, which will be named in honor of legendary Georgia swimming and diving coach Jack Bauerle.
-- Construction is on schedule at the six-court Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Facility,
-- Sanford Stadium South Side improvements are still on schedule. Phase 1 is set to finish in August of 2023, with Phase 2 to follow.
-- Construction on Foley Field and the Jack Turner Softball Stadium will begin this summer. The $45 million Foley Field project and $38.5 million Jack Turner Stadium improvements were approved earlier this spring.
-- The Foley Field project includes additional seating, new locker room, coaches offices, hitting labs, pitching labs and expanding the canopy on existing seats.
-- The Jack Turner Stadium addition will include pitching and hitting labs, locker room and a new weight room for several sports.
-- Updates to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall museum are slated to begin this summer. The emphasis on that project will focus on honoring Coach Vince Dooley as well as Georgia’s national championships.
-- Brooks also announced a new basketball weight room in Stegeman Coliseum for both men’s and women’s basketball. The project budget is $1.8 million, with renovations set to take place between May-August, 2023.
-- The Georgia Bulldog Club raised a record total of $86.4 million in 2022, and has already topped that mark with a new school record of $97.7 million raised so far in 2023.
Highlights of President Jere W. Morehead’s remarks included:
-- President Morehead celebrated the conclusion of an historic year at the University of Georgia and congratulated the more than 7,600 students who graduated during ceremonies this spring
-- He praised the UGA Alumni Association, which now totals more than 350,000 members.
-- President Morehead thanked everyone in the athletic department who made sure commencement could be held at Sanford Stadium, with a special thanks to Brooks for helping free up additional seats at the stadium for graduation.
-- He also extended a congratulations to Brooks for being named one of six finalists for the Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year award. He stated this was a terrific recognition, especially after only two years as Georgia’s athletic director.