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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Florida Gators Name Jim McElwain Head Caoch

According to ESPN.com and sources close to the situation, it appears Jim McElwain and the Florida Gators have reached an agreement for the Colorado State head coach to come to Gainesville.

Football Nation has learned that the negotiations between the two sides that had reached a snag late yesterday have been cleared and the hurdle of McElwain’s buyout of his current contract has been resolved. McElwain will replace Will Muschamp who left the position last week following the Gators loss to Florida State, 24-19.

Barring any last-minute snags, Florida is expected to announce McElwain as the Gators' coach later Thursday.

McElwain regarded as a solid recruiter and a great offensive mind – whose talents are not limited to the college scene. NFL experience will help him with trying to produce a winning program at Florida – a program that seems to have lost its offensive punch under Muschamp.

The 52-year old coach was the offensive coordinator at Alabama before taking the head coaching job for the Rams. He spent three years in Tuscaloosa before moving out west.

His experience with a high-powered offense could be just what this team needs and could make the Gators receiving corps more successful. His first coaching job in Division I-A football was at University of Louisville where he was the receivers and special teams coach from 2000 to 2002. At Louisville he tutored All-Conference USA receivers Arnold Jackson, Deion Branch, Damien Dorsey and Zek Parker.

Also his special teams set a school record of nine blocked kicks in 2000–2001 season. He was then offered the assistant head coaching position at Michigan State when he followed Louisville's head coach John L. Smith there. With the Spartans his coaching of the receivers and special teams helped lead them to the Alamo Bowl in his first season.

The Gators finished 6-5 for the 2014 season and are bowl eligible after a 4-8 season in 2013. Muschamp had been on the hot seat last season, but was brought back with a new offensive coordinator, Kurt Roper from Duke. The Florida offense still struggled, even with a change at midseason with Treon Harris replacing incumbent Jeff Driskel.

There is no word yet on which assistant head coaches may be retained by the athletic department and McElwain. Defensive coordinator DJ Durken will coach the team in the bowl game, which has yet to be determined.



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