Jeremy Foley’s Journey: He looks back and remembers the joy. These days not so much.

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

It seems long ago. Like the rest of us, however, now he looks for hope.

You might question some of the things Jeremy Foley has done, but hiring Billy Donovan can't be one of them. It was a happy night for celebrating Billy Donovan Court. (Photo by Chris Spears, GatorBait)

When the history of Florida Gator sports is finally written, they won’t have to call in the forensic experts to find the fingerprints of Jeremy Foley. They’ll be all over it, everywhere. For nearly 34 years – 24 as the director of athletics -- Foley helped chisel off the veneer of a loser and shepherd in the period of Resurrection and Reconstruction: Respect, national championships and The “It’s Great to be a Florida Gator” era.

“Lost the arms race … never hired a great football coach … should have never let Spurrier get away in the first place.” Yada, yada.

It comes with the job. These past 40 years have been the Best of Times and the Worst of Times for the University of Florida sports program – far more bests than worsts -- and the common denominator for that was the inveterate Red Sox fan who started out in the ticket office and wound up leading the UF athletic department out of the shadow of Armageddon and into the national limelight. Extreme cycles.