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The UCF Athletics Association has recently employed Parker Executive Search, a firm specializing in seeking out executives for corporate, academic, medical and sports organizations, to find a new director of athletics, said UCF vice president for communications and marketing Grant Heston.

“The process is moving very quickly, and we are pleased with where we are,” Heston said. “Athletic director candidates are going to want to know if they have to hire a new coach or not. Having that clarity now helps us in that search.”

Former UCF head football coach George O’Leary announced his retirement Sunday after 12 seasons with the university.

In the past, Parker Search Executive has helped the university fill other positions. Three years ago, the school hired former UCF athletic director Todd Stansbury with the help of the firm.

Earlier this year, it helped find UCF Foundation CEO Michael Morsberger and the dean of UCF’s College of Nursing Mary, Lou Sole.

“We’re excited about bringing in the most qualified vice president and director of athletics, and having that person being an integral part of the coaching search,” Heston said.

In regard to filling the head coaching position, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports tweeted, “Expect #UF DC Geoff Collins to get a close look for HC job.”

Collins is the defensive coordinator at Florida and served as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator under O’Leary from 2008-2009 at UCF. Before that, he worked under O’Leary at Georgia Tech from 1999-01 as a graduate assistant.

The Gator may get a close look, but Heston said it was much too early in the process to discuss specifics of hiring a coach.

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Victor Ng is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @_victorT24.

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