Report: Florida discussing how to fire Jim McElwain

By Adam Silverstein
October 28, 2017
Report: Florida discussing how to fire Jim McElwain

Image Credit: ESPN Images

The Florida Gators fell to 3-4 on Saturday with their worst loss to the Georgia Bulldogs since 1982. Before the result was even final, the Florida administration reportedly began discussing how it can rid itself of the man who got the team in this mess, head coach Jim McElwain.

ESPN reported during Saturday’s game that the Gators are looking into whether they can fire McElwain for cause, thus allowing the team to escape paying him a buyout that approaches $13 million.

A for-cause firing would mean Florida believes — and would likely have to prove in court — McElwain did something that violated a clause in his employment contract. In this case, after McElwain was seemingly unable to provide evidence of death threats he said at a Monday press conference had been received by members of the team and/or their families, the Gators could claim that his allegation was not in the best interest of the program and thus casts a poor light on the team and university as a whole.

Sources told ESPN that they believe the university has enough cause to fire McElwain without having to pay his buyout. Sources also said that if McElwain were to be relieved of his duties, defensive coordinator Randy Shannon would be asked to be the team’s interim coach.

Florida denied ahead of Saturday’s game that it had begun discussing a potential buyout of McElwain’s contract with agent Jimmy Sexton. This was in response to a report earlier in the day.

“At the end of the day, we were all brought here to win and we haven’t done it. The concern isn’t about my job. It’s about the players and my staff. That’s the concern; it isn’t about me,” McElwain said after the game.

He continued: “Nothing in this world surprises me. I know what I was brought here to do: to fix the offense, and we haven’t done that. We haven’t won enough, and we haven’t won championships.”

Though McElwain is the first coach in SEC history to reach the SEC Championship Game in his two seasons, the Gators have never looked like a truly competitive football team under his leadership. Florida has suffered consecutive blowout losses to Alabama and Florida State, and it was similarly noncompetitive in two games against Michigan over a three-year period. UF was nearly shutout by UGA, which would have ended a streak of now 368 straight contests in which it had scored offensive points, the longest streak all-time.

McElwain was hired in December 2014 as the 24th head football coach in the history of the Florida program. He was the oldest coach in Gators history at the time of his hiring. As Florida had to pull McElwain away from Colorado State, it negotiated a massive buyout with CSU that included deferred payments and a home game at UF in 2018. It now looks like McElwain will not be around to coach against his former team.


  1. Erng'n Blue says:

    Can we start a go fund me? I’ll bet we hit the buy out by noon tomorrow.

  2. WJP says:

    Omg. I’ve never rooted for a person to be fired but wow wow wow. Why when your quarterback struggles so badly that you don’t pull him. Don’t know what Zaire did to the staff but really. As a Gator fan a loss would’ve been understandable but a blowout like this awful. This game was embarrassing. How many of those recruits stay for this. Holding my face. Even Boom had enough respect not to get blown out like that.

  3. Erng'n Blue says:

    All BS aside, there is no way that you can move forward after this. A competitive game would mean that MaC is still a coach that can weather a storm. Everything is out the window now.

  4. GATOR-6 says:

    Before tonight, I believed that particular strategy was cowardly and unfair. Sadly, I have now reversed my position.

    • WJP says:

      I was a fan of Mac thought that he had a bad start with the players getting in trouble before the season but it just seems like he’s being overwhelmed by competition

  5. Michael Jones says:

    I hate to have a quick trigger with a coach but what I saw today was shocking. Our Gators couldn’t even get lined-up and stay insides 7 games into the season. Play calling is ridiculous. And Franks must be one of those bazooka-armed QB’s who looks great in practice but is a deer in headlights come game time.

    The situation is terrible. The offense is terrible. Even the defense looks poorly coached. No discipline anywhere. Holy smokes what had happened to our program? I can’t even believe I am typing the words that apparently Muschamp is a better coach than McElwain. Wow ….. who would have thought that was possible.

  6. Montana Dawg 1 says:

    Wallow in your misery Gator fans! You deserve it!

  7. JGL says:

    Mac’s done. He’s gotta go and UF may be able to salvage football program in a few years. This is a shattered program and it’s on Foley. He hired Mac and Muschamp… say no more.

    • Michael L. Jones says:

      +1. I never was one of the many Foley worshippers. Why? Because we are good at Spring sports? We are an endless summer state. . of course we are good at Spring sports.

      Foley and that jackass president blew it with getting Spurrier back or we would have won more championships. I can’t forget that.

    • merkava18 says:

      I agree Foley was a disaster in his post Urban Days (remember Urban chased away Cam Newton with his man love for TT). At least Zook could recruit. Now Boom can’t wait to give us payback….shoulda hired Dabo b4 he became G-d…

  8. Poppy says:

    I’m a Vols fan….. we lost again too. But a Florida loss make this a good Saturday. .. Go Vols!!!!

    • Michael L. Jones says:

      Ha ha. . of course it does. Shows how pathetically low your program has fallen, “poppy.” We suck but we still have enough pride that it doesn’t make us feel any better just because you suck too. You’re supposed to suck.

  9. GATORJORGE says:

    Foley dropped the ball big time….. Muschamp and Muschamp 2.0 HIS HIRES both terrible….. it’s going to be a long season and we may not make a bowl. Let’s be HONEST with this Offense who would want to…… see them 1 more game…

  10. Fred says:

    I have been a gator fan for over 30 years and have never walked out or turned off a game until yesterday. We have a drama Queen for a head coach, an offensive coordinator who does not know anything but run up the middle on first down and throw on 3rd no matter where we are on the field. Our players may love the coach but I am wondering if they love the game. We need a coach with a little fire in the belly. Florida fans deserve better. I guess 4 million a year really does not buy much anymore. I have stopped watching the NFL and now I think I would prefer to go to yard sales with my wife on Saturdays, just kidding I bleed Orange & Blue but the well drying up.

  11. Palmer says:

    Its obvious to the Gator Nation that this “train wreck” needs to Stop !!!! It has gone on for far too long. Time for some accountability. This program has been poorly managed for 3 yrs now. Only reason for 2 SEC East titles other teams were even worse !!!! Can’t develop players; can’t instill pride & discipline in the players. Can’t hire & manage staff to be successful.
    This coach is incompetent & not capable of fixing any aspects of this football program.Franks maybe would be better if he was properly coached.Apparently, SOS offered but was declined, stupid, when you have him as a resource & too much stupid ego to allow it. Lets not worry about loosing recruits; they know the situation of this program. Instead, Lets hope the “powers” can bring in the right coach that recruits will want to play. A good coach will have us back soon, look at GA. !!!!!

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