When Todd Stansbury departed UCF for Oregon State last week, UCF was left with a vacant director of athletics position. Enter George O'Leary, going into his 12th season with UCF and the most prosperous football coach the university has ever seen.
O'Leary has been named the interim director of athletics through the 2015 calendar year. The university will then decide who will fill the position in 2016.
"George's leadership and knowledge of athletics – which includes programs beyond football – will keep UCF moving forward academically, competitively and in the community," Hitt said in a press release. "His national connections will also help us continue building the Knights' reputation around the country."
O'Leary has led the Knights to two consecutive bowl games. In 2014-15, the Knights were winners of seven American Athletic Conference championships, including O'Leary's football team.
Among all public NCAA Division I FBS schools in the country, UCF has the highest graduation success rate with 95 percent. It also ranks fifth among all FBS schools, falling short of Northwestern, Duke, Stanford and Notre Dame.
"There are two important things you need to do in this job," O'Leary said in a press release. "You have to win so that UCF has the opportunity to become a top national program. And you have to bring in good kids and, hopefully, help make them great young men and women when they graduate."
O'Leary's stint as the interim director of athletics will begin on July 11.
"First of all, I appreciate President Hitt's trusting me with this interim job. I love UCF and want to help us get better across the board," O'Leary said in a press release. "I have a great interest in the total package as far as UCF is concerned."
Jarrod Heil is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @JHeil11or email him at JarrodH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.