Image Credit: ESPNI
It’s not rare for the Florida Gators to schedule lower-tier nonconference games in advance, so Wednesday’s announcement of Florida hosting the Eastern Washington Eagles in 2020 arouses a reaction of: Meh.
What’s particularly interesting, though, is that Eastern Washington is the alma mater of Florida coach Jim McElwain, who quarterbacked the Eagles from 1980-83 and spent the first decade of his coaching career with EWU as a graduate assistant (1985-86), position coach (1987-94) and offensive coordinator (1995-99).
“This is pretty cool to be able to add Eastern Washington to the schedule,” said McElwain in a statement released by the school. “I spent 15 years at Eastern and it is such a huge part of my life. I met my wife, Karen, there and all of my children were born there. I have so many great memories of my time at Eastern and I still have friends there to this day.”
Even more intriguing is that the game is four full seasons out, which means McElwain will only face his alma mater entering his sixth season at Florida. Now consider this: Urban Meyer stuck around exactly six years (2005-10), and the Gators haven’t seen a coach last longer than that since Steve Spurrier (1990-2001).
McElwain is currently under contract through 2021.