The Gators want to move forward in their coaching search with caution and wisdom
The University of Florida and former head coach Jim McElwain have agreed to part ways a day after a third consecutive loss and nearly a week after he said his players and their families had received death threats. Something that the University of Florida has never been able to corroborate the charges made by McElwain.
That means the universities athletic director Scott Stricklin is now on the hunt for a new head coach while the team’s defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, will serve as the team’s interim coach for the final four games with the team with a 3-4 record and they are 3-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
So, there are two names on the top of the Florida list to replace McElwain. One is a name is familiar to Gators fans while the other is the hottest coaching name in the business.
Let’s start with Mississippi State’s 45-year-old head coach Dan Mullen who served as the Gators offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer and he has been great at developing quarterbacks. He was responsible for the development of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and last year’s NFL Rookie of the Year, Dak Prescott, that he brought to Starkville.
UCF head coach Scott Frost who will soon be the hottest head coaching hire in all of college football. Frost who has the Knight’s at 7-0 and are the 14th ranked team in the country in the latest Coaches Poll and 15th in the new Associated Press Poll.
While many think if he leaves UCF it would be to return to his alma mater Nebraska where they are considering a change at the top. But Florida, Tennessee and other big-name schools would likely pay more for Frost because the Cornhuskers have a long reputation of not playing big money for head coaches.
Former Florida defensive coordinator now USF head coach Charlie Strong could be a consideration. But his problems at getting Texas back on track is likely to keep him a few pegs down on the coaching list.
While Strong might not be high on the Gators list you can bet that two other American Athletic Conference coaches will get at the least some very strong consideration.
Two names that will be on the Gators interview list will likely be Southern Methodist’s Chad Morris where he has been an overachiever and of course Memphis’ Mike Norvell.
Speaking with college coaching firms told Sports Talk Florida that Florida would be wise to talk with Syracuse’s Dino Babers, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.
No matter who the Gators hire the will be paying not only the new coach, plus McElwain and don’t forget former Florida head coach Will Muschamp, who now is running the show at South Carolina.
The Gators know that they need to make a successful hire in because they missed on McElwain who went 22-12 with the Gators, including a poor record of 4-9 against ranked teams, that said he was the first coach in league history to take a team to the SEC championship game in his first two years. Florida was eliminated from contention in the Eastern Division with a 42-7 loss to rival Georgia on Saturday. It was Florida’s most lopsided loss in the series since 1982.
McElwain’s downfall was more about relationships than records.
His already-strained rapport with administrators reached a new low last Monday when he mentioned the death threats. The bombshell shocked Stricklin, who had not been notified about a potentially harmful situation. That was the last straw and gave the University of Florida no choice by to dismiss McElwain, who did not share any of this alleged information with administrators.
VIDEO COMES FROM OUR FRIENDS AT CHAT SPORTS.