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George O'Leary steps down as UCF interim athletics director but will continue coaching

George O'Leary steps down as UCF interim athletics director but will continue coaching
Published On: Tue, Oct 13
Nov 22, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; UCF Knights head coach George O'Leary walks onto the field during a timeout as the UCF Knights beat the Southern Methodist Mustangs 53-7 at Bright House Networks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Offseason moves and injuries already marked UCFs 2015 season as one of change, but George OLearys announcement Monday that hed step down as the schools interim athletics director suggests this season also is about letting go.

Right now, I want to coach football and, again, I looked at the AD thing and put my time into it, but its not something that basically Im gonna have a real interest in and thats why I made that decision, OLeary said Monday. And again, Ill say it, it was my decision alone in making that, and Im fulfilling the contract in doing that.

OLeary, who recently signed a contract extension through 2020, said he signed a contract with the school that gave him until Oct. 15 to decide whether he wanted to pursue the athletics director position full-time.

UCF has not responded to an Orlando Sentinel public information request submitted in May seeking all football coaches contracts.

The school announced it has hired a national search agency to fill the athletics director position while OLeary focuses on mentoring the football team.

Grant Heston, UCF vice president for communications and marketing, will oversee the search and athletics department operations for the university.

Brad Stricklin, executive senior associate athletics director, will serve as interim athletics director.

I thank George for his service and dedication in this interim role, UCF president John Hitt said in a news release. Our national search will allow us to hire an outstanding leader who can build on the success weve achieved academically, competitively and in the community.

The news comes just a few days after the 0-6 Knights posted a 40-13 loss to UConn, one of the worst losses in school history at Bright House Networks Stadium before an announced crowd of 26,669 fans. That turnout was the lowest at a home game since Nov. 25, 2011,, when UCF beat UTEP 31-14 in front of 21,127.

Read the complete news article here...

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