Updated at 2:30 p.m.
The Florida Gators on Saturday will introduce new head coach Jim McElwain during a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. in Gainesville, Florida. McElwain’s presser will be bookended by other media opportunities, which will be covered here on OnlyGators.com.
Below are opening statements from president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley as well as McElwain’s live hits on ESPN‘s SportsCenter and SEC Network‘s SEC Nation program.
INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE
President Bernie Machen: “We open the next chapter in Gator football. This is an important event for the whole university because intercollegiate athletics at the University of Florida is central to and integral to the activities of our university. It has great support from our students and from our faculty and staff as well as our alumni. So, this is a big deal, and we look at it as an opportunity to reaffirm the values of the whole university. We found a coach who we believe is exactly the right person to lead us into the next era of Gator football.”
Athletic director Jeremy Foley: “Sorry I wasn’t available earlier in the week. If you didn’t know, I was in Fort Collins for a couple of days. I didn’t know if you knew that. Obviously a very proud and happy day for this university, this athletic program. To introduce Jim McElwain as our new head football coach is special to all of us. The process started a little less than three weeks ago, seems like a little longer than that. We spent a lot of hours vetting and researching a lot of different coaches. At the end of the day, Jim’s name kept coming to the top of the list.
“He has all the qualities I discussed with you at our press conference three weeks ago. Offensive-minded coach, his track record on the offensive side of the ball is special. You guys can look it up, you can see the records. Most importantly, individual with high character, high integrity. We talked about that. He’ll do the right thing every day. That’s who he is as a person. Head coaching experience, the job he’s done at Colorado State is nothing short of a miracle. We looked at where they were before he got there and where they are today. To me, that says a lot. And he’s a fit for the University of Florida. I talked about that.
“We talked to a lot of people about Jim. What type of person is he? What type of person will he be inside the building? And the amount of people who kept saying the exact same things about him – talking about how special he was, how good a guy he was – he kept rising to the top. Add to the fact that he’s been in this league, he knows what it’s like to compete in the Southeastern Conference obviously won two national championships in this league. He’s recruited the state of Florida. Every single box kept getting checked next to Jim’s name. Obviously, we were blessed to go out there earlier this week, spend time with him and Karen. It certainly became very, very apparent this was the individual, as Bernie said, to take us into the next phase of our football program. He’s a winner and we’re excited to have him as a Gator, excited to have his family as Gators. And I promise you, we’re going to have a lot of fun together.”
SEC NATION APPEARANCE