Don’t let the door hit ya…………
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After a tumultuous week capped by a 42-7 loss to No. 3 Georgia, third-year Florida coach Jim McElwain parted ways with the program Sunday with four weeks left in the 2017 regular season.
Football Scoop was the first to report the news.
According to The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu, the players have been informed of the decision.
Following the loss on Saturday, McElwain seemed resigned to the fact that his future at Florida was over. The 55-year-old coach from Missoula, Mont., spoke in a relatively monotone voice while essentially reflecting on his tenure with the Gators.
“Nothing in this world surprises me,” McElwain said. “I know what I was brought here to do.”
McElwain was hired in December 2014 to fix the Gators’ maligned offense after four years of struggles under Will Muschamp and bring Florida back to national relevance.
His first two years showed promise, with the Gators reaching the SEC Championship Game in both seasons — a feat that had never been accomplished.
However, the offensive problems that had plagued the team before his arrival continued. Florida finished the 2015 and 2016 seasons respectively ranked 112th and 116th nationally in yardage. The Gators are 113th nationally this season in total offense, averaging 336.6 yards per game.
What a great start he got off to, winning his first six games, but the offenses bogged down, and never got any rhythm for whatever reason. They would look great, then lose the momentum. OC Doug Nussmeier was terrible, his play calling was too predictable, and he seemed unaware that throwing downfield is allowed. Every once in a while he would find a good rhythm, only to stop showing any imagination, McElwain should have ditched him last season, and found someone capable. We kept hearig about getting the ball to our playmakers, and we actually did that early this season, but time and again, we fell back into neutral, and looked inept.
I could go on and on, but time to find the next coach, SEC Nation has the leading candidates
Chip Kelly, former Oregon and San Francisco 49ers head coach
Florida fans want points, and they want them now. Kelly has been spending this season in the broadcast studio after a failed one-year run in San Francisco, but everyone is still well aware of the work he did at Oregon from 2007-12.
Scott Frost, UCF head coach
The former Nebraska quarterback would most likely choose the Cornhuskers over the Gators if both options were on the table, but he’s been doing excellent work down the road from Gainesville. Florida surely has Frost on its short list.
Charlie Strong, South Florida head coach
Strong led the Gators defense from 2003-09 and had kept USF out of the “L” column all season until a Saturday loss to Houston. Once one of the game’s most coveted coordinators, his ugly stint at Texas has slightly sullied his personal brand.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach
Campbell has successfully brought MACtion to the Big 12. He led Toledo to a pair of division titles in 2014 and 2015 and has now dragged a long-dormant Iowa State program into the Top 25 for the first time in 12 years.
Mike Norvell, Memphis head coach
A pair of Top-25 upsets and a flashy passing offense have put Memphis back on the national radar. The 36-year-old Norvell only has one-and-a-half years of head coaching experience, but he’s going to find himself on plenty more of these types of lists if the Tigers continue winning.
Joe Moorhead, Penn State offensive coordinator
Penn State has been the country’s “it” program over the past 12 months, and Moorhead’s work with the Nittany Lions offense has been a key factor in that success. His only head coaching stop was at Fordham (his alma mater) from 2012-15.
Brent Venables, Clemson defensive coordinator
If the Gators aren’t set on an offensive-minded candidate, Venables deserves a call. His Clemson defenses have been strong since he arrived in 2012, and he served on Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma staff for 13 seasons before that.
I think the job wil go to one of those. Strong has ties to Florida, and two championship rings as the DC. Kelly is the sexy pick, and would no doubt revive the offense. Frost is the hot young coach, with Norvell, Moorhead and Campbell not too far behind. the rest of the list are real long shots in my view.
IfI were asked to rank them, I would have Kelly first followed by Frost, Norvell, Stong, Moorhead, Campbell, with Venables trailing, mainly because he is a defensive guy.
Whoever gets the gig has to win and soon, He will have the talent, but a very impatient fan base to deal with. Retooling the offense will be the focus with Gator fans.