ATHENS -- Georgia Athletic Director Josh Brooks often has referenced Scott Stricklin when discussing the “right way” to build a program. On Thursday, Brooks and the Bulldogs rewarded Stricklin yet again for that good work.
Georgia’s baseball coach received the third contract adjustment of his eight-year tenure Thursday when the school announced a new three-year contract extension. The deal means Stricklin will remain the Bulldogs’ coach at least through the 2026 season.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this program, university and community,” Stricklin said in a text message exchange Thursday. “My family and I would not want to be anywhere else. I’m grateful to (UGA President) Jere Morehead, Josh Brooks and the rest of the athletic administration for having the confidence in our staff in leading the baseball program.”
The contract extension did not include a salary increase this time. Stricklin received a raise to $650,000 when he was given a three-year extension after the 2018 season. He was extended again in 2019. Last year, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 2 in the country when the season was abruptly shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia basically had to be rebuilt this year, as star pitchers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox and several other frontline players moved on. Yet, despite COVID-19 outbreaks – including a 14-day bout for Stricklin himself – and other illnesses and injuries, the 20th-ranked Bulldogs (21-11, 5-7 SEC) have remained extremely competitive throughout the season.
The timing of the announcement is deliberate because the deal was “reached earlier this year,” according to UGA officials. Stricklin’s previous contract was set to expire in 2023. Perhaps Brooks wanted to keep the momentum rolling headed into this weekend’s three-game series against Kentucky (21-9, 6-6 SEC). The Bulldogs do so after winning two of three against No. 1 Vanderbilt in Nashville this past weekend.
On-campus recruiting is opening up soon as well.
“Coach Stricklin has built a strong program the right way,” Brooks said in a statement released by the school. “His teams play with skill and toughness, which is a direct reflection of his leadership. This year, we’ve continued to improve under difficult circumstances, and I believe in their potential and the future of this program with Coach Stricklin at the helm.”
Georgia’s 39 SEC wins the past two full seasons is tied for first in the league. The 2019 Bulldogs posted a school-record 21 SEC victories and finished with 46 overall wins, the third most in school history. The 2018 and 2019 seasons saw Georgia play host to NCAA Regionals as a national seed. The No. 4 national seed in 2019 was the best ever for the Bulldogs.
For the first time in school history, Georgia had sold out of its season tickets for the 2020 season. UGA says its players are exceling in the classroom as well. Georgia baseball received Academic Progress Rate (APR) recognition from the NCAA in 2020 while posting the program’s highest grade-point average ever at 3.14 for the spring semester of 2020.
Stricklin came to Georgia from Kent State in 2013. He’s 574-360-1 in his 17th season as a head coach, 224-172-1 with the Bulldogs and 87-103-1 against the SEC.