Georgia extends AD Josh Brooks, plans new practice fields

Associated PressMay 26, 2023, 5:56 p.m. ET2 minute read

ATHENS, Georgia — On the heels of a second consecutive national football championship, the University of Georgia has rewarded athletic director Josh Brooks with a contract extension that ties him to the Bulldogs until at least 2029.

The athletic association’s board of directors, which wrapped up its annual spring meeting Friday at a Lake Oconee resort, also announced plans for a new athletics facility that will free up space for two other fields. training ground.

Brooks’ new contract will increase his salary to $1.025 million a year, with annual raises of $100,000.

Brooks, 42, who took over the athletic department in 2021 after Greg McGarity retired, called the Georgia job “a dream of mine” and said he hopes to spend the rest of his career in Athens.

“I’m extremely grateful,” Brooks said. “I came into this company over 20 years ago as a student equipment manager. My first job at Louisiana-Monroe was making $20,000 a year in football operations.”

The Georgia Board of Trustees approved a budget of $175.2 million for fiscal year 2024, an increase of nearly 8% from the last budget of $162.2 million and a sign of a successful program that is full of money after its success on the grill.

The school has received approval to move forward with its preliminary plans for a new athletics facility, which will be built across from the complex hosting the soccer and softball teams.

The current athletics stadium is located next to the Butts-Mehre Sports Facility, which houses the training grounds and practice facilities for the football program.

Georgia lost some of its outdoor courts when it built a new indoor training facility. Once the new athletics stadium is completed, the current space will be converted into two full-length grass football training pitches at the request of coach Kirby Smart.

“He wants to find effective ways to practice, and there’s a lot of truth to the issues we’ve had with our current scopes of practice,” Brooks said. “There’s a lot of pressure on our turf facility staff to keep that pitch in good condition when half the day it’s in the shade, so that’s been a challenge as well. For our football program, it It’s better to practice on grass pitches than (artificial) turf, so being able to have two grass fields side by side is huge. It makes practice much more efficient.

The new athletic complex, which will continue to be called Spec Towns Track, will also include an indoor facility, the first of its kind in the state of Georgia.

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