Image Credit: UAA/Madison Schultz
Updated on April 13 at 11 p.m.
With spring practice in the rear-view mirror and the annual spring speaking engagement tour commencing, Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain will be travelling to these events in style as the football program unveiled what a new luxury coach bus for McElwain and staff.
McElwain’s first two stops have already occurred as the coach visited the Gainesville Quarterback Club last week and Polk County Gator Club in Lakeland, Florida, on Monday. He will make seven more stops in the state of Florida through May 26, and his assistants will travel to four Gator Clubs as well. Presumably, the bus will be available for all the football dates.
“The bus was awesome,” McElwain told the Lakeland Ledger on Monday. “When we step around it, really [delivers] the brand. It’s a class thing. It was pretty cool. There were a lot of Gator fans up and down [the road]. A lot of heads turned and that’s really what it’s all about.”
The inclusion of a orange-and-blue wrapped bus to the speaking tour is an interesting development and obviously a fun marketing vehicle for the Gators that the program should get a lot of use out of throughout the year.
Update: On Wednesday at McElwain’s latest speaking engagement, OnlyGators.com learned a number of details about the bus.
The bus was not purchased but is rather being rented by Florida. It is normally used by bands touring throughout the state and beyond.
McElwain plans to ride on the bus to destinations close to Gainesville, but he took the athletic department’s private jet to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday before the bus picked him up and drove him to a Gator Gathering.
Inside the bus are two 42-inch televisions (connected to three satellite dishes), a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and enough room for 16 people to sleep. There are leather seats but there’s also plenty of space to walk around.
The creation of the Gators bus was a relative rush job with 6-8 people wrapping the bus in orange-and-blue over 2-3 days. The process normally takes twice as long, but Florida had a particular time frame due to its scheduled events.
» April 13 – Broward County Gator Club (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
» April 19 – Gator Club of Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL)
» April 26 – Southwest Florida/Naples Gator Clubs (Fort Myers, FL)
» April 27 – Tampa/Pinellas Gator Clubs (Tampa, FL)
» May 3 – Space Coast Gator Club (Melbourne, FL)
» May 25 – Central Florida Gator Club (Orlando, FL)
» May 26 – Fightin’ Gator Touchdown Club (Gainesville, FL)
Assistant football coaches
» TBA – Panhandle Gator Club (Panama City, FL)
» TBA – Palm Beach County Gator Club (West Palm Beach, FL)
» TBA – Clay County Gator Club (Orange Park, FL)
» TBA – Sarasota/Manatee County Gator Club (Sarasota, FL)
Florida head basketball coach Mike White will also make four stops from April 26 to June 29.
» April 26 – Titletown Gator Club (Gainesville, FL)
» June 21 – Atlanta Gator Club (Atlanta, GA)
» June 27 – Capital Area Gator Club (Tallahassee, FL)
» June 29 – Volusia County Gator Club (Daytona, FL)