Georgia Bulldogs’ head of academics resigns

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Credit: Jason Getz /

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The Georgia helmet is shown in advance for the head coaches news conference with Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and TCU head coach Sonny Dykes at the LA Airport Marriott, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Los Angeles, Ca. Georgia plays TCU for the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship Mon. Jan. 9, 2023, at SoFi Stadium. (Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

ATHENS — The Georgia Bulldogs’ head of academics resigned.

Magdi El Shahawy, deputy athletic director for academics and student development since 2018, informed UGA Athletic Director Josh Brooks of his decision to step down last week. The Bulldogs recorded their strongest academic performance in history during El Shahawy’s tenure.

“Quite simply, this is a case of burnout,” El Shahawy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “I needed to take a break to recharge as well as spend more time with my boys.”

El Shahawy has been raising his two young sons as a single father the past 2-1/2 years.

Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

Georgia athletes’ 3.19 cumulative GPA for the just-completed academic year was the highest on record at UGA. The Bulldogs boasted a record-setting 3.22 GPA during fall semester and then recorded the second-highest spring GPA in Georgia history with a 3.18.

Also, UGA place-kicker Jack Podlesny and Callie Dickinson, a member of the women’s swimming and diving program, each earned SEC postgraduate scholarships based on their academic work this past season.

In addition to his role providing administrative oversight for UGA’s academic-services division, El Shahawy served as the administrative facilitator for the Bulldogs’ baseball and track and field programs. He also coordinated UGA’s “Georgia Way” program for leadership and personal and career development and oversaw behavioral medicine and sports nutrition.

El Shahawy also is credited with brokering two of Georgia’s better coaching hires in recent years. He was instrumental in the Bulldogs landing men’s and women’s track and field coach Caryl Smith Gilbert and women’s soccer coach Keidane McAlpine. El Shahawy worked with both individuals at Southern Cal during an 18-year tenure leading the Trojans’ academic department.

“Magdi El Shahawy made a tremendous impact in leading our academic and student development department,” Brooks said. “We are thankful for his leadership and the influence he had on our student-athletes. Magdi will always be a part of our family and we wish him the best moving forward.”

El Shahawy was a four-year letterman in football at Florida State. After distinguishing himself as a nose guard for the Seminoles, El Shahawy received three degrees from FSU, a bachelor of science in economics and political science (1991), a masters in athletic administration (1993) and a Ph.D. in athletic administration (1999).

Before USC, El Shahawy held positions as senior associate director of athlete support at Michigan State (1999-2000), academic counselor and eligibility coordinator at FSU (1994-99) and a graduate assistant in athletic compliance at FSU (1993-94).

“For the first time since I was a senior in high school, I will not be affiliated with a college football program this fall,” El Shahawy wrote in a long Facebook post this week. “It will certainly be a strange feeling. I have to say I am excited for the future and planning to enjoy the break with my loved ones.”

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