Reports: Mike Locksley spurns Florida to become on-field assistant at Alabama

By Adam Silverstein
January 12, 2017
Reports: Mike Locksley spurns Florida to become on-field assistant at Alabama
Football

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Updated on Friday at 12:20 p.m.

Jim McElwain‘s decision to wait until after the national championship to add to the Florida Gators coaching staff has come back to bite him.

Amid reports that Alabama Crimson Tide offensive analyst Mike Locksley was McElwain’s target to fill a vacant role on Florida’s staff, FootballScoop.com reported Thursday that Alabama “expects to be able to retain” Locksley by moving him to an on-field role, though it did note that the “situation remains fluid.”

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy confirmed Friday that Locksley will remain with Alabama and is “expected to get [an] on-field job.”

It was previously reported by FootballScoop on Dec. 30, 2016, that McElwain planned to hire Locksley, though McMurphy and Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman called such a report “premature” that same day.

Locksley served in a behind-the-scenes role with Alabama last season. Prior to that, he was offensive coordinator at Maryland (2012-15), improving the Terrapins’ offense each of his first three years with the program. Locksley, 47, is a Washington, D.C., native who has coached in college for 25 years, including a two-season stint with Florida from 2003-04 as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under then-head coach Ron Zook. Locksley would have been a candidate to take over recruiting coordinator duties for the Gators now that Randy Shannon has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Florida’s recruiting classes ranked No. 1 and No. 5 nationally in Locksley’s two seasons, falling to No. 12 after Zook’s firing ahead of the 2005 campaign.

One way McElwain could have gotten Locksley into the fold would have been to have him split offensive coordinating duties with current assistant Doug Nussmeier, who received praise after the season from McElwain — and Saban for that matter — despite earning criticism from fans. Locksley could’ve also served in a role similar to the one Shannon had under Collins as a “co-coordinator” without a specific side of the ball listed on his title. It is unknown what the Gators specifically offered Locksley nor what the Crimson Tide countered with to get him to stay.

FootballScoop also reported on Jan. 4 that Crimson Tide assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal was a candidate for a job with the Gators, though Cristobal was always more likely to link up with Oregon and head coach Willie Taggart. Cristobal took a co-offensive coordinator job with the Ducks on Friday, presumably opening up a spot on the Tide roster that Saban can use to bring Locksley onto the field.

11 Comments

  1. persia1fan says:

    Maaan WTF! You’ve gotta be kidding me! Give the man his money so he can hurry up and get over there and help the team. Jeeez!

  2. Michael Jones says:

    Ahhhh. . . the good old days of being in the top 5 in recruiting. Hope Mac hires and hustles to do whatever it takes to get us back there.

  3. Keith Carlough says:

    Coach Mac doesn’t know how to recruit. I’m beginning to question his development abilities.

  4. brlgator says:

    This has been the story of Mac’s time. Close but no cigar. I wouldn’t be shocked for us to go back to ATL and still fire him. I hope he figures out a way to turn this around.

  5. SW FL Joe says:

    Hard to make a home run hire when you keep striking out.

  6. G.F. Forlife says:

    Not sure who or what but something better is coming our way. Quit chirping about things you perceive to be bad just because they are not what you want to happen at the time. You are not in control, the Spirit of the Swamp is and the Spirit always has a better plan for the Gator Nation. Patience Grasshoppers.

  7. South Bleachers says:

    Remember when UF would crush recruiting at the Army All-American game? Funny how OSU did the same thing this year.

  8. Gatorcove says:

    This headline is misleading. How can Locksley spurn something that was not his (a Florida offer) in the first place? Though I would like to see Locksley on the staff he does bring some baggage. I would only take him if he really wants to be at Florida. Gotta trust Mac on this one.
    With that said, no doubt Mac needs to improve his recruiting. But prior to Mac’s arrival the Gators had not won the East since 2010. Even with all those “great” recruiting classes under Meyer and Champ. Mac is 90% there. Need some stud linemen and a handful of playmakers (pick your position group) this cycle and we should be a perennial Top 10 program again.

    • Locksley had an offer to come to Florida and was going to. Therefore, he spurned Florida to remain at Alabama. Headline is not misleading.

      • Deathroll Defense says:

        But the headline is misleading. It should read “Locksley chooses to remain at Alabama,” but that wouldn’t generate enough clicks for you, would it?

        The definition of “spurned” is to “reject with disdain or contempt.”

        Please clarify how there was any disdain, contempt or otherwise negative emotions tied to the decision to remain at Alabama.

        #FAKENEWS

        • 1. You should learn what “fakenews” actually is and use that term properly. You’re embarrassing yourself.
          2. Headline is not misleading. That is the specific definition of spurned — good job using google — but most understand it as a synonym for reject, rebuff and turn down.

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