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Athletic director Pete Garcia to remain at FIU through 2021

FIU president praises athletic success under Garcia as reason for extension

Pete Garcia, pictured here in 2012, has been athletic director at Florida International University since 2006.
Pete Garcia, pictured here in 2012, has been athletic director at Florida International University since 2006. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

MIAMI – Athletic director Pete Garcia is extending his stay at Florida International University for three more years.

FIU announced Wednesday that Garcia's contract has been renewed until 2021.

It was announced in 2016 that Garcia would not stay beyond the end of his last contract, which was set to expire at the end of last month.

Since then, the Panthers hired former University of Miami football coach Butch Davis, who in his debut season last year took FIU to a bowl game for the first time since 2011.

Also, the women's tennis and men's soccer teams won their first Conference USA championships in school history.

"Pete has assembled a strong team and he has taken our athletics program to new heights," FIU President Mark Rosenberg said in a news release. "We wanted to keep the momentum going after all that our student-athletes have accomplished under his leadership. We are thrilled to have him with us for another three years."

The Cuban-born Garcia grew up in Hialeah, graduated from the University of Miami and worked in various roles within the athletic department at his alma mater before leaving for an executive role with the NFL's Cleveland Browns after Davis was named head coach in 2001. He returned to Miami as senior associate athletic director in 2005 and was hired as head of FIU's athletic department a year later.

Garcia hired and later fired Mario Cristobal, now head coach at Oregon, after a 3-9 season in 2012, one year removed from back-to-back bowl trips by the Panthers. He replaced Cristobal with former Illinois coach Ron Turner, who was fired with a 10-30 record four games into the 2016 season.

Legendary Hurricanes quarterback Ken Dorsey joined the FIU athletic department in March as an assistant to Garcia.

Other notable hires under Garcia include former FIU basketball coaches Isiah Thomas and Richard Pitino. 

Garcia's contract now runs through July 31, 2021.

"I am proud of all that we have accomplished together," Garcia said in a statement thanking Rosenberg and FIU's board of trustees. "We have incredible coaches, student-athletes and staff, and I'm excited about our future."