GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley will not seek the job of Southeastern Conference commissioner after being widely considered a top candidate to succeed Roy Kramer.

Foley has worked at Florida for 25 years and said Tuesday this would be an inopportune time to leave.

``It's flattering, but I will not be a candidate for this job,'' Foley said in Birmingham, Ala., where Kramer announced his retirement and will step down by the end of the school year. ``I have a passion for the University of Florida.''

He also has a lot of business to take care of.

Foley just hired close friend Ron Zook to replace Steve Spurrier as football coach. It's a decision that has been second guessed, and one Foley would not want to walk away from before Zook has coached a game.

The athletic director is also spearheading a $50 million expansion on the football stadium, due for completion by the beginning of the 2003 season.

Foley took the job in 1992, and has increased the department's financial productivity. The Florida athletic department operates without funding from the state or university.

Foley is considered a good fit to replace Kramer because he's regarded as one of the most forward-thinking athletic directors in the country. He's also has a sense of public relations, and at 49 is young enough to hold the job for years.

But he also has deep roots in Gainesville. His career at Florida began in 1977 as a ticket manager, and he held a variety of jobs in the athletic department in the quarter century since.

``I've still got things to do here,'' Foley said. ``I'm a Gator.''