June 17, 2013
University of Georgia Director of Athletics Greg McGarity has been named recipient of the Tom Osborne Award presented by the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) for special achievement and contributions to Advanced-practice sports nutrition.
The Award is named for former Nebraska head football coach and Athletic Director Tom Osborne.
A native of Athens, Ga. and 1976 University of Georgia graduate, the innovative and imaginative McGarity had served 18 years in the athletic department at the University of Florida, which has long been recognized for its firm embrace of advanced nutrition practices that enable athletes to achieve maximum performance, before returning to his hometown in 2010.
"The inauguration of a training table meal at the University of Florida began with one person (CPSDA's 2012 Trailblazer Award recipient Michelle Rockwell)," said McGarity. "The experience of building from the floor up a nutrition program set the table for us at the University of Georgia. We hired Jen Ketterley (in 2011) to direct our nutrition program for all of our 21 sports, 650 student athletes, and (she) has done a remarkable job."
Georgia has since augmented its nutrition staff with a total of three full-time RDs, including CPSDA member Maria Breen, MS, RD, and three students of dietetics lending support.
McGarity oversees a 21-sport athletics program supported by a budget of $92 million. A 1976 graduate of UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, McGarity is a 2012 inductee into the Grady Fellowship, a recognition program to honor those whose influence, achievements and service to the media profession have enhanced the reputation of the Grady College. He was also appointed in 2012 to the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, a position he will hold through 2016.
"At the end of the day," McGarity said, "it's all about the student-athletes, and what we can do to enhance their lives during their (time) here at the University of Georgia, and without question, the nutrition piece has been magnificent and now that it's in place, everyone wants more. There's no question that nutrition, as coaches learn more about it, as staff learn more about it, and as students learn more about it, is a tremendous part of the athletic (experience)."