Florida en route to Colorado State, Jim McElwain is Gators’ top choice to replace Will Muschamp

By Adam Silverstein
December 2, 2014

The Florida Gators have decided that Colorado State Rams head coach Jim McElwain, the 2014 Mountain West Coach of the Year, is its best option to replace Will Muschamp, according to ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy, who reports that athletic director Jeremy Foley will meet with McElwain on Tuesday afternoon.

OnlyGators.com first reported Tuesday earlier afternoon that the Gators were on a private jet en route to Fort Collins, Colorado. It was later confirmed by the Orlando Sentinel‘s Edgar Thompson that Foley is indeed on the plane to meet McElwain.

McElwain, who spent three years under Nick Saban at Alabama (2008-11) and directed the Crimson Tide’s offense to back-to-back national titles, has quickly built up a Rams program that was at the bottom of the Mountain West when he took over.

After posting a 4-8 record in his first season at the helm of Colorado State, McElwain pushed the Rams to an 8-6 record in 2013 and a 10-2 regular-season record in 2014.

McElwain has a $7.5 million buyout in his deal with Colorado State, though as OnlyGators.com first reported on Nov. 17 and reiterated on Nov. 30, the entire buyout is negotiable and can either be reduced or eliminated as the school sees fit.

He is considered one of the best offensive minds in college football with Colorado State currently ranked 24th nationally in scoring offense (35.9 points per game), 13th in total offense (497.8 yards per game) and seventh in passing offense (326.3 yards per game). The Rams are also ranked 34th in scoring defense (23.4 points per game).

A native of Montana with numerous ties out west, McElwain played quarterback for Eastern Washington and spent the first eight years of his coaching career on EWU’s staff as a quarterback/wide receiver coach. He then served as offensive coordinator at Montana State (1995-99), wide receivers coach at Louisville (2000-02) and assistant head coach at Michigan State (2003-05). In 2006, McElwain spent a year as quarterback coach for the Oakland Raiders, but he returned to college the following season as offensive coordinator at Fresno State.

OnlyGators.com Coaching Search Ticker

Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/Associated Press


  1. SJ210 says:

    Kudos to Adam for being the first to report on the flight from GNV to Ft. Collins. Not super excited about McElwain if he is the guy. Decent résumé but definitely not something that will excite the fan base. I wonder how many “not interested” responses Foley got from others before he locked in on McElwain. My guess is several. Time will tell if this is a good hire.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I agree on the kudos, Adam. I can always count on you to break it first. I don’t even check any other websites. You’re a hell of a hard worker, no one can ever take that from you.

      As for McElwain, I have to confess, I’M A LITTLE FIRED-UP!!!

      Come on, fellow Gators, if this is our guy, THEN LET’S GET BEHIND HIM!!! The first thing he has to do is put a staff together and recruit, so let’s show all of those 5 and 4 stars that we’re behind this guy!!!!! Let’s put our best foot forward and be patient and supportive of our new head coach!! Let’s show these recruits what a great place UF is to play!!!

      GO GATORS!!!!!

      • Joe says:

        There are so many ridiculous statements on this comment board I don’t know where to start. Please just stop, speculating, whining, hating, all of it. All you can do is sit behind a screen and whine, bitc% and complain. Just shut up already. After an entire season of this many of your words carry no weight. Nobody has ever won a game in an interview and you’ll have to explain to me what ‘excitement’ has to do with winning a football game.

        If you think this is what being a fan is all about you’re dead wrong. Enough already, ya’ll need a good reality check.

        • Joe says:

          That wasn’t a reply to you Michael. Just a general statement. Made an error in posting.

          • Michael Jones says:

            Ha ha! Thanks, Joe. I was getting my feelings hurt there for a minute and wasn’t sure what I had done wrong, lol.

            GO GATORS!!!!

      • SJ210 says:

        Yeah the more I read about him the more I like McElwain. Took CSU from the 100s in total offense to 12th in NCAA in 3 years. Was Saban’s best OC at Bama. Destroyed a UF defense loaded with NFL guys in 09 seccg. Was named a top 25 recruiter while at Bama.

      • Frank says:

        Mac was my pick from the start. Good to see some positive vibes from you Michael. What assistants do you see him retaining if any?

        • Michael Jones says:

          Thanks, Frank. Yeah, the more I learn about McElwain, the more excited I get. As for the assistants, I believe that Adam has addressed that in the coaching ticker section. I think Durkin and Robinson for sure are being retained, maybe others. Next up (after what looks like an inevitable formal announcement) is recruiting, and there is plenty of time for McElwain to get some good value and maybe even salvage a decently rated recruiting class. I can see kids being excited about the opportunity to play for this guy.

          It’s hard not to be giddy about him. If he was your 1st choice, then kudos to you. I didn’t know much about him until recently.

        • 305Gator says:

          Your pick from the start Frank? Really? And here I thought you were still in denial lamenting how poor Muschamp got fired. Good to know you are on board. Now we need to try to sway the other crazy uncle oldflyer to come join us in the new Mac era where we may finally have an offense again.

  2. 305Gator says:

    McElwain seems like a good up and coming coach and he has done a bang up job at CSU. The only negative I have heard is that he has no ties to recruiting in Florida. Hope he will keep some of the current staff like Travaris Johnson who has lots of relationships in Florida to help out in recruiting.

    • Joe says:

      I agree. It’s critical to keep some existing coaches around, specifically Durkin to man the defense.

  3. Scott says:

    People won’t like it because they throw out stupid names like Stoops, Gruden, Chip Kelly, Strong, etc.

  4. rich says:

    Can someone enlighten me? This guy was O/C at Bama for 3 seasons when the Tide was pretty much peaking. Why does working for SABAN give someone so much weight?

    His resume stinks: He has beaten 3 teams in 3 seasons with a winning record. Think about that. 3 teams!! He beat 7-5 Boston College by a FG. He beat 7-5 Nevada buy 7 points and he beat powerhouse 9-4 Utah State by a FG. Those are his 3 wins vs. ANY TEAM WITH A WINNING RECORD. But he was O/C for SABAN so he must be great..

    • Dave Massey says:

      You can’t even count. He was at Alabama for four years and made drastic improvements in the Alabama offense. Let’s see, like in 2009 when the Tide came into Atlanta and their offense flat out whipped our ass all game long. Even with Tebow for us they were way better prepared than we were. Then went on to win the NC that year and again the next. 47 wins in his four years at Alabama. Three of his offenses at Alabama were the top three in yardage production in the history of Alabama football.

      Let the bullshit parade begin.

      He took a terrible team at Colorado State and made drastic improvements no matter how many wins against winning teams they had. Wonder where they would have been in another three years? Probably looking like Boise.

      Foley nailed it with this one. All the big names being thrown around aren’t interested in going anywhere. Hell, what is the matter with Foley that he didn’t hire Saban away from Alabama.

      Wonder if they’ll take Muschamp in a trade for the buyout?

      And now we get to listen to Michael Jones whine about how bad Foley is for not hiring Mullen and how Foley has too much decision making ability. Blah, blah, blah. Get over it now MJ.

      • Michael Jones says:

        I wrote 1 paragraph complaining that Mullen wasn’t considered (which I stand by) and everything else has been pro-McElwain and pro-Foley. Come on, dude, you’re better and brighter than that. Or at least read the entire comment before you complain about it. I did.

        • Dave Massey says:

          I didn’t read your comment before I made that post. I just knew it was coming because you have been relentless about it. You can stand by it all you want, that doesn’t make it right. Just let it go now. It’s never going to happen.

          • Michael Jones says:

            Dude, there are time entries by our posts, lol.

            Never have figured out what you have against Mullen or what makes you the authority to claim that I am wrong about him (or that you are right). It doesn’t matter now anyway. . I love him, you don’t, who cares. . we’ve got a new head coach and that is who I am going to support.

            I’m a true Gator and it takes a hell of a lot to get me to turn on a coach like I did Muschamp. Hopefully McElwain will be our head coach for a long time to come.

            • Dave Massey says:

              Like I said I didn’t read your comment until after I responded to rich’s comment. Time posts or not. It wasn’t that big of a stretch, you are not exactly unpredictable. You have had a love fest for Mullen for a long time and have been whining about Foley at the same time. God forbid our athletic director should make a decision about which coach to hire, just because that is in his job description. I did roll my eyes when I read further down the comments and read what you wrote.

              Once again, and hopefully for the last time, I told you I would have no problem with Mullen as coach. I and a lot of people were not convinced he was the one and only choice like you made him out to be. If you love him so much, move to Mississippi and start shaking your cowbell.

              I still believe Foley was avoiding anybody that was here on Meyer’s staff. They were all part of that train wreck that he started and had to be aware of the arrest/criminal issues and the shady drug testing program. That is strictly my opinion.

              We’ve had this discussion before and many others even though you didn’t respond to several direct comments I have made to you, Yep, I know you read them. It’s part of your obsessive compulsion. Keep arguing with the nole troll, he likes you.

              • Michael Jones says:

                It was obvious that you were responding to part of my comment by the specificity of your remarks. Now you’re trying to weasel your way out of it and making yourself look worse as you go. It’s all so petty and pointless. Who cares?

                Honesty isn’t your strong point, Massey. Neither is rational thought progression (e.g. since I liked Mullen as our next coach, I now have to move to Miss and clang a cowbell. . how ignorant is that?). Stick to your weight class where you can play the condescending know-it-all without being exposed.

                This is a day for celebrating our new coach. I don’t know how in the hell I got sidetracked by the likes of you, but I’m not about to let somebody like you, as self-important as you may consider yourself to be it, dampen it in the least. So go ahead and sit there for hours trying to think of a comeback, but I won’t be responding any further. I’m done with this little exchange. I’m disgusted with myself as it is for even expending this much energy on you.

                Go Gators!!!!

              • Dave Massey says:

                You should be disgusted with yourself. And you really have no room to talk about being condescending, Mr. I’m always right.

                I won’t be missing you.

      • Pinball Wizard says:

        Gary Patterson hasn’t said he wasn’t interested??? Better record, better offense, better coach.

        • Dave Massey says:

          I don’t know if Patterson was interested or not. He may not have been. The problem with him would be he has no recruiting ties in Florida, like McElwain does. He is a defensive coach whose program has always been very strong on defense and only recently has had better offenses. Plus, he was a Mountain West coach before they recently joined the Big12, and as a lot of people are saying on here, we don’t want a coach with Mountain West in his background, just kidding on that one.

          I like the head coach to be an offensive coach who is going to run the offense. That way we are not dependent on an offensive coordinator who when successful is probably going to be hired away to be a head coach, like Mullen was. Spurrier didn’t need an offensive coordinator, he was one. I think this will give us more continuity on offense over time. Doubt another university can hire this guy away from us, maybe only an NFL gig would turn his head. Offense is more difficult to teach than defense, in my opinion.

          Either way, I wouldn’t have had a problem with Patterson being hired either, if he was even interested.

          • 305Gator says:

            Hey Massey I was under the impression Mac was a west coast guy with little or no recruiting ties to Florida. At least that is what was said the other night on the SEC network. Come to think of it that came from that former UGA mutt co host of SEC today, should have known better not to take what a mutt says as face value.
            So his recruiting connections come from his Bama days?
            Glad to know that and coupled with the reports that he will retain some of the assistants on the defensive side of the ball it bodes well for us.
            Go gators!

            • Michael Jones says:

              Knowing absolutely nothing about McElwain, that too was my concern. I was relieved on many levels to discover his impressive tour of duty in the SEC, including having been recognized as an effective recruiter. A coach who has never experienced the weekly grind of the SEC can be a little shell-shocked at first. Fortunately, McElwain knows firsthand all about the brand of football we play (or at least expect) down here and what it takes to be a champion.

            • Dave Massey says:

              Yeah 305Gator,
              I saw that on the SECN and got a good chuckle out of it. Alabama’s offensive coordinator for four years not having recruiting ties in a state that it is next to and produces the most talent at the skill positions every year, that is a no brainer.

              Doubt he has had much contact with current state recruits would be the only drawback since he has been out west for the last three years, but with the current staff retention that negates that and he has two months to “get to know and show” these recruits.

              Another thing nobody has really touched on is the fact that Mac has ties in the Midwest from his time as Assistant Head Coach at Mich State plus he has been establishing ties on the West Coast for the last three years while at Colorado in states like Cali and Texas. Think that gives us the ability to go snatch the upper recruits in other states similar to what (oh, this hurts me to say this about the liar and crier) Meyer did when he got guys like Spikes, Powell, etc. Just take the gravy and get the meat and potatoes in Florida.

    • Dan says:

      Amen. Completely agree with rich. Let’s not forget what he had on the other side of the ball at Bama either. You could also argue those titles were heavily reliant on a top 3 defense and power running game – a strategy that did not work for muschamp ( I believe due to poor O line play).

      Secondly, after looking at the competition they play out at CSU, one would think that any decent coach could turn a program around out there given 3 years.

      Have a hard time seeing this one working out long term

      • Dave Massey says:

        What does the defense have to do with the record amount of yardage that Bama had when he was OC there? And they threw for more yards than they ran for, that is called a balanced attack, every coaches dream.

        Doesn’t matter what other coaches might or might not have done. He was the coach there and completely turned the program around in three years. The competition level is exactly what you would expect in a conference like that. He didn’t make the schedule.

  5. Conky3000 says:

    If he (or whomever the guy might be) is the pick, I hope he will retain certain assistants for continuity and recruiting reasons. I would keep Lawling and Summers for certain. Durkin and T. Robinson as well. However, i do worry that Travaris would follow Muscahamp wherever he lands.

  6. gatorboi352 says:

    Why the rush to hire though?

    Interview, sure. But I hope the week ends without a hire.

    • 305Gator says:

      Why delay Boi? The sooner we get a coach in place the sooner we can hit the recruiting trail. We are way behind and have a lot of catching up to do.
      I like this hire, I like that he will keep Travaris Robinson and Durkin and hope he keeps Lawing too.
      We are ready to roll, let’s Go Gators!

    • ccsdk says:

      I love this hire. I hope we can support his high powered offense with a solid defense like we’ve had.

  7. Aligator says:

    He will be a 10-2 coach before we know it. He did really well at Alabama, went and got a job at a Mid Major and did what we all said Muschamp should have done.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Well said. +1

    • senuod says:

      Another +1 from here as well…

      He should be able to remind recruits about “his” offenses while at Alabama. Went 12-0 in each regular season of his first two years at Bama. Success like that at Florida is exactly what we need.

      If the rumors are true and he keeps Durkin, Robinson, and maybe Summers…I think we can still pull in a decent recruiting class. I would love for him to keep Leak around too as a QB coach, but don’t see that happening.

  8. G2 says:

    Can’t get excited. This needed to be a home run. Mountain West? Never heard of it.
    None of these Fla kids know who he is.

    • Colin says:

      Urban Meyer came from the Mountain West. Heard of him?

      • G2 says:

        Yea, it was a joke, but this guy is no Urbs. Hope they retain some defensive assistants so there is hope of getting our top guys signed.

        • Michael Jones says:

          What do you mean by “this is no Urbs?” Do you mean that in a good way? Or a bad way? And if you mean it in a bad way, as in he’s not as good of a coach as Urban, how in the hell could you possibly know that at this point? He hasn’t coached his first snap at UF. He may turn out to be the best coach we’ve ever had. Nobody knows yet.

          • G2 says:

            Just let me know when he wins 2 NC’s in 3 years. Not likely.
            Of course nobody knows at this point, just don’t like it at this moment, looking for a higher profile guy. We will see, Foley’s legacy really on the line here.

            • Michael Jones says:

              Urban had Tim Tebow, probably one of the top ten college football players of all time. We Gators may never see another player like him in our program. Plus Zook, widely recognized as a great recruiter, left him an abundance of talent. Let’s just give the guy a chance, a real chance, the same kind of chance that we gave Muschamp, before we throw him in the crapper.

              Go Gators!!!

            • Michael Jones says:

              I think you can even argue that Urban undercoached by not winning a 3rd national championship in Tebow and Brandon Spikes’ senior year. That team was loaded but got ambushed and outcoached by Bama and Saban in the SEC championship game.

  9. SW FL Joe says:

    Last time Foley flew to Colorado to find a coach, he came back with Zook.

  10. Michael Jones says:

    Although my first choice was and always will be Dan Mullen, and although it is absolutely ridiculous that Foley hasn’t even talked to him and that Foley wields so much power within UF that he can make this decision alone, without a committee, without oversight, without having to really answer to anybody except a bunch of groveling adoring fans who are always talking about how good our golf, gymnastics, tennis, etc. teams are . . . . all of that being said. . . there are things about this hire to be excited about it.

    He does look like an up and comer and it turns out that he has more SEC experience and familiarity than I had previously thought. A lot about him is reminiscent of where Urban was when we got him.

    Hey, all of you Foley lovers: bite the bullet. It’s time now for Gator Nation to give this guy at least 2-3 years of patience, trust and undying loyalty. Let’s don’t start with the whining and bitching before he’s even had a chance, before the first ball has even been snapped. We’re stuck with him now so let’s give him our support. To do otherwise makes us look bad to recruits. LET’S GET BEHIND THIS GUY!!!

    Hopefully we’ll never have to hear a bunch of nauseatingly sweet BS eulogies about what a “great guy” he is as he’s heading out the door. Hopefully, this is our guy for a long time to come.

    GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jesse Ven-Johnson says:

      A committee? If it was anything like the commenters here, they’d still be arguing in July about who to hire.

  11. kd says:

    This is not going to be a home run! Gatornation wants a proven big time coach! We have the money…. Mountain West??? Are you kidding?? I can see our recruits that are on the fence jumping as we speak! So disappointed!

    • Yeah, that Urban Meyer guy out of the Mountain West was terrible.

      • kd says:

        Yeah… real stand-up kind of guy wasn’t he? I hope at least McElwain carries on the Muschamp discipline and academic hammer, from the disaster Meyer left us with.

        • Michael Jones says:

          Yeah, Urban’s horns get longer and his tail becomes more forked the more time goes by. . . but we weren’t bitching too much when he was winning national championships, were we? Face it, the thing that we hate the most about him is that he left.

          This new guy, McElwain, deserves a clean slate, a fresh start.

          • Dave Massey says:

            Actually there was a lot of complaining about the off the field stuff when he was still here. The issue with Meyer wasn’t winning and losing on the field, it was that he made us losers off the field, broke the program in his own words. It is about what he left behind.

            • kd says:

              I could care less that Meyer left! I’m a 40+ year fan, seen them come and go! And ditto Dave….. It’s the fact that we can now hold our heads high because for the most part we have a clean program, thanks to Muschamp. McElwain will get his fair chance with me… just not sure about Gator Nation.

    • MAR says:

      I don’t want Florida to get a big name coach. I like Foley going after McElwain. I was actually hoping for Doc Holliday, but McElwain is basically the same idea… A new name in the game who has turned a smaller program around in a short amount of time. These coaches are hungry, eager and usually bring something new to the league no one has seen. Spurrier and Meyer were like that as well when UF came calling, and both of them transformed the SEC in their own way. Spurrier was the only one calling pass plays in the league in 1990 and Meyer showed the SEC how you spread it out, use open field and utilize a running qb. I trust Foley’s ability to get it right this time.

  12. Ed says:

    This is not the honerun hire that Foley needs to energize the Gator Nation…Most fans will ask WTF?

    • Dave Massey says:

      He made plenty of recruiting ties in Florida during his years at Bama. And it hasn’t been that long since he was there. Besides, the University of Florida recruits itself.

    • senuod says:

      Guys like Chip Kelly and Harbaugh were not going to happen.

      Hugh Freeze was a long shot because of how much he loves being in Mississippi.

      Not sure who else would be a homerun to you, but like Adam said….this could be really close. Time will tell.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I can be hard on Foley, but I think he’s done his due diligence with McElwain and I’m liking this hire. The truth of the matter is that we won’t know whether it’s a stand-up triple or a walk-off grand slam for a few years. . but I think it’s a damn good start and I hope that we get behind this guy.

      Look, he’s our coach. . . . let’s support him unless and until he proves he’s not worthy of it. . but that determination is years down the road. At least now we have something to be excited about!

      Go Gators!!!!

      • ccsdk says:

        I love the hire. I’m really excited that if he gets some recruits, keeps our defense in tact and improves the offense next year we could be dangerous.

  13. Sroode21 says:

    Might be the only choice !!!!!

  14. Sammage says:

    He’s kind of growing on me as I read about him. He’s done a lot at CSU and his offenses score. Those complaining about the competition he’s facing in the Mountain West keep in mind just how horrible CSU was before he got there. He’s done a great job getting them to play better..and he did it without his own recruits which suggests to me he was coaching up inferior talent. Seems like our problems with Muschamp came down to not developing talent.

  15. Ken (CA) says:

    McElwain seems to have had success at a small college over a couple of years, but he seems awfully green and unseasoned for a jump to a place like the SEC. Hope they get it right this time.

  16. Ed says:

    Stand up triple??? Most Gator fans won’t even know who this guy is.Foley is going cheap when he should have opened up the checkbook.

  17. rich says:

    16 of his 22 head coaching wins are against Teams that finished with 4 wins or less. SIXTEEN OF HIS 22 WINS.

    This is a stand up Triple? A guy with 3 wins vs. teams that finished with a winning record in 3 whole seasons.

    This is a notch below a homerun with you??? A stand up triple for a guy who took a below average Mountain West Team and took them to the mountain top of an Average Mountain West Team.

    This is what we have become at Florida?

    • Joe says:

      HA! You do realize we’ve only won 3 NC’s with two coaches who both needed Heisman winning QB’s to pull it off. Wake up call Florida fans, your expectations are high and do not match the reality of our situation. Get a grip. We’re ranked 26th in total recognized championships. Tennessee is above us with 4. Be grateful we have been this good in the recent past.

      Ten winningest programs in CFB history, (we’re not even close #29).

      1. Michigan: 910-321-36
      2. Texas: 875-338-33
      3. Notre Dame: 874-305-42
      4. Nebraska: 860-354-40
      5. Ohio State: 849-316-53
      6. Oklahoma: 836-310-53
      7. Alabama: 832-321-43
      8. Tennessee: 804-361-55
      9. USC: 786-319-54
      10. Georgia 759-402-54

      • Dave Massey says:

        Agreed that Florida wasn’t that great before 1990. Adjust your statistics and compare us to all teams for the last twenty five years and you will find a huge difference.

        • Joe says:

          You’re right – Spurrier, Meyer, Wuerffel and Tebow were the difference. There is nothing to argue.

  18. Mike The Red says:

    Folks, let’s look at our options.
    (1) Dan Mullen and Chip Kelly aren’t going to happen. I am not even sure that Dan Mullen is the right choice.
    (2) Charlie Strong is very unlikely.
    (3) That leaves McElwain and Holliday.

    Personally, I prefer Doc Holliday because he has more ties to Florida and experience recruiting in the state. However, I had a feeling that Foley would focus on McElwain. Give him credit, he has turned CSU into a winning team.

    If only he could convince Fowler and Jones to stay…

    • Dave Massey says:

      This is just my opinion but I believe Foley avoided anybody with any connections to Meyer.

      Players are always going to come and go. We’ll be fine at RB with Taylor and Lane and Powell leading the way. Fowler will be much harder to replace. Let’s see what happens in recruiting now that all the recruits know where Florida is going. That is what I want to see now. This is a done deal.

  19. Nick says:

    I know who he is. Contempt prior to investigation and all that. Look up his team’s 2014 stats. The team he took over was 3 – 8 when he took over.

  20. g8ter27 says:

    Can he at least bring Dee Hart back to Florida? 🙂

  21. Timmy T says:

    He hasn’t been hired yet, so all opinions now are moot. But, I’ll join in anyway. I like the hire if it indeed happens. Of course, I liked the Champ hire as well, so read into that what you will. Thing is, it matters not what we as fans think is a good or bad hire. We need to get behind him, or whoever is the next coach and hope for the best. Think positive, baby! Its a new ride now. Could be the greatest thing to ever happen.

    • Joe says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • Dave Massey says:

      It’s as good as done. Florida wants him and it’s not like he’s going to turn down Florida to stay at Colorado State or wait for any other currently open job. Florida is a top five job no matter what anybody says, that’s fact.

  22. sjkoepp says:

    Just want to give props to Adam for 1. Reporting the plane was taking Foley to CO and 2. Including Mcelwain in his original list of 15 coaches Foley may be considering. Not bad, sir!

  23. Michael Jones says:

    I like to respect Adam’s wishes so I won’t post a website link here, but anyone interested ought to go to Colorado State’s site and see what they have to say about McElwain. Pretty impressive.

  24. Michael J. says:

    Who knows if he will be a good coach? Assuming Foley didn’t go out there to waste time, I am assuming he will be the next coach. Unless he gives a bad interview, usually the meeting is just a formality because of the egos involved. UF doesn’t want to actually have it known that they offered someone and be turned down. If he’s hired, it means another shift in recruiting. Guys like Treon Harris and Will Grier are not pro-style quarterbacks, but neither is Blake Sims who’s currently at Alabama, so maybe they can be a stop gap until McElwain can get the players he wants. I just wonder how long he’ll get to rebuild Florida? The only reason he’s getting the job is because UF is a dumpster fire right now, but reality and Gator fans have never met, so I hope he can turn it around quick. IF in his third year the Gators aren’t making a trip to Atlanta, the moronic Gator fans will come crawling out of the woodwork.Most will understand that more time is needed, but the crazy ones are usually the most vocal.

    • Michael Jones says:

      How’s Karlos? Does he know which state he’s in yet? Is Wimperston feeling better after that clothes-line headlock tackle that Fowler put on him? Things like that happen when you play an SEC team.

      Better score more than 24 points next year. Better find a QB who can throw fewer than 4 interceptions too. He’s just like E.J. Manuel, by the way . . throws it in the general direction of his receivers and hopes they’ll out-athlete the DB covering them. Not working out too well in the NFL, though . . or against UF.

      You hear that sound? You know what that is, right? . . . yeah, I know you do.

      • Michael J. says:

        Boy it must be hard with huge butt hurt. You’re happy about someone getting a concussion? Then you brag about losing? It’s not something to be proud of, unless you’re a loser. Florida is a dumpster fire right now, the evidence is clear. Going 10-13 the last couple of years is the definition of dumpster fire. Only one of the wins is something to be proud of, the victory over Georgia. And you’re talking trash about a team that hasn’t lost a game in over two years? I’m not here to defend FSU, but it’s laughable for UF fans to be talking trash. It’s the epitome of ignorance. Instead of talking about how bad Winston and FSU are, why not actually do something about it? Talking big has never been a problem at UF. Remember before the season when Muschamp said this was the most talented team he had on offense and that the Gators were “a very good” team? Remember the remarkable evaluator of talent, Vernon Hargreaves, telling us that Jeff Driskel was “the best quarterback in America?” Remember Alex McCalister, when asked about FSU’s winning streak; “Yeah, we’re going to end that. Don’t worry about that.” It’s easy to talk trash, but it’s a lot harder to back it up. Bragging about someone getting a concussion is awful, even for a crazy Gator fan. By the way, Williams back up, Dalvin Cook, did pretty well in his absence, but you probably didn’t notice with all the bile and venom clouding your eyesight.

        • 305Gator says:

          “Going 10-13 the last couple of years is the definition of dumpster fire.”
          Not at all, it is the definition of having one bad season and one mediocre one. If you were mediocre for say 10 years in a row or so, had no money to hire a top coach and no hope for change, then you could say you were a dumpster fire. And then only if you had had success in previous seasons.
          Muschamp did say before the season this was his most talented team. Another reason why he is no longer our coach, so what the heck is your point?
          Hargraves talks up his teammate, and for all you know JD was very good in practice, again moot point.
          MacCalister is a young dude, and his prediction almost came true. In fact the way the defense played should have been enough to win if the team had a competent offense. Another reason Muschamp is not around anymore.
          Stop the anti Gator rants on a Gator blog, go post your exaggerated stuff on the criminole site.

    • 305Gator says:

      Dude why do you soil our blog with your manure?
      UF is doing business like any top program does, no big time school goes around making coaching offers in public and then sit and wait for an answer. You are stating the obvious.
      UF is a dumpster fire? Really troll? UF is loaded with talent waiting for the right coach. Even the offensively deficient Muschamp came a few plays short of being 9 – 2.
      Enjoy your 2 year run with the criminal in charge but be careful it doesn’t turn into a one year run. If you lose to GaTech or if the criminal in charge is expelled then you will be left out of the playoff picture.
      Either way with this new hire and with the talent on hand and all the good things that come with being The Flagship University in the great State of Florida, our future looks bright. Much brighter than yours.
      Go Gators!

      • Michael J. says:

        They were also, possibly, a couple of delay of game penalties not being called away from being 4-7, let’s be real and not live in a fantasy land that the Gators were anything but mediocre this year. Does reality ever darken your door?

  25. Ken (CA) says:

    If they are already discussing which assistants should be retained, it sounds like it is pretty much a done deal at this point.

  26. rich says:

    I’ll say it one last time, not that it matters at this point. Nothing personal against him or his program but 3 mediocre years at a Mountain West School is not enough to put him as our NUMBER ONE Choice? His best finish as a head coach is tied for second in the Mountain West Conference?

    He doesn’t have the resume to be our top pick for our next head coach.

    Foley gambled and lost on Muschamp, although I’ll be honest I was pulling hard for Coach Boom. Now, Foley is doubling down and gambling again. Why does each guy have to have experience coaching under Saban as the top priority?

    Florida Football deserves better and trust me when I say this, they will get exactly what they want in Jim McElwain. If they think 3 seasons as a head coach in the Mountain West with very average results is what they want, trust me that is what they will get.

    It’s a sad day when we have to go to steal a guy away from a Mountain West School whose head coaching records are 4-8, 8-6 and 10-2. But lets not forget he won the New Mexico Bowl as his lone post season head coaching accolade.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Since when is 10-2 mediocre or average? If Muschamp had been that average and mediocre this year he would still be Florida’s coach. CSU was a terrible program and in three years they were 10-2, that’s above average.

      What point are you trying to make that the only year they were eligible for a bowl they won?

    • Michael Jones says:

      I respectfully disagree with your entire rationale. . just about everything that you’ve said. He’s coming from exactly the type of stepping stone program that many a great head coach had to get started at. What more could he have possibly done to turn around that program in the 3 years that he was there? Should we wait for another program to grab him up?

      You should read what the Bama supporters say about this guy. . . how much they love him. . how much they wanted him to replace Saban when he retired. . and how much they hate that he’s coming to U.F.

      But let me ask you this: you’ve made your point, right? Twice now? So you’re on record as thinking it’s a bad hire and if you prove to be right then you can say “I told you so.”

      But, in the meantime, can Gator Nation come together and pull for this coach? Support him unless and until he proves that he’s not worthy of support? Show a united front to recruits? Is that doable?

      The recruits probably have a bad taste in their mouth from seeing how crazy we can get when we have a bad coach. Let’s try to put our best foot forward, Gator Nation, and support this coach as much as we can, and show recruits how positive we can be and how much spirit we have.

      UF is a great place to play football. Let’s help Coach McElwain get that across.

    • Sammage says:

      We hired a coach whose record at his small school in an inferior conference was 5-6, 7-3, 8-4 and he lost his only bowl at that school. He brought us our first NC and named the Swamp. Thank goodness we didn’t go hire a sexy name when we got him.

      Of course we don’t know if this will be the same caliber hire, but it could be. Time will tell. I just know I had to talk myself into liking the Muschamp hire and this one I’m already looking forward to seeing how the team does. Will probably make a trip down for the spring game.

  27. KB says:

    I just hope this coach is adaptable in taking the talent on hand an using their best talents to build a working productive offense around it. I am a bit cautiously optimistic being that McElwain’s background is in running a Pro Style offense. There is a lot to like if indeed this is finalized. What I am not hoping for is square peg run my type of offense with no adaptability for change. It is easy to be a good recruiter at Alabama when your working under the CEO program builder Saban whom recruits dream of playing for. I hope this is the guy than can take the recruits he can get on board into the program and develop the talent he recruits into functional productive players on offense. I have no doubt that if he can do that then the 5* recruits and offensive game changers will be interested in UF once again. He has his work cut out for him no doubt and I hope he hits the ground running and gets it cooking quick. If the rumors are true about the defensive coaches being retained then it might be a good salvo at maintaining continuity on that side of the ball. Whatever the case be at this point I just want UF Football back and feeling good & confident about the product that is put on the field. #BetterDaysAhead

    • senuod says:

      I think his steady production and improvement each year at CSU is decent proof that he can work with the athletes he has available, as opposed to forcing a specific system. In three years, he still has a team with a lot of recruits from the previous era.

      I think we’ll be productive with him again. Like someone else commented, a lot of the well-educated Alabama fans look as this as a great hire or us, and a potential issue for them down the line WHEN UF is back to competing for championships.

  28. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    I don’t consider this a Home Run or Sexy Pick… I believe Both Recruits and Fans will need to Google Him. Also, I don’t believe this Hire strikes Fear in our Rivals or SEC….. I don’t like the Hire and it seems that one of Foley”s keys is being an EXAssistant
    PS We need to back up IF this is
    our Coach. Gator Nation needs Recruits and others know we will support UF

  29. Jon Simon says:

    Hey Adam,

    Love checking your blog like 4-5x daily these days. I’d love to contribute, but when I clicked the ‘show some love’ link, nothing happened. Perhaps it’s tied to the ‘coaching update’ ticker? Let me know buddy, thanks as always for your on-the-spot reporting and I wonder how you manage this and your CBS job at the same time!

  30. DCGATOR says:

    No one knows how this will work out, but this guy has a ton of experience teaching and coaching very talented players and working alongside the most successful coaches. He is following the right path for successful coaches to follow (at least at Florida), and should help us open up the offense a lot. I’m really excited about retaining Durkin. I hope they click and Durkin was as much a driver of our strong defenses the past few years as Muschamp was.
    Go Gators. Bring home out coach Foley!

  31. Mike The Red says:

    Reading between the lines… I do not think that the meeting went well…

    Having said that, I suspect that his wife was put out when Foley came marching into her house at midnight with his entourage. If this does not pan out, there probably will be a good story coming out of it.

    I hope that Foley can pull it off… but has he bothered to call Holliday or even Strong? This hire may be the end of Foley.

  32. Dpett98 says:

    I also think that Foley may have moved too soon on McElwain. It’s not looking good. If he doesn’t fix this soon it could be a disaster for the football program. Hopefully, he has a good contingency plan, but I doubt it. Sounds like he thought this deal was a lock before it stalled.

    • Dave Massey says:

      The only issue is the buyout. If the CSU president ends up keeping Mac when the guy could have been making more than twice the amount of money elsewhere, how happy of a coach does he think he will have? And how many recruits will sign then, expecially knowing he will leave as soon as his contract is over? Guarantee nobody will ever sign that buyout clause with them again, much less getting a good quality coach to go there after that, CSU will slide back to the bottom where they came from, probably end up like UAB football.

      • Mike The Red says:

        Who says that Mac wants the job? Don’t you think that Nebraska or Michigan can offer him a good deal?

        Besides, what does his wife want? If Foley and his entourage came barging into her house at midnight and then ignored her while the boys took care of business, how do think that she felt? I would be very surprised if her opinion does not carry weight. After all, what is a NC worth if you are sleeping on the sofa?

        • Dave Massey says:

          You are making a bunch of ridiculous assumptions. Foley didn’t barge in anywhere, he asked to come over and was invited in, him and his big checkbook. Doesn’t matter what Mich or Neb offer, he wants to coach in the SEC again. What wife would have a problem with her husband more than doubling his salary? Not to mention future possibilities, rubbish.

        • MAR says:

          Well if you are a coach who is winning NC’s, that would be a damn comfy sofa. Maybe his wife snores making that sofa even more desireable. I think most coaches wives would want their man to go where he has the best chance to win and make himself more valuable.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Moved too soon? Nebraska and Michigan are both interested, he beat them to the punch just like he did with Meyer and ND. sounds like it is just working out the details now with CSU admins to see if they will budge at all on the buyout, if not he will probably suck it up and pay it as there doesn’t seem to be an issue with the terms between UF and Mcelwain

      • Mike The Red says:

        If McElwain accepts the job because Foley got there first, we do not want him as head coach.

        Don’t you think that he is competent and disciplined enough to evaluate his all opportunities?

        Besides, I bet that Nebraska and Michigan are not burdened with $8M worth of buyouts. For that matter, he could just choose to stay.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          Actually they are burdened significantly by buyouts as ESPN noted the 3 positions a few days ago. Getting there first may not be the decisive factor, but being well into the negotiations before being approached by the others could be. Especially to someone with integrity. Right now between the 3 schools UF is likely the better position to be successful quickly than the others as well with the talent we still have and the recruits still looking to see what we do. With the decline of the rust belt, and people preferring nice weather, that is part of why the SEC has risen to such strength as well

          • Dave Massey says:

            His personal friend/advisor has already come out and said Mac wants the Florida job. To suggest that Florida is going to lose a bidding war to Nebraska or Michigan is a joke. Nebraska has about 40 mil a year less in revenue than Florida does. Michigan has more to spend but is still about 10 mil less than Florida in revenue, and you’re right, they both have buyout issues too.

            McElwain has already coached in the SEC and he, like most coaches not named Meyer, want to coach in the best conference in the country by far. The SEC has been in the NC game the last eight years and unless Bama loses to Mizzou will be in the playoffs for the NC for the ninth year in a row. These guys want to be the best of the best. With as bad as the winters are being up north this is kind of a no brainer not to mention all the other positives about Florida. Money is not going to be the issue for Florida over Nebraska and Michigan

            Everybody needs to pull that wad out of their panties, take a chill pill, and let the negotiation process play out.

        • Dave Massey says:

          Turn down Florida to stay at Colorado State? LOL…LOL…ROTFFLMFAO

  33. SD Gator says:

    Just walk away from this ridiculous Elwain/his wife/CSU business. It does not look good. People start thinking we are in desperate of Elwain. We can bring anyone from anywhere who can coach and WIN! As Adam listed, there are still many good candidates out there (with offensive mind). We don’t care what Michigan or Nebraska offers. Gators or gator bait.

    • Mike The Red says:

      If you want to woo a top-notch candidate for a job , you do not show up at their front door late with your entire crew.

      When you are talking executive moves, it is considered best practice to wine and dine them. Polished executives consider and influence everybody involved in the decision. Hell…even your run of the mill realtor knows to sell the wife…

      This whole things has been bizarre and a little pompous on our behalf.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Are you actually being serious because you just sound silly. You really don’t think they just showed up with no warning and no time as to when they would be there, as well as how many would be coming?

        Your comments are just absurd and full of crazy assumptions about his wife. They talked on the phone for hours before Foley made the trip and I am sure they would have met wherever and whenever the coach wanted to meet, whether at the house, at the University or at some conference room in a hotel somewhere.

        That whole line of thought is just inane.

  34. Gatoralum88 says:

    If this falls through because of a buyout clause then we should forever refer to Foley as FOOLEY. It’s not like McElwain’s buyout is new news. I first read about it months ago. If CSU doesn’t want to budge on it so be it. They have every right not to. McElwain signed the contract.

    It’s why I first thought it would rule McElwain out considering the near $8 million still owed to Muschamp, Roper, & Summers. If reports are true, Foley first spoke to him by phone on Saturday to gauge his interest. Since that obviously went well, last night’s meeting should have been a mere formality with Foley accepting the fact that he’d have to cough up $15+ million to get it all done. Otherwise, he’s looking like the fool he was after Spurrier’s departure…flying around to visit Shanahan & Stoops only to be told “no”.

    If McElwain is his choice, Foley should suck it up & pay for him. It’s that simple. If the buyout is the issue, Foley should have thought about it longer & harder before making a fool of himself like he’s starting to look like.

    • SecretSquirrel says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much just yet. It’s more likely they’re just making a play to try and save a few million.

      We have to pay someone to come play at the Swamp anyway, might as try to reduce Mac’s buyout and let CSU take that gameday money instead.

      Tony Frank also has to save face and try to NOT get that reduced down, at least putting up the fight publicly, particularly after letting his AD go and saying they had their coaches locked in.

  35. Ib-beastin-urmoms says:

    We are the Bad News Bears!!!!! Que the band mistro!!!!!!!, these people make me laugh with all there dumb assumptions, I see there all AD’s at big time schools…. Lol bunch of tools

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