According to ESPN sources, Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain will now be taking over the head duties for the Florida Gators. University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley along with several other Gator brass flew to Fort Collins, Colorado on Tuesday to meet with coach McElwain and his wife. However, Florida brass flew back to Gainesville on Wednesday without a deal.
According to UF, meetings between McElwain and his wife went extremely well. The Gators wanted coach McElwain, and McElwain wanted to be their new coach. The problem became the $7.5 million buyout of McElwain’s CSU contract. Initially, Colorado State officials were unwilling to budge; however, they changed their stance by Thursday morning. Now, Gator Nation welcomes coach McElwain as their new man.
As a Colorado State University graduate, I was admittedly angry and sad to hear the news about McElwain. Yet, I understand him leaving a team in the Mountain West Conference with no chance at a National Championship in order to pursue potentially multiple SEC as well as FBS National Championships at Florida. Plus, if I were in his position, it would be hard for me to turn down the kind of money a storied program like Florida can offer.
With his strong SEC ties, after serving as the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide from 2008-11, this move makes perfect sense. McElwain was part of two National Championship teams as the OC at Bama. Additionally, look at what he has done with a reeling CSU program. Finishing with an overall record of 22-16 at Colorado State, the program went from a 4-8 record in his first season in 2012 to an incredible 10-2 record this year that concluded his third season at CSU. And, in McElwain’s second season, the team went 8-6 in 2013 after winning the New Mexico Bowl against Washington State in miraculous fashion.
I truly hate to see coach McElwain leave my alma mater, but I have no hesitation in saying that he will lead the University of Florida football program to SEC as well as national acclaim.
*Section Photo credit to Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Colorado State