Dual-role UCF head coach George O'Leary talks about his decision to step down as the interim director of athletics. Video by Jarrod Heil, Central Florida Future
Dual-role UCF head coach George O'Leary announced Monday at a press conference that he stepped down as the interim director of athletics. The announcement follows UCF's 40-13 loss to UConn on Saturday.
"I don't have any interest in being an AD. I’m not into Kumbaya or bureaucrats and all the things that you have to do with that,” O’Leary. “I looked at the AD thing and put my time into it, but it’s not something that basically I’m going to have a real interest in.”
Brad Stricklin, executive senior associate athletics director, will take over as interim director of athletics. Stricklin has been with UCF since 2006, and this summer he was promoted to be the senior leader in athletics.
“They have a great interim in Brad Stricklin,” O’Leary said. “[He] will do an outstanding job. He’s done an outstanding job as the executive assistant.”
O'Leary's Knights are currently 0-6, losing to FIU and Furman in the process. This has been UCF's worst start since O'Leary took the helm in 2004. The team finished 0-11 that season.
The 69-year-old previously said he had not had trouble juggling the duties of head coach and interim AD and that he would come into work about an hour earlier and leave later.
O'Leary took over the AD duties during the summer after director of athletics Todd Stansbury left for Oregon State. The contract O’Leary signed to become the interim AD included that he would have to let UCF know if he had any interest in becoming the full-time AD by Oct. 15, he said.
A national search will be underway to find a new director of athletics, according to a release. UCF hopes to fill the position no later than the end of the year.
"I thank George for his service and dedication in this interim role," UCF President John C. Hitt said in the release. "Our national search will allow us to hire an outstanding leader who can build on the success we've achieved academically, competitively and in the community."
O’Leary said he is unsure about his future as a head football coach and will make a decision about his career at the end of the season. One thing is certain though, he will continue as head coach through the 2015 season.
“We’ve got six games left, and I expect to go out and coach my tail off to see if we can get ourselves back on track,” he said.
UCF is back on the road to face undefeated American Athletic Conference opponent Temple on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Jarrod Heil is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @JarrodHeil or email him at JarrodH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.