Florida Gators men’s, women’s basketball both surprising, surging at just the right time

Don’t look now, but Florida Gators men’s basketball might be on the cusp of turning things around after a very difficult final year under Billy Donovan. Oh, and the Florida women’s basketball team? It’s in the process of what could potentially be the best season in program history.

Before the 2015-16 season began, new Gators coach Mike White was careful not to predict much success for his team, especially considering he’d only spent so much time with his players during offseason practices.

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Gators topple Lady Vols, winning (a big) one for absent coach Amanda Butler

Thursday night in Knoxville, Tennessee, was what athletic director Jeremy Foley and head coach Amanda Butler hope is the culmination of a strong belief the former had that the latter could turn around the Florida Gators women’s basketball program despite not showing much proof that such a change in fortunes was on the horizon.

It was unfortunate that neither was there to see it.

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Jim McElwain discusses Florida Gators being a work in progress, Will Grier’s transfer decision

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain is rarely specific when he speaks with the media. While he may offer some praise here and there, criticisms are generally kept under wraps and those attempting to discern what he means are often forced to read between the lines of what he actually says.

So on Tuesday, when McElwain spoke ahead of the 2016 Citrus Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines, there was plenty to ask the coach but only so many answers that came back. However, if one looks closely enough, McElwain’s opinions are not that tough to discern.

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Florida Gators AD Jeremy Foley, coach Jim McElwain comment on Steve Spurrier

Former Florida Gators national championship-winning coach and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier resigned from his post at South Carolina and retired from the sport of college football on Tuesday.

As a response to Spurrier’s departure, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and current Gators head coach Jim McElwain released statements praising Spurrier and honoring his accomplishments.

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A conversation with the Florida Gators’ executive associate AD: Changes to football and basketball

On the heels of one of the biggest transitional offseasons in program history, Florida Gators executive associate athletic director Mike Hill sat down with OnlyGators.com for 45 minutes to discuss chances to the football and basketball programs, the inner workings of the University Athletic Association and whether athletic director Jeremy Foley really is that resistant to special uniforms for the football team.

Hill, who has just begun his 23rd season at Florida, is also largely responsible for the Gators’ basketball scheduling, which has been turned upside down due to changes in renovation plans for the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

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Snell’s Slant: Gators trending upward, look out for Martez Ivey and Antonio Riles

By Shannon Snell – OnlyGators.com Featured Columnist

Eight months. It’s been eight long months since Ohio State hoisted the first College Football Playoff trophy, becoming the first team to go through multiple opponents to win the title. But put aside Urban Meyer’s success outside Gainesville, both last year and in his dominant win over Virginia Tech.

Now, on the heels of Florida’s big Week 1 win over New Mexico State (big in point total, not prominence), this should be a time when Gators fans rejoice. You may think I’m crazy for suggesting that or even roll your eyes and laugh at the assumption that Florida can be something better than mediocre this year, especially after being beat down as one of the worst teams in college football as of late.

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4 BITS: Florida Gators to honor Ray Graves with helmet decal, Bill Carr as Mr. Two Bits

1 » The Florida Gators announced Tuesday that Ray Graves, a former head football coach and athletic director at the school who passed away in April at the age of 96, will be honored with a decal on the team’s helmets this season. The decal reads “RG: The Bull Gator,” referring to Graves’s nickname while he was coach of the Gators from 1960-69; he led Florida to a 70-3-4 (38-19-3 SEC) record with a 4-1 mark in bowl games and four top-20 national finishes. UF was Graves’s only head coaching job. He led Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier and a future NFL Defensive Player of the Year, defensive end Jack Youngblood, while with the Gators. Graves was also Florida’s coach during the invention of Gatorade, and he remained UF’s athletic director until 1979 after serving in the role for 19 years.

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Legendary NFL coach, historic Florida Gators athletic director Bill Arnsparger dies at 88

Former Florida Gators athletic director Bill Arnsparger, a figure who made one of the most important decisions in school history, passed away Friday in Athens, Alabama, at the age of 88.

Following a storied coaching career, Arnsparger was named Florida’s athletic director in 1986; he was tasked with cleaning up the Gators athletic program following numerous NCAA sanctions for rules violations.

As such, he hired two new coaches for the school’s primary athletic programs, bringing on former Florida Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier in 1990 to coach the football team and Lon Kurger for basketball in 1991. Spurrier, of course, turned the Gators’ football team into perennial winners and national champions in 1996. Kruger led Florida basketball to its first Final Four (1994).

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