University of Georgia president Michael Adams announced Thursday that he is stepping down from his position in June 2013.
UGA president Michael Adams (left) hired Greg McGarity (right) in 2010 as UGA's new athletics director. Adams is planning to step down from his post in June 2013, he announced Thursday. (Photo by UGA Sports Communications)
"There comes a time when it is appropriate to step aside to let others continue the work, and that time has come for me," Adams said in a statement released by UGA. "My love will always be deep for the University of Georgia, where I have spent the most productive years of my career. I will be invigorated in the coming year in working to assure that UGA remains well positioned for the future, both short term and long term."
Adams will leave the school presidency at age 65, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which was first to report Adams' announcement Wednesday. He has plans to rejoin the faculty at UGA in the future.
"Mary and I love this place," Adams said. "We love this community and are really looking forward to a new level of engagement with both the campus and the town."
Adams was named UGA's 21st school president on June 11, 1997, succeeding Charles Knapp. A native of Alabama who attended school in the Chattanooga area and earned his Ph. D. from Ohio State University, Adams led UGA through a growth in enrollment and more than $1 billion and 6.2 million square feet of campus construction during his tenure.
From an athletics standpoint, his time in charge was rarely uneventful.
A consistent presence at UGA sporting events and in the locker room after football games, Adams was often a polarizing figure among Bulldogs faithful, and a president who was often heavily involved in the realm of collegiate athletics and NCAA matters.
Not only has Adams for years been at the forefront of a push for a college football playoff that could now become a reality in 2014, but closer to home, he outlasted football coaches, basketball coaches and athletics directors during his tenure.
He survived the university's controversial parting with athletics director Vince Dooley and the scandalous exit of successor Damon Evans in the summer of 2010, which led to current athletics director Greg McGarity's hiring.
In addition, Adams' tenure included the firing of football coach Jim Donnan and hiring of Mark Richt in late 2000, an NCAA investigation in 2003 that prompted the successful Jim Harrick's exit as men's basketball coach, the search to hire Mark Fox to replace Harrick's successor Dennis Felton on the court and the retirement of gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan after 10 national championships.
Adams also oversaw the building of a new practice facility for basketball and gymnastics, renovations to Sanford Stadium, Stegeman Coliseum and recently to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, which houses the UGA football program.