ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – After the second straight national soccer championship, Georgia has rewarded athletic director Josh Brooks with a contract extension that ties him with the Bulldogs until at least 2029.
The sports association’s board of directors on Friday also announced plans for a new athletics facility that would make room for two more soccer practice grounds at the conclusion of its annual spring meeting at a resort on Lake Oconee.
Brooks’ new contract increases his salary to $1.025 million per year, with annual increases of $100,000.
Brooks, 42, who took over the athletic department in 2021 after Greg McGarity retired, called the job in Georgia “a dream come true for me” and said he hopes to spend the rest of his career in Athens.
“I’m extremely grateful,” Brooks said. “I got into this business over 20 years ago as a student device manager. My first job at Louisiana-Monroe was making $20,000 a year in football.
The Georgia Board of Directors approved a fiscal 2024 budget of $175.2 million, an increase of nearly 8% from the last budget of $162.2 million and a sign of a successful program , which has plenty of money after its success in the planning phase.
The school received approval to move forward with its preliminary plans for a new athletics facility to be built across from the complex that will house the football and softball teams.
The current athletics stadium is adjacent to the Butts-mehre sports complex, which houses the practice fields and training facilities for the football program.
Georgia lost part of its outfields when it built a new indoor practice facility. Upon completion of the new athletics stadium, the current space will be converted into two grass-filled soccer practice fields at the request of coach Kirby Smart.
“He wants to find efficient ways to practice, and there’s a lot of truth to the issues we’ve had with our current practice sites,” Brooks said. “Our turf staff is under a lot of pressure to keep that spot.” When it’s in the shade for half the day it’s in top form, so that was a challenge too. For our football program it is better to train on grass pitches than on (artificial) grass. So the possibility of having two grass pitches next to each other is enormous. It makes for a much more efficient practice.”
The new track and field complex, which will continue to be called Spec Towns Track, will also include an indoor facility, the first of its kind in the state of Georgia.
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