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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Report: Florida Gators parting ways with football coach Jim McElwain

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.

In 34 games, the Gators have scored 30 or more points just eight times and only managed to eclipse that mark in three of those games thanks to the defense or special teams scoring points.

“Look, we haven’t been good on offense,” McElwain said. “I get it.”

And after a 2017 season that contained more off-field distractions than on-field success, athletics director Scott Stricklin decided enough was enough.

The final straw seemingly came Monday after McElwain made unprompted comments about death threats targeted toward people in his program with little detail or effort to back them up.

The on-field results weren’t much better. Florida fell to 3-4 on the season after the beatdown by Georgia. However, the Gators easily could have been 1-6 if not for a last-second touchdown heave from Feleipe Franks to Tyrie Cleveland against Tennessee and a Kentucky missed field goal as time expired.

But the beginnings of the rift between McElwain and his administration seemingly began before the season started.
After Florida’s win in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 — just two months after Stricklin began as the Gators’ AD in place of Jeremy Foley — McElwain was asked about what the bowl win meant for the Florida program. He started by talking about the Gators’ success on the recruiting trail and then brought up the importance of facilities.

And then he dropped this line....