Fred Taylor, Jim McElwain address coach’s outburst at Florida Gators RB Kelvin Taylor

By Adam Silverstein
September 14, 2015

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain‘s public outburst at junior running back Kelvin Taylor was a national story Saturday into Sunday, and it remained one Monday when the coach and the player’s father, former Florida RB Fred Taylor, separately addressed the incident at length.

Fred Taylor, appearing on ESPN Radio‘s Dan LeBatard Show, called McElwain’s outburst “a little bit of an overreaction” but noted he does “understand coaching” and understood the moment and reason for McElwain’s rant at his son.

He did, however, note that McElwain being so angry and demonstrative on the sideline gives outsiders the opportunity to “make a mockery” of the Gators, calling the entire incident “a little much.”

“History shows that the coaches that go and act that way, there will be a bigger mockery over time than the actual player will [deal with],” he said. “My son, he’ll forget about this. He’s forgotten about it, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

Kelvin Taylor said as much Sunday on Twitter. “I love coach Mac!!! He’s going make me a better person Got nothing , but respect for him! #GatorNation,” he wrote on the social media service.

Fred Taylor also noted that the throat slash celebration that got his son in trouble with the referees and McElwain was one of his signature celebrations back in the day. He chalked up the mistake to his son feeling good about scoring a touchdown while not being the featured running back.

“He wants an opportunity to not get caught up in the whole rotating three running backs. Two, well, you deal with it. Three? The rhythm and that piece of it, it’s sort of frustrating for him,” the father said. “He had the opportunity to sort of punch on in and he got caught up in the celebration his old man used to do.”

McElwain said he and Kelvin Taylor spoke after the game and afterwards. “We talked about how hard he played. We talked about the lessons. And I hugged him, just like I did after the incident happened.”

The coach noted that he was not proud of his outburst – “I’m no different: I make mistakes, we all make mistakes.” – even though he stood behind his reasoning for it given the lessons he is trying to teach the players.

“I don’t feel good about it. This is a very public job, it’s a public thing that we do. I understand that I have a long ways to go and I make mistakes. I absolutely [do],” he said. “And yet, I got to make sure that whatever it is, we can’t hurt ourselves. The frustrating part is we had really made some strides to do that.”

He pointed out that even coaches can learn lessons as a season goes on.

“There’s lessons that even I learn. And yet, we’ve talked about acts that hurt the ball squad. By that 15-yard [penalty], they ended up getting a heck of a return and put us in a predicament,” McElwain explained. “It’s one of the things that we’ve got to learn is, look, unforced errors are something we can’t do. Really good teams, prominent programs, it doesn’t happen to. We just need to keep moving forward.”

And McElwain wasn’t the only one not pleased with the incident.

“I’m not proud of it and neither is my mother, 94 years old,” he said. “I got an earful from her, too, and rightfully so.”

He added: “In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a pretty passionate guy, a pretty emotional guy. I want the best for this university and this organization and program moving forward.”


  1. Mike The Red says:

    I thought that the penalty was a little silly and excessive, but give me a break folks… A coach chewing out a player over a completely unnecessary and avoidable penalty. Since when has that become news worthy…

    Really… have we all become that PC…

    • Michael Jones says:

      Wow. . never have I agreed with you so wholeheartedly.

      Why in the h–l are we still talking about McElwain’s reaction instead of Taylor’s moronic and selfish act that shortened the field by 15 yards for ECU’s ensuing touchdown drive that put them within reach of tying the game?

      Typical America. Always worried about the wrong thing.

      • Buster says:

        Yes, typically America. Worried about someones dignity instead of a 15 yard penalty

        • Michael Jones says:

          If dignity was KT’s concern then he probably shouldn’t be making throat slashing gestures towards his out-manned and underdog opponent after scoring a touchdown. Give dignity and act dignified and you’ll be treated with dignity in return.

          Your post is the same PC blather that you turn around and criticize in your next post.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        “Typical America. Always worried about the wrong thing.”

        LOL I swear you can’t script it up any better with Jonesie here. Would you also prefer that those damn kids stay off your lawn too?

        “If dignity was KT’s concern then he probably shouldn’t be making throat slashing gestures towards his out-manned and underdog opponent after scoring a touchdown.”

        1) he didn’t gesture towards the opponent at all, he did it towards the crowd
        2) if you were a real Gator fan (let’s be honest here, who are we kidding) you’d know he was mimicking his own father’s routine touchdown celebration before football became ALL DAMN PC (YEAH ‘MERIKA!!) and outlawed a harmless gesture.

        Let’s just be honest, Coach Mac only did to Kelvin on the sidelines what you WISH you could do to kids like Kelvin every time you encounter them in real life and feel a bit of fear as you pass by them.

    • Buster says:

      I hope we have become “that PC” because behavior like that is unacceptable.

      It’s really shame that some people think it’s ok.

      I would love those commenting that it is ok to ask themselves how they would feel if their teacher or boss did that to them in front of their peers and in a public setting. Coach Mac is the one that hopefully has learned something less so Kelvin.

      • 1974Gator says:

        LOL. It’s football and big boys play it.

        • Buster says:

          I stand by my comments and would love to see how your would feel about it if that was you or your child.

          What you don’t get it that punishments like this don’t even work well. They are more likely to alienate a kid and make a kid act out. Now sitting his ass on the bench is a punishment that would have gotten through to him.

          • Michael Jones says:

            It’s over-coddling parenting like what you are proposing that has the youth of America acting like entitled ass—-s. To KT”s credit, he took it like a man. Too bad the same can’t be said of you over-coddlers. We need way less of you, and way more of Mac.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        I haven’t seen anyone thinking the penalty was silly. They are saying the amount of coverage over a coach chewing out a player for being selfish and hurting his team doing something completely unnecessary is what is silly

        • Ken (CA) says:

          I should clarify that and say I didn’t interpret his post that way. I thought he meant that committing the penalty was silly, if he meant flagging the penalty itself was silly, then I absolutely agree with you.

      • SaraGator says:

        If you want to look at it at a work atmosphere – the throat slashing gesture might be considered a threat to a wrong person and would automatically be terminated.

  2. Rich says:

    Penalty was not silly. You can NOT throat slash. Coach Mac went off the deep end but he’s trying to change the image and I know it’s frustrating for him.

  3. G8Rfan79 says:

    Coach Mac definitely went off on Kelvin, and I felt badly for KT.

    It’s not that it’s PC; it just that the NFL and the NCAA don’t want to remind the public of OJ Simpson, who slashed the throats of two people. That’s why officials penalize it so harshly.

    • 1974Gator says:

      It’s an unsportsmanlike gesture and gets 15 yards EVERYTIME a ref sees it. People who do it are punks. I’m not ready to call KT a punk yet. 12 penalties for 105 yds. KT, Ivey and McCallister accounted for 45 of the yds. Let’s see how he and the rest of the team respond to their coaches admonitions going forward.

    • poboy says:

      OJ was found not guilty…but carry on!!

  4. 1974Gator says:

    Fred Taylor “the enabler”. Just the kind of parenting and sound bites we need from the player’s families. As Fred says, obviously Kevin had a justified reason (not being the featured running back at that juncture) for his behavior. Let’s examine the reality of the situation – KT was coached not to do anything stupid; that he should remember he is part of a team and that 10 other guys helped him score NOT him alone; and that he was also told that after scores the refs will watch him for unsportsmanlike behavior, and yet, he did it anyway. Better he get his butt publicly chewed out by the coach and play the next series than getting benched and demoted to the #4 running back. Which is what I would have done to him, Ivey and even McCallister. The selfish, thoughtless, and retaliatory crap needs to end!

    • 1974Gator says:

      Just saw the new depth chart. I hope KT keeps his head up and perseveres. A trial like this will only make him stronger if he lets them.

  5. Iamtheeggman says:

    There’s no excuse for what McElwain did. Sure Taylor did something wrong, but that’s not an excuse for a grown man to lose control. What we witnessed was not a teaching moment. It was also not about Kelvin Taylor. It was Jim McElwain being selfish. It was McElwain showing his ass and abusing his position of power. I hope Foley has made it crystal clear that losing your mind on the sideline is not acceptable and should never be seen again. Think about it. Who as acting like the adult and who was acting like a petulant child that was having a temper tantrum because he didn’t get his way? Those of you that condone this type of behavior and think McElwain was just trying to teach a lesson are completely wrong. We witnessed a grown man , who’s a control freak like most coaches, completely forget anything about teaching and was only thinking of himself. How dare someone do something I told them not to do? I’ll give him a one-time pass this time, but if this is how he acts, when facing adversity, as something we can expect to see, he needs to be gone before the year is over. There is no excuse for acting like a teenager, and that’s what McElwain did.

  6. Sharon Milner says:

    The coach needs to learn to control his anger if that is what he demands of his players.

    Why not get a visor and throw it.

  7. SW Fl Joe says:

    Act like you have been there before or you might not be allowed there again

  8. Mike The Red says:

    Actually, I did say that the penalty was silly. These unsportsmanlike penalties for doing practically anything in the end zone after a TD are becoming absurd. (… a player was smiling, pumping his fist, and unsnapped his chin strap…. That clearly was taunting the other team…. Throw a flag….)

    Having said that, KT knew the rules and expectations. He made an unforced error that put the Gators in a bad situation. Coach Mac was right to get on his case.

    There is nothing wrong with making a public example of someone who did something which hurt the team. Is anyone really saying that his feelings and pride are more important than the success of the team?

  9. Mike The Red says:

    The irony is that KT seems like an upstanding young man who just made a dumb mistake in an emotional moment.

    • Michael Jones says:

      He is a good kid who just made a mistake. There are consequences for good kids who make mistakes just like there are for bad kids who make mistakes. This whole thing is being blown out of perspective. Coach Mac is trying to set a much-needed tone to put an end to the stupid penalties that have been killing our football program for years. You bleeding hearts need to look at the big picture and how this is for the good of the team and then go watch a ballet or something to calm your nerves.

      KT and Coach Mac have moved on and will both have great careers at Florida. The rest of the team is now on notice for those ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and the consequences they will face if they commit one.

      Go Gators!! Go Coach Mac!!

      • Mike The Red says:

        Did you just call me a bleeding heart? That is funny. Did you actually read any of my posts?

        • Michael Jones says:

          No. I was not referring to you as a being one of the bleeding hearts. I was actually agreeing with your post. Sorry that didn’t come through. And, yes, I read it.

  10. Alex says:

    This country is so soft. Taylor is a 21 year old man; he fucked up,royally and rightfully deserved to get his ass chewed out.

    Get the fuck over it.

  11. SaraGator says:

    All the comments are funny. KT made a stupid gesture. Coach Mac blew up. They hugged at the end. It’s a sign that they are a family. It’s what families do.

    They have moved on. It’s time for us to do the same.

  12. Ken (CA) says:

    I don’t think me of you get it, even several who I tend to agree with most of the time. Let me see if I can explain it another way.

    For a number of years there was an ongoing and growing problem of taunting, berating, and generally huge disrespect in CFB. This was leading to more and more on-field confrontations, fights, pushing, words, etc., leading to actual dangerous situations for players, coaches, and refs.

    The NCAA responded with tightening the rules on unsportsmanlike conduct, trying cut down on confrontations, whether due to frustration or exulting in dominance. THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. I am against PC myself for many other reasons, but this is trying to protect the various players, coaches, and refs involved in the game and trying to keep a controlled atmosphere where they can be intense and competitive without events leading to a large brawl or riot.

    This was absolutely not a silly penalty but rather a provocative event that was a taunting event against the other team. This could lead to retaliation. The penalties are to try and prevent escalation of potentially dangerous situations. Stop the taunting before it escalates.

    This allows the emotions to cool down, the game to proceed and de-escalates potential issues.

    This isn’t about being politically correct or slapping down a team for being emotionally into the game, it is about keeping control of the emotions and allowing the competition to proceed with the refs keeping control and having a mechanism to do that.

    The penalty was not silly at all, was 100% deserved, and I hope KT has learned from it has he seems to have.