Dooley: McElwain Era began to unravel early on

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UF coach Jim McElwain expressed remorse for the firestorm he caused and all those it affected. [The Associated Press]

To track where it all went wrong for Jim McElwain at Florida, you have to go back to the beginning, to his first few days as the Gator coach when he got a look around at his new surroundings.

To say he was less than pleased would be an understatement. And because it had been his style to be direct in getting what he wanted, it didn’t always sit well with all University Athletic Association employees when he was.

McElwain groused privately that he wouldn’t have taken the job or would have at least had a better contract if he knew how poor the facilities and infrastructure were. He closed ranks and went to work trying to fix what he saw as a huge mess.

One of his early edicts — and an example of his vision that no outsiders would be allowed — was to kick the media out of the team meeting room where all news conferences were held since the days of Steve Spurrier.

Even before his first season, there was a feeling among the people he worked with that it was hard to get a grip on where McElwain was coming from. There was an almost-Nick Saban arrogance about him (hidden behind a pseudo-affable front) without the track record to back it up.

That included an awkward first meeting with all of the Gator head coaches where his efforts to be glib and folksy came off as insulting and condescending. To some, it felt like Team Florida was now only a shallow motto.

Whether he didn’t get Florida or Florida didn’t get him depended on your perspective.

But then came that first season when McElwain’s Gators started winning despite having a patchwork offensive line and a redshirt freshman quarterback thanks to the same killer defense that had been the trademark of the previous regime.

If you want to find the high point of the Jim McElwain Era at Florida, it was that perfect October night in 2015 when the Gators throttled third-ranked Ole Miss 38-10.

A week later they handled Missouri on the road and found themselves ranked — when the AP poll came out on Sunday — in the top 10. They also found something else that Sunday — that quarterback Will Grier had tested positive for a banned substance and would be suspended for the rest of the season and the first half of the next one.

McElwain was stunned by the news.

“You have 30-something guys who take the test and for some reason they always test the quarterback,” he said. “And he’s the one guy you don’t worry about.”

This, looking back, was the turning point in McElwain’s Gator career. His 2015 team was able to punch out just enough close wins to take the SEC East, but lost its final three games. The Gators won the East the next year, but again were humiliated by Florida State and Alabama at the end of the season.

There was the record before the suspension of Grier — 6-0 — and after the suspension — 16-12. The losses always felt worse than the wins felt good.

But there was much more.

If you were to highlight the many comments that raised the eyebrows of his bosses, you would certainly start with the Outback Bowl postgame in 2017. Scott Stricklin, still fresh on the job as athletic director, and the collection of media in Tampa heard the coach say this after beating Iowa 30-3:

“We’ll look for the commitment that we get from the administration moving forward, see where that’s at.”

This was after Stricklin had met with McElwain and told him of the plans for a contract extension, his vision for the new football operations building and other financial commitments.

It didn’t get any better a month later when McElwain was feeling his oats on National Signing Day and responded to a question about fans being upset when it looked like UF’s class was in trouble.

“Every coach who has been here before me is aware of it. Might have driven a couple of them out of here.”

That was a direct shot at a fervent fan base. So was this response to a similar question — “We don’t know what we’re doing.”

That kind of condescending attitude didn’t win McElwain many friends outside of the football offices.

This summer, there was an uneasy tension in the stadium that houses the football and UAA offices. No matter how many times McElwain was told “yes”, it never seemed to be appreciated.

And, strangely, the more he received, the less he felt appreciated.

Still, there were high hopes for the 2017 football season. McElwain talked about knocking the door down in Atlanta even though the Gators were not picked to win their division.

In a meeting with several members of the national college football media in a private room at the Wynfrey Hotel at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., McElwain said something again that caught the attention of the administration.

Most of the interview was positive as he talked about how so many people in the football offices now shared his vision. But he couldn’t let the day go without another shot at the fans.

“Maybe, some day, people might think we’re OK.”

And then, another shot fired across the administration’s bow.

“We finally opened our eyes to the fact that nobody invested less money than Florida in the SEC since 2005.”

True or not, Florida had won two national titles during that time and has just invested millions in academics and facilities for athletes with more to come. It felt like a body blow and certainly didn’t feel like everyone was in this Team Florida thing together.

Then, bad things started to happen that crippled the football team.

On July 11, strong safety Marcell Harris was one of Florida’s reps at SEC Media Days. Eight days later, his season was over after a torn Achilles injury.

Less than a month later, seven players were suspended from the team because of credit card fraud. Two weeks later, two more were caught in the trap.

While nobody expects coaches to know every move a player makes, these were still McElwain recruits giving Florida a bad name and sending national media members into a frenzy about the Florida culture.

Then came Michigan. McElwain had bragged about his offensive line all summer and it was handled like it was runny oatmeal in the game. The disconnection between the Gator fan base and its coach reached Defcon 3.

After a game lost to a hurricane and some odd news conferences by McElwain where he seemed almost beaten down by all of the bad news, Florida rallied.

After the amazing win over Tennessee, Florida won from behind at Kentucky. In the locker room after the game — a place where McElwain was never shy about being bawdy and crude with his players — he told his team this:

“Remember at the end of the day, it’s still bleeping Kentucky.”

In the corner of the room, Stricklin’s eyes went down to his phone to pretend to be reading something, according to someone in the room. What the heck was that?

When the unsustainable penchant for winning close ones went the other way, Florida’s season was at a crossroads.

That’s when McElwain made the fateful slip that was the light to the pile of kindling he already had tossed into the fire pit.

He talked of death threats, tried to blow it off, walked it back eventually, but it was the perfect out for UF. He had either conjured up the death threats or violated policy.

Either way, it sped up an already rolling snowball.

The 42-7 loss to Georgia just made it easier on the fan base. No matter what happened in that game, the problem wasn’t going to change.

For a lot of Florida fans, it felt like something that had almost come out of nowhere.

In reality, it had been brewing for a long time.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

81 COMMENTS

  1. Out of state ’87 Gator here: I keep reading this sentiment, “how poor the facilities and infrastructure were [at Florida]”. The swamp looks great on TV and whenever ESPN Gameday is in Gainesville the whole football complex looks amazing. What’s up with this talk? How is Florida in this situation? What are we lacking that make our facilities bottom of the conference?

    • The stadium looks great on TV, but in person internally where all the concession stands and stuff are it was an old beat up mess. They’ve done quite a few upgrades to that since Mac took over. They had no indoor practice facility, which the majority of the top programs in the nation did, and being in Florida where it rains every other day during football season, that’s not a good thing as far as practice is concerned. Mac pushed that ahead and got that done. The student athlete housing at the Keys Residential Complex were ridiculously old and in major need of improvements. They had no student/athlete center till 2016 when they opened the state of the art Otis Hawkins Center. Everything was stuck in the 80s and never really updated other than adding more seats to the stadium. There was nothing that was enticing as far as the facilities were concerned for recruits when every other top program in the country had brad new state of the art stuff. Thats one great thing Mac did in improving all those things pretty quickly that will help with recruiting. Whether he did it with the right tone is a matter of opinion, but he got it done and that’s what matters.

  2. Mac just didn’t fit here. He was a Gator in name only, and the reason he was hired he totally forgot about. He was the offensive genius who was supposed to start cranking out 40+ point wins and he never even got started on that goal. In fact, he never showed in 2.5 seasons that he knew a thing about actually coaching football. He wasn’t hired to upgrade facilities that’s the AD’s job. He got enough close wins and luck from Tennessee’s late collapse last year to win the East twice, but we were still a 2nd-tier team and if showed against the big boys with the whole country watching. He didn’t seem to mind blowout losses to fsu or bama still had that dopey grin talking about great stadium and selling popcorn. Did not feel the pain that Gators felt. Just not a fit, not a good coach and now we have a chance to get the jump on a genuine good coach (hopefully great) and climb out of this hole that the chimp dug and Mac made a lot deeper.

    • His freaking QB that started the season never finished it one season he was here. Ask FSU what losing your QB can do. Add 500 injuries and suspensions to starters on top of it and what do you expect? Better hope that kind of bad luck doesn’t affect the new coach or you’ll be saying the same thing in 3 years when looking for a new one. This program was so deep in a hole when he took over that it had to be built from the ground up, which takes time and clearly he wasn’t given it. Yes it may be the AD’s responsibility to upgrade facilities, but after 24 years of Foley being in charge and no signs of anyone planning upgrades, someone had to step up and push it forward. With crappy facilities you’re not going to attract top recruits from Bama or OSU who all have new state of the art stuff. Upgrading the facilities was basically pouring the concrete for the foundation, you know like starting from the ground up? The best recruiting class the Gators would’ve seen in a long time was lined up with the current #1 class in 18, so obviously those foundations he laid were building the program back up and now it’s in shambles again before he finally had a chance to show what he could do with a little depth and what looks like the one player at the most important position that he’s so desperately been trying to find and keep on the field. Of course he was grumpy and lashing out at the fans, what would you do if 90,000 people were bashing you every second of the day? Gator fans better change their attitudes quickly with the next coach or you’ll drive him to craziness too.

      • 90,000 people weren’t bashing him, there’s crazy outspoken fans in every big schools fan base. He and his family seemed to read twitter and instagram all the time where those people roam, which, imo, is not something you should ever do as a head coach of a D1 football team. There were plenty of people who supported him here and wanted him to succeed. McElwain showed that he has very thin skin and it looked like he wanted out. After the embarrassing loss to Georgia he and his wife walked off the field laughing and cracking jokes. I wish him the best in the future but it wasn’t a good fit here. He may be more suited for that Oregon State job where football isn’t so serious, but guess what, there will be angry fans out there too if the team doesn’t win.

        • Oregon State might be a good fit for Mac. He’s from the Northwest, and Oregon State fans never expect to win anyway. Although they do like to beat Oregon every decade or so.

        • Mac’s mistake was Nussbum. NUSS has to be the worst offensive coordinator, including Charlie Weis, in all of college football. Mac should have fired Nuss after the Michigan loss but at the very least, after the A&M loss. Even if all of of comments that Dooley suggest that Mac made are accurate, what kind of “snow flakes” are this athletic director and department trying to be? Nussbum is incompetent, Shannon has no clue about offense, and the players would be better off coaching themselves.

      • Is that you, Mac? Mac’s wife?
        Our 2018 class is ranked 7th on Scout, 8th on ESPN and 9th on Rivals. Good class, but nowhere near #1. FSU’s defense can’t stop anyone and their O-line is worse than ours. Theyr’e not 2-5 because they lost their QB, they’re 2-5 because they weren’t great to begin with and have thrown in the towel. Mac may have had to build an offense from the ground up, but he inherited a great defense, which has slipped on his watch. How long were we supposed to give him to build an offense? At least show signs of improvement? Take off your homer loafers, the guy sucked as a HBC.

      • Mac doesn’t have the mental character to be a head coach! He’s pompous because he’s insecure! He needs to be an OC in the Mountain West Conference!

  3. What an arrogant SOB, and a phony. He couldn’t keep his mouth shut when he needed to, and he couldn’t articulate a meaningful thought in a complete sentence. When he did run his mouth, he managed to insult and antagonize the people who signed his checks and filled his stadium. Baffling that he was unaware of the state of UF facilities, and speaks volumes that real coaches managed to win championships here and put great teams on the field without the upgrades he so scathingly demanded. This guy is a closet Lane Kiffin without the on-field offense results, and with more than his share of off-field offensive behavior. Good riddance. Now if we can just get his photos off this website, and put him FAR in the rear-view mirror. While we’re at it, let’s send him some invoices for all the free promotional coverage he got for his stupid BBQ sauce – in itself a telling reflection of what he was all about – himself.

  4. Wow – you guys. GINO? Really? Ha ha. His stupid BBQ Sauce? Never realized. He made some really poor judgment calls and didn’t handle the pressure well, is my sense. He’s been fired – and after this may find it difficult to land a Div-I head coaching job – or any job possibly. He’s definitely not the calibre of a head coach that we want – but my big question is: Why didn’t we know this before? Who did the due diligence on him? Anyway, sounds like UF needs a bit of an early Frost this winter – dont you think? But before that – please do the proper due diligence. Values-based stuff included.

  5. Mac’s offenses were dreadful, and, as the AD said, boring. And he couldn’t beat Ala or FSU. I think if his close losses were 40-35 not 14-10 and he had split with FSU he’d still be here. I’m not sure where UF stands in the SEC in terms of football facilities. His posing as a folksy guy made him seem a little two-faced.

    • Mac seemed really stubborn, a la Muschump, when it came to making any changes regarding Franks or Nuss. And he was awful when it came to making any gametime adjustments. If something didn’t work in the first half, he’d just keep doing it the rest of the way. Florida and the SEC was just not the stage for him.

    • Where have you been Mr. Dooley. It’s like you got the secret dog/journalist whistle from the UAA to start writing negative articles just a few days before Mac was fired. I guess it ‘s not okay to start writing negative stuff prior to receiving university permission. Gotta keep the press box snacks coming.

      • Yep…a little weird how we jumped to the other side when the ax was coming down Pat. Have followed you for years but this situation has seemed a little wishy-washy on your support of Mac. Think it was just a couple of weeks ago that you were saying “he’s not going anywhere”, chastising the fans for being ridiculous. No one wanted to start over with a new coach, fans just wanted to see the team was moving in a positive direction.

  6. And yet – before the season he questioned why the fans and media had no faith in what might be the Florida offense going forward after two miserable years of offense his first two years. At least he had the fun and pleasure of watching Dalvin Cook run wild against us. And don’t forget about the domestic animals capable of excelling at quarterback in the MAC offense.

  7. Mac never really walked back his comments about death threats, he merely said he should not have aired our dirty laundry – thus still implying they were still made, even though he could not substantiate them- I felt as soon as this went down this was a calculated move on his part to get out of UF- the fact that he agreed to a mutual separation says my thoughts were dead on

    • I don’t think it is all out of the realm of possibility that some fans offered up threats. It is the world we live in. I do believe Mac did receive them however he should have followed protocol.

      • I don’t believe he received death threats, David. He also reported his family and players and their family had received death threats. In the absence of police reports and proof, I called BS.

        • Absolutely B.S.. In hind sight it was an ignorant swipe at gator fans that he was too stupid to realize would get him fired for cause and cost him millions in buyout. They shouldnt have paid him a dime. He hurt the university, hurt recruiting and if he had stayed actually hurt his teams future with these (unable to substantiate) claims. If real they should have been reported to the police and the University and no one else. Who wants to send their child to a school where they may be killed by an irate fan. Absolutely false claims!

      • think he exaggerated…..who in the world would not seek to protect the kids that are in his charge? If it was true, any normal person would have reported it to the administration. We live in a crazy world and these things should not be taken lightly. If not a liar, at least irresponsible!!!!

  8. It’s not only the quality of the coach but also the quality of the man that needs to count in choosing a coach, called — not hired — to be a leader of men, especially young men. Mac’s heretofore unreported crudity with his players set a permissive standard that likely invited the lunacy of credit card theft and poor discipline. See Dennis Dodd’s piece this week on Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, including Campbell’s video post-game locker room speech after the Cyclones’ upset of TCU. Pay attention to Campbell’s “Cyclones Code of Ethics”. His character pours out in his coaching and the results include unexpected success. Unfortunately for us, Mac’s character poured out through his team, too. Followers reflect their leaders’ values, ethics or lack thereof. Mac’s self-centered fake-it-till-you-make-it persona yielded its predictable fruit. I wish, Pat, you and others had told us more sooner. But now all of us can be grateful the McElwain sideshow has folded its tent and moves elsewhere.

    • It’s great to be a “players coach”, but not great to portray yourself as “just one of the guys” when you need your team to be disciplined on or off the field. It’s like parenting….you can’t be their buddy and their parent at the same time.

  9. Mike Bianchi said it so well in his column in the Orlando Sentinel this past week when he wrote that, “Jim McElwain had all the arrogance of Nick Saban but the record of Lou Saban”.

    • And yet, knowing all of these details and this information “as it happened,” not one single member of media that cover the Gators valued the success of the football program more than their UF media passes to expose McElwain for what he really was – a complete fraud. I have watched every single press conference, and not until the writing was clearly on the wall (after the UGA loss) did the media start pressing McElwain with the “hard” questions.

  10. Pat I agree that Mac’s personality in large part is due to his personality. He went about fixing the problems at UF all wrong. I feel you are guilty of the same pettiness that he exhibited. The man is gone and done it was hard enough to go through the regime without having to relive it everyday. We look at Foley with great reverence and give him a job. When he was 1 for 4 when hiring head coaches for the flagship sport. He was responsible for the facilities being subpar through a lack of vision, but I don’t want to read about his failings everyday.
    It’s easy to write negative articles about Mac or anyone for that matter if you chose to do so. I know media says it’s relevant well if it is I expect a article about Foley who was the ultimate leader of our football program the last 9 years while leading us down the road to our demise.
    Three things seem important to me about our football program. One who is going to be coach, the team and can we keep the recruiting class together. I hear a lot about coaches buyouts may factor in to our selection. I also hear that we are going to get the best man for the job. Those two items seem to possibly contradict each other. It seems like we will get the best coach available only under certain conditions. That is another path of destruction and it is playing out in real time. What about an article on that topic.

  11. Pat, don’t forget the comment after the LSU game:

    “And I just can’t tell you how proud I am of our players, our staff and happy for the Gator fans, you know, that, you know, don’t think we’re very good, but all we do is end up back in Atlanta, right? So that’s pretty cool.”

    It’s telling that his first thought after a huge win (that truly did make many Gator fans happy) was to take a shot at those fans who didn’t believe.

    Personally, it took a lot of the fun out of the win and showed me that Mac was a very petty person. That was the moment I really started to dislike him after being a supporter up to that point.

  12. Great article Pat. Really explains why something like this could unravel so quickly. In the end I think Mac simply outplayed his hand. He thought he had much more built up equity than he did. Yes, I do believe, deep down inside he wanted out, but the way this all unfolded had to be a punch in the gut and something that I’m sure will serve to humble him moving forward.
    As far as Stricklin goes. Kudos to him. Takes some major stones to make such bold move like that in your first year. Very impressive.

  13. Sadly, my wife and I liked the guy for his homey manner. I had no idea this was not his real persona. I never felt offended, but then I didn’t listen carefully. I don’t get the facilities beef. I thought Florida was in good shape. Look what Steve and Urban accomplished with less. What Florida needs is a coach just LIKE Steve. Offensive genius but hair trigger on discipline. He would bench a quarterback just for questioning the head ball coach. Further, am I wrong, I rarely read about Alabama players taking banned substances or, en masse, engaging in credit card fraud. Even Urban, for his faults, had Tim Tebow to help keep unruly players in line (e.g. Percy Harvin’s “headaches”). And as bad as Aaron Hernandez turned out, that apparently was not known while he was in Gainesville. At least I hope not. We need Spurrier-like coaching and Zook-like recruiting with a little Muschamp in the mix. Who does that match?

    • “apparently not known while he was in Gainesville…” about Hernandez? Really?

      It’s undisputed that he broke a bouncer’s eardrum in a bar fight before he ever played a game, and it’s possible that he shot a guy in a car after a run-in at downtown bar with the thug-a$$ Pouncey brothers and Reggie Nelson.

      Urban didn’t want to know squat about either incident.

  14. And yet, knowing all of these details and this information “as it happened,” not one single member of media that cover the Gators valued the success of the football program more than their UF media passes to expose McElwain for what he really was – a complete fraud. I have watched every single press conference, and not until the writing was clearly on the wall (after the UGA loss) did the media start pressing McElwain with the “hard” questions.

    • Yes, the media silence has been “deafening” during the awful first half of this 2017 football season. Journalism is dead.

  15. I am amazed at your analysis. It looks so obvious now. I know I missed it completely even while feeling uneasy for two seasons. This is why I turn to you and Robbie Andreu for Gator news. You two are the best. Thanks for what you do.

  16. Pat, nice summary of McElwain’s tenure but is there some reason why you neglected to write about most of the red flags over the past three years?

    To those of us that pay close attention and heard his bizarre public remarks about the administration, facilities, fans etc. and suffered through the product he put on the field, we knew his days were numbered. Of course now we’re getting even more dirt about what was going on behind the scenes. McElwain gave Stricklin the ammunition for the firing squad.

    Please Mr. Stricklin, hire a polished coach befitting a world class university and fan base like UF and I guaranty the fan base will instantly get behind him. Please review a few of his old interviews and press conferences to ensure he possesses the ability to speak in complete sentences.

    Go Gators!!

  17. There is a very large number of Gator fans who saw this coming at the beginning of last year. You’ve got to remember, we sat through four years of this same movie prior to McElwain getting here. Many, many fans were off the Mac train early in his second season. And his nonsensical press conferences, arrogant for no reason attitude and freakin’ BBQ sauce only reinforced what we all thought.

    Why is it that the Sun never seems to give the real behind the scenes stories until after the fact? And even then the stories are sanitized. I’ve got to imagine that the home town reporters with supposed decades of contacts and access might have a little more insight to provide its readers than that the offense sucks and the defense kept us in games. Where are the investigative type of stories that tell the readers things other than what they can see with their own eyes? How about consistently writing some articles that actually have some real meat to them? Even if they don’t necessarily paint us in the best light. For instance, I’d really like to know why, after all that has since transpired, no one from the Sun has ever even tried to get to the bottom of the story in which, “some big “Hawaiian” guy with Reggie Nelson walked up to a car in Gainesville and shot some people. Because that “Hawaiian guy” and his MO sound pretty freakin’ familiar.

  18. Perhaps the worst thing about Mac is that he not only failed to appreciate what was given to him here, but he made sure to try to hurt us on the way out. He wanted out. It was clear to me for some time. I even heard he tried to resign a month ago. His death threats BS may have been retaliation , or just the acts of a spoiled kid who didn’t get his way. But those words hurt the school and its fans. It was shot at us, and below the belt. This is exactly why I could give a damn about preserving a recruiting class at the expense of rushing to find the next coach. The last hire was hurried and panicked. We need to be thoughtful this time and not get another wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  19. Thanks Captain Obvious. After the second year most diehard gator fans could easily see the man who was supposed to fix the offense was a dud. His offense especially after WG left was ugly, no fun, it was like watching paint dry or grass grow. Yes he won back to back sec east titles but few sports writers like you Pat mentioned how weak the east was and how Mac profited from WM D recruits. Truth was it was the D that stepped up in spite of the putrid O. Yet, Mac liked to take credit. Then comes year 3 with quoted bravado and what do we get samo samo. Again, most avid gator fans knew he was not the guy. Yet we were berated as negative nellies or worse, spoiled fans, and stupid. Pat, you said time and time again, “he’s not going to be fired so get over yourselves”. I’ve yet to hear you say “I was wrong”. Not that it really matters. I still haven’t heard you write about why you and the rest of the so called sport writers give Mac a pass week after week. Do you stay up at night thinking of soft ball questions? The only question I think you didn’t ask was what breakfast cereal Mac prefers. One can only conclude that either Mac or somebody has told you guys no tough questions otherwise you PBJ rights will be taken away. Bottom line, we didn’t need to know the behind story, what was on the field told us all we wanted to know. I agree, it’s time to move on, this dead horse has been beaten enough.

    • @ John – Three things:
      1: YOU didn’t need to know the behind story, however I was actually interested in that. So please speak for your OWN DAMN self. lol
      2: You know why the media always cut them slack, so they could still get access to the “presssers” and have a job. Don’t act like you don’t know the politics of the situation.
      3: I do agree with you that Pat, though he is coming out now about the details, has not yet said he is wrong. He came close on one of the last videos, but never really said, hey I was wrong.

    • The behind story is always the best story. You’re clearly not a man of intellect or a fan of the arts. You probably don’t appreciate fine cultured programming such as Keeping up with the Kardashian’s, or Real Housewives of…. or maybe you do, but always hate the reunion specials that give the insight?

  20. He was apparently both stupid and ignorant. Everyone knew about our facilities and he should have taken a tour before signing on. Everyone should know that you have to get along with your bosses and other supporters, I bet even Saban knows and does this. I supported him a lot, now I was an idiot to do so when the facts come out.

  21. Mac and Blonde the greatest con artist since Charles Ponzi. Good riddance, and GS please delete all photos of Coach McElwain from this site. Thanking you in advance

  22. What I would like to hear and read about is the buyout terms of the agreement between UF and Mac. Although others may disagree, I feel UF has enough leverage in “just cause” because of the so-called death threat thing to escape real monetary harm in the buyout agreeemnt.

    Pat, it’s up to you and your fellow writers to pursue this area and let the fan base know immediately.

  23. Agree with TS. I did not love him before but his shots at the fans after the Lsu game were it for me. I spent hard earned money to sit in that hell hole of a stadium in Baton Rouge on a last minute trip and screamed my lungs out with the rest of the amazing crowd that made the trip. And we get “repaid” with his backhanded comments. And FYI-if you have thick skin because you are from Montana, telling people you have thick skin really shows you don’t have thick skin.

  24. This article only begins to scratch the surface of all the BS moves MacDeathThreats pulled while he was the coach at UF. Ultimately what did him in, was the cover-up of the C/C fraud (he wanted the entire investigation quashed and the players involved allowed to play) and the fact that Mac wanted to run the UF program the same way they do at BAMA. And that ain’t happening at UF. Good riddance to that fraud and petulant loser.

  25. Good analysis, and interesting that we’ve not heard much of this before. Why no mention of the Belks commercials. The guy is paid millions to represent UF, and he does these stupid commercials for Belks? That was enough to fire him.

    Ten members of his team for a organized crime group, and he is oblivious? Will Gear is taking OTC steroids, and he hasn’t bothered to talk with the team about what not to take?

    I vaguely recall that Zooker’s Waterloo was getting intimately engaged in an intramural meetup between his team and a fraternity squad over the statue of some animal. Is it only circumstantial that Mac’s Waterloo involves death threats? I guess the pressure was too much, and it steams out in strange places?

  26. Glad he is gone.

    Full of excuses, arrogance. You can tell it was weird from the start.

    Easily one of the most overrated Coaches out there.

  27. I think Mac was a jealous SOB of the other sports at UF, many of which have middle of the road facilities yet are perennial SEC champs and consistently rank in Top 5 and Top 10 nationally.

    So glad he is gone!

  28. Dooley, what will the UAA do with any of the left over BBQ sauce? Is it being delivered to the Dooley Dome? What was your thoughts? I prefer Sonny’s sweet sauce myself.

    This needs to be addressed. I hope to see an official review for the BBQ sauce in your next 1st and 9.

  29. Well that makes Foley 1/2 for 4 for hiring football HC. So it was Stricken who extended Mac’s contract.
    Poor decision. He did however see his mistake and cut his losses, a good sign. He needs to put a full court
    press on Scott Frost before Nebraska beats him to it!!!!

  30. Maybe, but this is a business. the AD gave the coach an extension in June, so if Mac was that bad, I don’t see the extension. we have a baseball coach that evidently didn’t graduate from charm school either, but he just won a national championship, so hopefully his personality is acceptable. he seems to be able to develop pitchers but mac wasn’t so good with quarterbacks, that’s the difference.

  31. Let’s not forget that Pompous Pat was not just ON the Mac-train, but was the conductor of it throughout the entire timeline he lays out in that article. He was right up front, tooting the horn and hanging his head out the window, singing his praises loudly for all the Gator Nation to hear right up to the end. And now, he knew it was a bad fit all along? Where was that reporting for the last 3 years? He had nothing but good things to say about this guy in every article, right up until he left. I think the question is: Is Pat too close to the program to be honest, or just two faced? A little of both I think.

  32. Coach Mac didn’t fit, Coach Mac is gone!. Why don’t we just let it go at that. Mud slinging after the fact is so below what I have come to expect from Gator nation. Maybe the man deserves most of it, but again, what is there to gain?

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