Senior deputy athletic director Josh Brooks speaks to reporters on Sept. 23, 2020 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. The media was given a small tour of adjustments made to Sanford Stadium in preparation for the upcoming home opener against Auburn. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

The University of Georgia Athletic Association announced Wednesday afternoon that Josh Brooks would be the school’s next athletic director, taking over after holding the interim athletic director position since Jan. 1. 

With the decision, Brooks became UGA’s 12th athletic director in its history, replacing Greg McGarity after 10 years at the helm. 

“I can’t thank [McGarity] enough for all he’s done for me,” Brooks said during Wednesday’s virtual press conference. “The opportunities he’s given me, the mentorship, the opportunities to take chances and fail and to learn and get better. He really had a tremendous impact on my career these past 10 years.”

An LSU graduate and UGA master’s degree recipient, Brooks has more than 20 years of administrative experience. 

Brooks is nearing 12 total years at UGA. From 2008-2011, he was the director of football operations before transitioning to associate athletic director for internal operations from 2012-2014. He then served as athletic director of Millsaps College — a private Division III school in Jackson, Mississippi — from 2014-15 and as deputy athletic director at Louisiana Monroe from 2015-16 before returning to UGA. 

In 2016, Brooks was named UGA’s executive associate director of athletics before his promotion to deputy athletic director in 2018. In January of 2020, he was promoted to senior deputy athletic director. 

“I’m not afraid of bringing people in from the outside, I’ve done it many times,” said UGA President Jere Morehead in reference to UGA Provost Jack Hu, who was hired after serving as Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan. “In this case, I thought the person we had on the inside was the right call. … I feel really good about the future under Josh Brooks’ leadership.” 

Brooks has not yet signed his contract, but it’ll be “in the neighborhood” of McGarity’s $700,000 per year earnings, Morehead said. Darrice Griffin will serve as senior deputy athletic director, Brooks’ previous position. 

Brooks spearheaded notable upgrades and decisions within the football program, like Sanford Stadium’s red LED light show, Georgia’s home-and-home series with Notre Dame in 2017 and 2019, and more recently, Sanford Stadium’s seating arrangement last season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“One of the things I want to bring to the forefront is innovation,” Brooks said. “I want to use that word carefully because I always will respect the tradition at the University of Georgia, but I want to bring in innovative minds that bring in a growth mindset. We will never settle for the status quo.”