FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity speaks during a dedication ceremony for the university's new indoor athletic training facility in Athens, Ga. McGarity is retiring after 10 years leading Georgia's athletic department. The 66-year-old McGarity says his retirement will begin on December 31.   (John Roark/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity speaks during a dedication ceremony for the university's new indoor athletic training facility in Athens, Ga. McGarity is retiring after 10 years leading Georgia's athletic department. The 66-year-old McGarity says his retirement will begin on December 31. (John Roark/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

Greg McGarity is retiring after 10 years as Georgia's athletic director.

The 66-year-old McGarity said Monday his retirement will begin Dec 31. He served a variety of roles in two stints at Georgia, his alma mater, covering 25 years. He also is a former administrator at Florida from 1992 to 2010.

During his time as Georgia's athletic director, the budget of the athletic association grew from $89 million in 2010 to $153 million. McGarity has overseen $200 million in facility improvements.

McGarity thanked Georgia's coaches, staffers, athletes and fans.

“There is no better fan base in college sports than the Bulldog Nation,” he said.

McGarity said the athletic association is in "great hands” under the “strong leadership” of University of Georgia President Jere Morehead. Morehead said he understood McGarity's wish to retire with his wife, Sheryl.

“While I had hoped Greg would continue to serve as our athletic director for a few more years, I understand and appreciate his and Sheryl’s decision to begin a new chapter in their lives,” Morehead said. “Greg will leave behind a strong legacy of leadership and devotion to his alma mater, having further elevated our athletic program on the national stage.”

Josh Brooks, Georgia's senior deputy director of athletics, will serve as interim athletic director, beginning Jan. 1. Morehead also named Darrice Griffin, currently Georgia's deputy director of athletics, to replace Brooks as interim senior deputy director of athletics.

Morehead serves as vice president of the Southeastern Conference and is a member of the NCAA Board of Governors and the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

“Greg McGarity is one the most respected athletic directors in the Southeastern Conference, and I have relied on him regularly for advice and counsel over the years,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said.

McGarity's relationship with Georgia began as a child when he helped former longtime tennis coach Dan McGill. McGarity played tennis at Georgia, earning a letter in 1973, and began his career in sports administration at Georgia in 1977, eventually becoming an assistant athletic director before being hired by Florida.

Georgia has scheduled a virtual news conference with McGarity and Morehead on Tuesday.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25