Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain counters Will Muschamp, calls roster ‘really insufficient’

Will Muschamp was humble when he departed the Florida Gators, but he did not leave without making one definitive statement about what he was leaving behind and how well the team would be positioned entering 2015.

“They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you they don’t have any players,” Muschamp warned with a smile last November.

Well, let’s just say that now over three months into his tenure with the Gators, new head coach Jim McElwain does not necessarily agree with Muschamp’s parting statement.

“You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt and right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas,” he said Friday.

McElwain was responding to a question about Florida’s offensive line, which returns just eight scholarship offensive linemen (seven healthy this spring), most of which were relatively inexperienced and had not seen much game action.

But his comments were about other parts of the roster, too, as offensive line is not the only position where depth is a major concern for the Gators. UF entered the spring with three scholarship running backs (one of whom has been moved to wide receiver) and six scholarship linebackers, neither position deep enough for McElwain to be worry-free entering the season.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain counters Will Muschamp, calls roster ‘really insufficient’

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jim McElwain, Florida Gators assistants to make 13 stops on 2015 spring speaking tour

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain is set to make eight appearances at Florida-based Gator Clubs (plus one in Atlanta) as part of the team’s annual Gator Gathering speaking schedule, with his assistants participating in four more events.

Joining him with speaking engagements are defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, associate head coach and linebackers coach Randy Shannon, offensive line coach Mike Summers and defensive line coach Chris Rumph.

The speaking tour is put on by the UF Alumni Association and Gator Boosters, Inc. in association with the University Athletic Association. Tickets are available to the public and sold to the respective events with proceeds usually going to support the club and fund scholarship opportunities for local area students.

Continue Reading » Jim McElwain, Florida Gators assistants to make 13 stops on 2015 spring speaking tour

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Readers’ Choice: Jim McElwain’s infrastructure rebuild starts with filling out Florida Gators staff

For five days from March 5-9, OnlyGators.com has handed a guest editor role over to you, the loyal reader. This is the third in five Readers’ Choice posts covering topics you want to know more about concerning the Florida Gators athletics program.

Submit your requests via e-mail, Twitter or this comment section.

Updated on March 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Among other buzz words Florida head coach Jim McElwain has thrown out when speaking about the task that lies ahead of him to rebuild the Gators football program, improving the “infrastructure” has been at the top of the list.

Most think of the term “infrastructure” as relating to physical facilities, and in that regard, Florida is already taking steps forward by spending $15 million on an indoor practice facility set to open in September, making plans to improve the locker room and training area, redesigning and increasing the space and flow of the football offices, and looking at how to improve the athletic dorms.

But to McElwain, “infrastructure” also includes the Gators’ top-to-bottom organization from assistant coaches and operations directors to quality control coaches and staff assistants.

Continue Reading » Readers’ Choice: Jim McElwain’s infrastructure rebuild starts with filling out Florida Gators staff

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Florida Gators snag top target, five-star OT Martez Ivey, on National Signing Day

The Florida Gators landed their top recruiting target on National Signing Day with five-star offensive tackle Martez Ivey (Apopka, FL) officially announcing his decision to stay in-state and play at Florida over Auburn.

A long-time Florida lean, Ivey (6-foot-6, 275 pounds) is the rated as the No. 2 overall player and No. 1 offensive tackle by the 247Sports Composite.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators snag top target, five-star OT Martez Ivey, on National Signing Day

Tags: , , ,

Florida Gators recruits and targets to watch through 2015 National Signing Day

Now *16 members strong (but likely to lose one of two four-star commitments), the Florida Gators’ 2015 recruiting class has a long way to go with very little time to make up ground. New head coach Jim McElwain has tried desperately to make up for lost time over the last few weeks by convincing recruits turned off by Florida’s recent losing history that the Gators are poised for a turnaround.

With National Signing Day set for Wednesday, Feb. 4, Florida is a contender – and was once the far and away leader for – some of the best players in the country. Whether the Gators will be able to lock up any of those prospects remains to be seen, but UF is absolutely in the hunt for at least 15 players that will be making their decisions this week.

Be sure to visit OnlyGators.com’s live coverage of National Signing Day, which will kick off Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. It will feature a live blog that will be constantly updated throughout the day and a checklist to keep track of every signed National Letter of Intent (NLI) and new commitment.

For now, OnlyGators.com breaks down which players the Gators are still waiting to hear from and when they may learn of their respective decisions. This is everything you need to know ahead of the biggest day of the offseason for Florida.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators recruits and targets to watch through 2015 National Signing Day

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Greg Nord brings experience, passion to Florida

A 34-year coaching veteran who has led offensive and special teams units at six different stops, Greg Nord has seen it all when it comes to college football. He is used to change and more than ready to take on his next challenge as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator for the Florida Gators.

“This isn’t a school that has had just one guy successful, two guys be successful. We’ve had a history here of being successful in all phases. You got three Heisman Trophies down in the trophy room that I’ve got a chance to walk past. You got three national championship trophies that I’ve walked past. You got guys all over the NFL, when they get introduced, [they say] ‘The University of Florida.’ They don’t say their high school, they’re proud, they say ‘The University of Florida.’ And that’s probably why I’m so excited about getting the chance to have a Gator on my sweater today,” he said during his introductory press conference a few weeks ago. “[The Southeastern Conference is] truly the best league in the country and [Florida is] one of the programs that’s recognized throughout the country that’s recognized as a place you want to be.”

His praise for the school and opportunity presented to him is matched only by his colleagues’ kind words. Offensive line coach Mike Summers, the lone coach retained off Will Muschamp’s final staff, was excited about having Nord on board, explaining how much he will be able to bring to the football program.

Continue Reading » Greg Nord brings experience, passion to Florida

Tags: , , ,

Florida Gators coaches confident that recruiting will come alive as dead period ends

With the dead period over, nine Florida Gators staff members hit the recruiting trail on Thursday to salvage the program’s 2015 class. Standing at just eight commitments with no four- or five-star pledges, Florida’s class has plenty of spots to fill – and the coaches have little time to get it done.

National Signing Day is set for Wednesday, Feb. 4, giving the Gators just three weeks to lock up 15-20 players. This is why it was imperative for Florida to bring on head coach Jim McElwain – and for McElwain, in turn, to get his coordinators hired – early in December so the program could get an early start on re-recruiting players.

According to McElwain, that foresight paid off.

“We’ve gotten great buzz, and yet, time will tell. Obviously the guys that we put in place have value to these recruits as they want to perfect their craft at their individual positions moving forward,” he said of his staff. “They’re good dudes, man. They’re a lot of fun to be around. They got energy and they care about kids and they care about being involved in young men’s lives, not just in football.”

Continue Reading » Florida Gators coaches confident that recruiting will come alive as dead period ends

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lone survivor Mike Summers is enthusiastic about retention, new Florida Gators staff

A 34-year coaching veteran, it takes a lot to get Mike Summers excited these days. But that is exactly the emotion he said he felt when new Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain asked him to be the lone holdover from Will Muschamp’s coaching staff.

“I’m extremely excited to be retained and be a part of Coach Mac’s staff, to move into a new era of Florida football. Certainly the opportunities, the energy, the excitement that’s around the program right now is something I can really feel. I sense it from the players. I sense it myself, my energy, there’s pep in my step as I walk around. Everyone is excited about where we are and looking forward. Certainly that involves me, and I’m very excited to be a part of this,” he said last week.

Summers was far from the longest-tenured member of Florida’s staff – in fact, he was one of three new coaches to join the program ahead of the 2014 season – but he was perhaps Muschamp’s best hire last offseason.

He pieced together an offensive line that lost three starters to graduation ahead of the season, created versatility among the players he had (including a number of injured upperclassmen) and was even forced into tough mix-and-match situations during games, tasks he seemingly took on with ease. Perhaps his most impressive work was molding fifth-year lineman Max Garcia not only into the Gators’ starting center but one who did so well playing the position for the first time in his career that he earned an invitation to the 2015 Senior Bowl.

Continue Reading » Lone survivor Mike Summers is enthusiastic about retention, new Florida Gators staff

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 1 of 6  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »