The Silver Lining for Monday, January 26: Florida coaching staff vacancy, Gators recruiting

By Adam Silverstein
January 26, 2015

Updated on Wednesday at 2:50 p.m.

Still missing: wide receivers coach

As was mentioned one week ago in this space, new Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain has been in no rush to fill the last position on his initial coaching staff with Florida still looking for its wide receivers coach 21 days (as of press time) after every other member of the staff was officially announced.

Nevertheless, a source close to the program reaffirmed to OnlyGators.com on Sunday that there is indeed a high level of interest in the position with at least two former Gators players, and one former Florida assistant coach, in the pool of candidates for the job. There are also a couple NFL assistants hoping to get the gig. McElwain has a few front-runners in the aforementioned grouping and will continue interviews this week between recruiting visits and phone calls.


Whether a wide receivers coach is hired in the nine days before National Signing Day (Wednesday, Feb. 4) ultimately remains to be seen, though there is a growing expectation that one could be hired before the week is out.

Update on Tuesday at 4:50 p.m.: According to CoachingSearch.com, former San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant Ronald Curry, who played wideout when McElwain was quarterbacks coach with the Oakland Raiders in 2002, is one of those candidates. The NFL Network‘s Albert Breer reported the same late Tuesday, noting that Curry is also a candidate to be elevated to wide receivers coach with the 49ers.

Josh Newberg of 247 Sports wrote Sunday on Twitter that he was “hearing some buzz” about Miami Dolphins assistant wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan being another possibility.

While OnlyGators.com is unable to report the names of the two former Gators players up for the position at this time due to conditions of a confidential discussion, we have been told that one of the two is expected to interview for the job this week.

Recruiting still slow but impressions being made

OnlyGators.com spoke with three 2015 recruits that visited the Gators over the last week in order to get their general impressions about the staff, find out what Florida is pitching from a recruiting perspective, and attain some insight on how the overall experience has been for the prospects.

» Defensive line coach Terrell Williams, running backs coach Tim Skipper and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier were all singled out as assistants that these players (a) felt immediate connections with and (b) cited as positives during their experience on campus. The staff as a whole got high marks.

» There is an overall confidence that the Gators’ offense will get back on track with the prospects noting that the running backs and wide receivers were openly discussing how productive they could be with McElwain and Nussmeier at Florida.

» The departure of Will Muschamp was a necessity for the Gators, but he and Travaris Robinson surfacing at Auburn – an SEC rival and powerhouse program in its own right – has really hurt Florida in this recruiting cycle as there is a ready-made spot for prospects to join two of their favorite recruiters. Not only are many of the top prospects – once considered Gators leans – now looking elsewhere, the other players that were also attracted to UF still feel uneasy about the three-week-old coaching staff.

» The new indoor practice facility – set to be built by September – has been used by McElwain and Florida’s coaches as a selling point. McElwain is also telling recruits that the Gators have a plan in place to improve the dorms, which are also lagging behind many of the other living facilities for athletes in the SEC.

» Florida is also selling early playing time, of course, and Gators coaches told two of the three prospects (that OnlyGators.com spoke with) that they are not planning to sign a full 2015 class. Florida told these recruits that the offers they have out are to prospects they believe can come in and contribute right away. McElwain does not wish to add bodies just to fill up the class, so the takes will be deserving of their spots.

» Overall, recruits sensed an improved energy in Gainesville. They said the coaches spoke about the 2015 season but also went over their plan for turning around the Gators’ football program in the long term. Florida may not have locked up any top-tier recruits, but it gave a them plenty to think about over the next 10 days.

Not Only Gators: Catching up on the year’s best pictures

Some headway was made watching best picture nominees this week with Birdman and Whiplash the first two I was able to tackle (The Grand Budapest Hotel was seen months ago). In short, both were fantastic. Birdman was a better movie with better acting top-to-bottom, but Whiplash had one of the best ending scenes I can remember in a feature film. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m referencing.

So that’s Grand Budapest, Birdman and Whiplash in the books with Gone Girl and The Judge (not up for best picture but both with a number of nominations for acting awards and such) viewed as well. Rosamund Pike is not getting anywhere near the credit she deserves for Gone Girl. While I enjoyed The Judge very much when I saw it in the theater, checking out Birdman and Whiplash this week made it clear why it was not a nominee; it just could not live up to that level of film-making.

So here’s what’s left, in order of my excitement to watch: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything, Selma, Boyhood. The 87th Academy Awards are still three weeks away, so this is doable, especially after National Signing Day is in the books in early February.

Up this week, most likely, are The Theory of Everything and perhaps Nightcrawler, which I feel like needs to be fit in somewhere.

This Week’s Movie Trailer

True Story:

The Top 5 List
From the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska…

American professional all-star games/weekends, ranked:
1. NBA
2. MLS
3. MLB
4. NFL
5. NHL

Thanks for reading. Leave your comments below.

29 Comments

  1. Buster says:

    This will be the worst recruiting class since……

    Thanks for leaving the cupboard “full” Muschump

  2. Buster says:

    Absolutely ridiculous that the MLB all-star game isn’t ranked #1

    Real rankings

    1.)MLB

    2.)NBA

    3.)NHL
    4.)NFL
    5.) MLS has an all-star game?

  3. 305Gator says:

    MLS ?????????????????????????
    Is that soccer you talking about with the other real sports????
    Soccer?
    Are you serious?
    This is The good old USA we have real football here, soccer is for the rest of the world who don’t know any better.
    Come on.

    • I’m talking about quality of the game not whether you like the sport or not. The MLS All-Star game includes the best American players against an international team and is a really cool spectacle.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        so in a sport that always ends 0-0 or 1-1 or such, that means the the American team typically loses by 9 or 10 goals, right? 🙂 /duck

      • ConnGator says:

        I agree with the quality of the MLS all-star game. Probably should be ranked #1.

  4. In response to Michael J, who continues to post comments despite me saying on two separate threads that they would no longer be approved:

    It is quite obvious that you are not here to converse or lend anything to a legitimate conversation. You are simply trying to annoy my readers and those that leave legitimate comments on this site.

    For the last five years, I have always allowed rival fans and people with rough opinions to comment here, and I will continue to do so. But it is obvious that your only motivation is to anger people and not to actually converse.

    • Ryan D says:

      FINALLY!! Thanks Adam. If he provided an unbiased opinion, that would be different. He clearly trolls.

    • 305Gator says:

      MJ the nole troll couldn’t control himself and went too far. I think you gave him ample opportunity and an open forum and he just abused it. It’s what trolls do.
      You keep a tidy ship here Adam, I’ve been to other boards where trolls run amok unchecked and the discussion quickly deteriorates.
      MJ you won’t be missed.

    • Gatoralum88 says:

      Thank you Adam. As a true O&B bleeding Gators fan, I truly appreciate this site & what you do. When it became clear that Michael J was just a troll trying to be a pest I stopped reading his posts (although he did spend A LOT of time on this site). Anyone who does what he did to the extent that he did has problems & needs professional help IMO. Good riddance to that guy & Go Gators!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      lol guys, let it go. We all knew what he was, and even I let him egg me on once in a while. Very rarely he would make a decent comment although it was then overshadowed by has but FSU….. or but Winston…. or whatever. I saw Adam warn him multiple times, then just let him go for a while and the guy couldn’t do anything but put down everything O&B. He warned him 2 times back to back then finally had enough. He gave him every opportunity. I disagree with Ryan about unbiased opinion, nothing wrong with a vigorous discussion with different viewpoints, but that was never his modus operandi. It was simply to come in say something inflammatory and get a rise out of us, which he often did.

      It is like WM, good idea, bad fit, fired, time to move on. Some new Nole Troll will eventually pop in and maybe be a reasonable person to have discourse with and interesting discussions. until then. let’s close this chapter and start writing another

      • Ryan D says:

        I see what you mean. If his comments left out that other school then it may have been ok. But he clearly was throwing everything in our faces.
        BTW I will have that (CA) next to my name soon. What city are you in?

        • Ken (CA) says:

          Sad, Sad. I always wanted when younger to be in Silicon Valley, would have proved I “made it” in computer tech. Funny how life works out, ended up here in a completely different way and first job I ever had where I am not actually IT. I am in the bay area, Pleasanton, about 10 miles east of Oakland and stuck in Alameda county which loves to vote for higher taxes and stupid representatives, but at least not Pelosi district. You will find that most of the folks out here are indoctrinated idiots, but hopefully you will find some good friends and there and lots of GatorNation are out here

          • Ryan D says:

            Thanks! I hope you can get out of there soon. I am in I.T. as well. Headed to Palmdale. Currently in the DMV area and the GatorNation is huge here. Hopefully I can get that in the LA area as well.

  5. Ken (CA) says:

    Take this for what it is worth, but when asked yesterday, the WR recruit that was there said he asked Coach Mac about that and that Coach Mac told him he knew who the new WR coach would be, he just wasn’t ready to announce it yet

    • What’s he going to say? “I have no idea yet and still haven’t made a decision.”

      From what I’m told, there is indeed one candidate who looks to be the guy, but I do not have a second source to confirm that and therefore will not report it.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        well, that is why I said for what it’s worth which isn’t that much. Curiously, the kid also said he didn’t care who the receiver coach was, it was Nussmier and McElwain who drove the offense and philosophy and they were the ones he cared about and he connected well with them. The receiver coach just seemed to be a side note in what I read, just a curiosity.

  6. Fphin says:

    The money would be better spent on a catching coach.
    The routes mean squat if the ball keeps getting dropped.

  7. Brandon says:

    Adam,

    I’m wondering Kippy Brown, the wide receiver coach from Seattle Seahawks the guy McElwain is going to hire ? He has SEC experience, coaching the position at Tennessee in 2009-10.

  8. KB says:

    Just watched “The Imitation Game” last night and it was pretty good. There is a lot to learn about who Alan Turing was and how instrumental his role in Code Breaking was in order to help the Allies defeat the Germans in the war. The race is on Adam and I will see you at the finish line.

  9. Mike The Red says:

    Will Muschamp ever quit sticking it to us?

    (1) 3 out of 4 years were a disaster.
    (2) Left the program a complete mess.
    (3) Took the few good recruits with him.
    (4) Has how many millions in guaranteed paid?

    I bet that Gators begin looking back at the way Urban Myers left with fond memories.

    If Muschamp effectively steals our recruits, can we call that breach of contract and not pay out the balance of what we owe him?

    • Ken (CA) says:

      On the flip side, Adonis Thomas flipped on WM, and decided to take a visit from Coach Mac. No idea how that went, but the mere fact that he took it says he may not be fully sold on Bama and his first love was UF, so the new staff might be able to get him back in the fold.

  10. Ks Gator says:

    I enjoy the recruiting updates. Thanks

  11. Dan says:

    Based on the current NFL WR coaching names, Coach Mac should just keep Chris Leak and mentor / groom him.

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