University of Georgia promotes Josh Brooks to full-time athletic director

Georgia is promoting Josh Brooks to a full-time role as athletic director, the school announced Wednesday.

Brooks, who has served as Georgia's deputy athletic director, took over the department in an interim role on Jan. 1 when Greg McGarity retired after a decade at the school.

Brooks, 40, has spent 11 years total at Georgia during two stints, returning in 2016 as executive associate director of athletics.

"I want to thank [university] President [Jere] Morehead for giving me this incredible opportunity," Brooks said in a prepared statement. "This is a dream come true, and I am excited to get started. To everyone who supports and represents Georgia athletics -- from our student-athletes, donors, and fans to our coaches, staff, and administrators -- you are the heart and soul of the Bulldog Nation, and I am honored to lead an organization that means so much to all of us. As athletic director, you can expect me to be visible, to be connected and engaged, and to be tirelessly devoted to the success of our student-athletes."

Brooks' immediate challenge is to continue to lead Georgia's department through the coronavirus pandemic, and he said it will be important to attract fans back to games when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

"Now more than ever as we come out of COVID, we've got to step it up in terms of fan experience,'' Brooks said. "[It has to be] so much better than the home experience that they have to be here in person.''

Brooks spent two years as athletic director at Milllsaps College, a Division III program in Mississippi, and then served as deputy athletic director at Louisiana-Monroe. He holds degrees from both LSU and Georgia.

Morehead said he was swayed by Brooks' familiarity and work with coaches and staff already in place at Georgia.

"When I looked at that nucleus of leadership and all of the opportunities Josh would have to collaborate with them and to grow into becoming a seasoned athletic director, I just thought that was the right call for the University of Georgia,'' Morehead said.

McGarity announced Nov. 30 that he would retire at the end of the year. Virginia athletic director Carla Williams, who played basketball at Georgia and later served as deputy athletic director under McGarity, announced Dec. 18 that she would remain at Virginia.

The budget of Georgia's athletic association grew from $89 million to $153 million under McGarity, who oversaw $200 million in facility improvements.

Georgia also named Darrice Griffin the full-time deputy director of athletics, filling Brooks' former role. She had been named to the position on an interim basis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.