According to multiple reports, the Florida Gators have relieved head coach Jim McElwain of his duties. At this time, it is unknown who will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. However, ESPN sources have reported that defensive coordinator Randy Shannon may be the lead candidate for that role. With a 3-4 record and a month left in the regular season, Florida hopes to become bowl eligible with four games left.
Beginning of the End in the Swamp
A chaotic week in the Swamp was kicked off on Monday when Gators head coach Jim McElwain referenced unspecified death threats made to those within and surrounding the Florida Gators program. As he refused to provide any details either publicly or in private to athletic director Scott Stricklin, it seemed to be the beginning of the end for the head coach.
I think it’s a pretty good kind of lesson for the way things are. There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when the threat’s against your own players, death threats to your families, you know, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, you know, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. A lot of angry people. In this business, we’re the ones that you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.
Before kickoff on Saturday, there were rumors swirling about social media pertaining to buyout negotiations between McElwain’s agent and UAA. This resulted in Stricklin releasing a statement that said no one in his administration has been part of negotiations, stating “our focus is on this great Florida-Georgia rivalry today in Jacksonville.”
Source: Boosters have been called to pool $ in anticipation that Gators will soon be hiring new head football coach
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) October 28, 2017
The events of the week were capped off by a near shutout in the Swamp. The 42-7 loss to No. 3 Georgia was followed up by a monotone post-game press conference from the third-year coach. “Nothing in this world surprises me,” McElwain said. “I know what I was brought here to do.”
McElwain At Florida
McElwain was hired in December 2014 to right the offensive ship after several years of struggles under Will Muschamp. During McElwain’s first two years at the helm, the program showed promise as the Gators reached the SEC Championship Game in both seasons.
Unfortunately, the offensive troubles continued as Florida finished the 2015 and 2016 seasons, ranked 112th and 116th nationally in yardage, respectively. This year, the Gators are ranked 113th nationally in total offense, averaging 336.6 yards per game.
Overall, McElwain went 22-12 as Florida’s head coach, 16-6 in conference play and 0-6 overall against the teams like Alabama, Florida State, and Michigan.
“We’ve won a few games,” McElwain said, “but we haven’t won enough, haven’t won a championship. That’s real. That’s life. That is this business, and I take full responsibility for all of it. There’s no doubt.”
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