The man probably just wants to retire and be close to his son.

That’s what most of us want if we are lucky enough to reach the age of 65 and have the means and the good health to do so.

But the guy has a pretty important job with a lot of responsibility, and you may not have noticed, but we are living through a pretty tumultuous time in our nation’s history. It’s not a good time for a public institution to be tasked with the job of replacing a vital clog in said institution’s machinery.

What’s that old thing we used to pound out in typing class? “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”

Or remain in aid of their country. Or university.

I’m sorry. I got ahead of myself.

I am speaking of Greg McGarity, the J. Reid Parker director of athletics at the University of Georgia, hallowed be thy name. It was announced Thursday that McGarity has signed a one-year contract extension, agreeing to lead one of the most financially stable athletics programs in the nation through the end of next June — at a time when stability in the face of chaos is much needed.

Now don’t hear something I am not saying. I do not have intimate knowledge of the future plans of Greg McGarity and his wife, Sheryl. They may intend for Greg to stay and work forever and UGA president, Jere Morehead has publicly stated that he is more than welcome to do so. But, like I said — he is 65 and has a son in Florida and fully vested retirement, and I know from personal experience that those are pretty strong attractions.

But these are not normal times. There is no need for me to explain why. It would be unseemly to abandon the helm of a sailing vessel in the midst of a raging storm. So, whether it was his plan to reup all along or whether it wasn’t — and him being a private person, we will never really know – the fact that he is offering continuity to our program is a good thing for those of us who bleed red and black. I do.

So, too, does Greg McGarity. Some people claim to be Bulldog born and Bulldog bred. It is actually true where he is concerned. He is an Athens native. His parents both worked at UGA. He started his Georgia career at age 10, chasing tennis balls and doing other tasks for the inimitable Dan Magill. He lettered in tennis and coached tennis and worked in the Sports Information Department. He is a Georgia graduate who is married to a Georgia graduate.

Yeah, I know. There is that 18 years he was employed in Gainesville, Fla., but that was just mission work. He never really looked good in orange and blue.

Just as I am not trying to imply that I had any knowledge of Greg McGarity’s retirement plans, I am also not trying to imply that I have agreed with every decision he has made as the guy in charge, any more than he has agreed with every word I have written about UGA athletics. I’m a might prickly and impetuous and often look before I leap—and speak before I think. He has never held that against me.

And even when I haven’t agreed with his decisions, I have appreciated his stewardship.

Case in point. Three years ago, on a glorious September Thursday, my buddy, Gary Hill, and I were sitting in the first-class section of a Delta flight, bound for Chicago. Georgia was about to paint that town and South Bend, Ind., Bulldog red. I had not purchased a first-class ticket, understand. I had been bumped up. But the point is, as we sat there watching the plane fill with other Georgia faithful, Greg made his way past us, toward his seat on row 34. “I always fly coach,” he told us.

That’s Greg McGarity. He presides over a department with an annual budget of $150 million and he flies coach to save that department money.

I’ll tell you something else about Greg McGarity. Whenever I have contacted him with a concern, big or small, he has responded immediately. Understand, I am not a big donor to the University, and I cannot do anything to help or hurt him in his job. That’s just who he is as a person, and I appreciate that.

And I appreciate the fact that he is willing to continue to serve his alma mater, and mine, and get us to the next calm harbor.

We of the Bulldog nation like to use the phrase, DGD. Thank you, Greg. You’re a Damn Good Dawg.

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Darrell Huckaby is an author in Rockdale County. Email him at dhuck008@gmail.com.

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