This was an odd decade, uneven and erratic in the two biggest sports around here, celebratory and euphoric in some of the others.
Heaven knows there was plenty to write about.
There were unforgettable personalities like Bridget Sloan, Brady Singer and Patric Young, and others you’d like to forget (fill in your own blanks).
There were moments where your goosebumps felt like they were going to take over your whole body and others that made you alternate between morose and throw-something-at-the-flat-screen angry.
It was dominated by football, because all decades around here are dominated by football. And recently, the decades have also been filled with national championships.
There, it did not disappoint.
So here is my latest list, the 10 top stories of a crazy decade. Feel free to disagree.
1. Revolving football coaches
This was THE story of the last 10 years. We went through the Urban Meyer drama for the second time to start the decade, then moved on to see Will Muschamp do what we never thought could be done (4-8 and losing to Georgia Southern).
Oh, it got better.
Muschamp was replaced by Jim McElwain, who didn’t play the room very well, but won two division titles and then got canned for claiming he was receiving death threats. It had nothing to do with a shark.
The lack of stability at the head coaching spot was a big reason Florida fans rode the super roller coaster for most of the 2010s. But out of this insanity came Dan Mullen and 20 wins (possible 21) in two seasons and a sense that everything is going to be all right.
2. Finally, they were champs
Kevin O’Sullivan gave Florida baseball exactly what it needed in that he was always taking his teams deep into the postseason with a chance to win it all.
Finally, it clicked.
A gutsy call by O’Sullivan in the finals to use up his pitching with a possible game still to play paid off. That Florida beat rival LSU in the final made it all that much more sweet to Florida fans who finally got to celebrate a national title.
3. Billy D says bye
This time, he meant it.
After leaving Florida once and making an abrupt U-turn back to the Gators, Billy Donovan decided it was time to try the NBA.
He accepted a job with the Oklahoma City Thunder and left as the greatest coach in Florida history.
It was sad to see him go, but he left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten (and he will have a court with his name on it).
4. Back-to-back beauties
Florida kept knocking on the door in Oklahoma City before a player who would draw comparisons to Babe Ruth took the Gators on an amazing two-year run.
Lauren Haeger was imposing in the circle and at the plate as she helped Florida win back-to-back softball national titles.
But these were complete teams coach Tim Walton put together which relied on defense and a complete pitching staff.
5. Jeremy leaves, Stricklin enters
After guiding Florida athletics to more glory than anyone thought possible, athletic director Jeremy Foley retired.
It was a surprise, but Foley felt like Florida athletics were in the perfect spot for him to step away.
Talk about a legacy, Florida’s lofty positions in the all-sports awards in the conference and nationally began to be taken for granted.
After a lengthy search, Foley was replaced by Scott Stricklin, the AD at Mississippi State, who brought a new set of eyes to the job with an emphasis on facilities.
6. Unlikely Final Four
The team was hardly loaded with a bunch of NBA players, but the 2013-14 Florida basketball team had one of the most special seasons ever.
Led by four seniors, the Gators had a knack for finding different ways to win games. And win and win and win.
Florida won 30 consecutive games and looking back you can’t help but pinch yourself to believe that really happened.
The Gators were the first team to go 18-0 in the conference, blowing out Kentucky at home on Senior Day. Then they beat Kentucky to win the SEC Tournament.
And then there was their NCAA Tournament, two wins in Orlando and two more in Memphis to reach the Final Four in Dallas. It was some run.
7. Mouse and the Gang
We all appreciate all of the national championships that Florida won this decade, but if I list them all individually the top 10 is done.
For example, coach Mike Holloway had a pretty decent decade — nine NCAA titles for UF’s men indoors and outdoors, the ninth coming this year.
Roland Thornqvist and his women’s tennis team won three NCAA crowns. Women’s swimming and diving started out the decade with one.
Rhonda Faehn won three in a row as the UF gymnastics coach. Throw in the already-mentioned baseball and softball and that’s 19 national titles for the decade.
That’s the most in any 10-year stretch in school history. Not too shabby.
8. The hurricane game
It’s a shame this was as big a story as it was with sniping from the media and LSU administrators and the league office having to get involved when the two sides couldn’t agree on anything.
Florida was supposed to play LSU in Gainesville in October of 2016, but Hurricane Matthew was storming up the east coast and UF was told there would be no law enforcement or emergency support for the game.
Those are facts.
It turned out to be a lovely day in Gainesville, but the game had already been postponed. LSU accused Florida of ducking the game. Florida did not like that.
And then the Gators went to Baton Rouge and won on a last-play stop at the goal line to capture the SEC East.
Some stories just write themselves.
9. The return of the HBC
It was always a weird deal for Gator fans, seeing one of their heroes coming into the stadium he named every other year trying to beat their pants off.
But when Steve Spurrier decided to hang it up in midseason at South Carolina, Florida was quick to get him back into the fold.
He was given a new title — “Head Ball Consultant” — and an office on the third floor.
UF named the field after him in a moving ceremony and he continues to be a goodwill ambassador for the school. This was an important part of this decade for all Gators.
10. As the quarterback turns
The drama at the position was a defining story of the decade that started with John Brantley running the option and ended with an unlikely hero.
Tim Tebow’s final game was actually on the first day of this decade in the Sugar Bowl. What followed was a real potpourri of drama.
The quarterback position at UF is always newsworthy, but this decade seemed to take us to new levels.
Whether it was Will Grier’s suspension or Feleipe Franks’ antics or Florida starting a walk-on or injuries, the common thing was that Florida could not find a quarterback.
Then came Kyle Trask, who saved the day at Kentucky, then started his first game since his freshman year of high school. All he did was get Florida to the Orange Bowl and a 10-2 record without a running game.
Not a bad way to end a decade.
— Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at email@example.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.