Dooley Noted: Let’s ride it out; firing everyone isn’t always the answer


Pat looks back on Florida’s disappointing loss to Texas A&M and other games in the NCAA this past weekend.


  1. So we have losses that can somewhat be directly associated with coaching, we have a head coach who at least appears to be totally lost, and we should do nothing? I hope someone is putting a lot of ideas on the HBC, but I don’t see evidence of that. A new offensive coordinator and receivers coach is a must, sooner rather than later. Money can be a motivator in these positions.

    • We are definitely in an unenviable position at the moment. Right or Wrong I feel a change at OC and ST a must. I believe even with all loses of personel they would have won both games with better play calling. Mac has to make changes at season’s end or else he will feel the wrath of all Gator Nation.

    • Vulcan – yep – keep firing and hiring – until you find someone who wins with the previous regime’s recruits then flushes the program down the toilet. We need to give a coach a chance to build something.

      • I’m with you on the time issue. I heard Shane Matthews say that Spurrier stock-piled QB’s, and it occurred to me that Spurrier inheriting Matthews from Galen Hall is what allowed him time to do that. While Matthews started for three years, Spurrier was able to sign and develop Dean and Wuerffel. Mac inherited Grier from Muschamp, and without the PED suspension, Grier might have been able to start for three years giving Mac time to develop Franks, Trask, Allen, or Corral (assuming he signs). Because of the PED suspension and transfer of Grier, Mac hasn’t had the opportunity Spurrier had. When you consider that Mac has lost his starting QB at or before the mid-point of each of his first three seasons, he’s had to deal with a devastating loss that not many, if any, new head coaches have had to face. It’s remarkable that he was able to win the East the first two years with Treon and AA starting the last half of those seasons. I know the critics say the East was weak, but the fact remains it was the Gators who won it when both UT and UGA were supposed to be better teams. If and when UGA wins the East this year, will Mac’s critics also downplay Kirby’s East title?

  2. Your right Pat that firing everyone might not be the answer but in this case the writing is clear as the day is long. Clean house and have the old ball coach go get one of his students in Indianapolis in Brian Schottenheimer. We need a young innovative mind to move forward. You can’t clean up spilled milk forever!

      • I support Coach McElwain, I do not support OC Doug Nussmeier. Changes need to be made by Coach McElwain or Gator Nation will demand that he goes as well. If we have a new head coach after this or next season, I sincerely hope AD Strickland will hire someone who loves the Gators as much as Steve Spurrier does. I want a coach who has worn the Orange and Blue, someone who has bleed on the gridiron and is very passionate. Two names come to mind, Mike Malarkey and Kerwin Bell, both who have played as a Gator and both have proven coaching experience at the NFL level. I hope Coach MacElwain can turn things around, but he needs to have a offensive coordinator whose philosophy is more than run right, run left, attempt a pass and punt.

        • I agree with you on the Mac front. The whinners in Gator Nation ran off SOS and Urban, now they would give anything to have them back. Mac does need to make changes, everyone knows the main issues involved. Both issues are fixable with good hires. I rather fix two known issues than start process all over. If make refuses to make changes at end of the year then the dynamics of the situation change drastically.
          Should Mac fails to changes I don’t think Mularey is the right guy he has been an NFL guy his entire coaching career. I doubt he would come and not sure we want a guy that has never recruited. Kerwin is interesting option but alot of unknowns with him. He would definite could be high risk high reward canidate, but atleast I’m sure he would come if offered. That is more than I can say about most of the canidate names that are being thrown around. If we let the whiners have their way it won’t matter who we get they will eventually run the coach off as their track record would suggest

          • Glen – SOS left us because Fooley would not support him on the Darnell Dockett knee-twisting incident during the FSU game at the Swamp and it escalated between them. Urban couldn’t beat Saban and saw the writing on the wall, then had his “medical issues” and needed “family time”. Neither had anything to do with Gator fans running them off they both brought national championships to Gainesville. In fact Gator Nation nearly panicked when each dropped us and left. At least SOS was honorable by taking the USCe job without other excuses; Urban told his lies to us and bolted for OSU. I guess his heart condition and family are much better off now. Bottom line: if you want to be the Gator HBC it’s big paycheck, big boy football and you have a huge fan base behind you. But if you stink at the job don’t expect hugs and kisses – expect to get fired. That logic never did apply to our excellent coaches SOS and Urban, but did for Zook (who I actually liked), the chimp and now Butters. Life in the big city my brother.

    • Schottenheimer would definitely put life in the offense, but as I have said on Twitter, various forums, and now on here, firing McElwain would be as DUMB as keeping Nuss and even more DUMB as hiring Butch Jones to replace him! Mac is just fine. He’s a GREAT manager of the team which is what the head coach does, unless he chooses to call plays like Spurrier did which would inject him into a coordinator position. Mac is not acting in a coordinator’s capacity, but as the “manager” that he is, the time has come to be friends away from the football field, but realize that business is business. Nuss has to go and be replaced with an innovative offensive mind of the 21st century. I’d bet Danny Weurffel would be a major upgrade in that category, but realisitically speaking, there are some good coordinators available that would love to come to the SEC. But please, don’t go talking about getting rid of Mac unless you have a commitment from Dabo, or Mike Gundy, James Franklin, or even a Bobby Petrino. Bottom line, it has to be an upgrade. If we’re not thinking about upgrades, I’d look no further than Lane Kiffin! He’s the best of less than an upgrade available in my mind.

      • Your right but Dabo, Franklin currently have great gigs with no reason to abandon jobs for Gator Fan Base who has a rough reputation with their Caoches. Gundy is at his Alma Mater. Petrino and Kiffin are Ncaa Violations in waiting. DW’s life devted to his ministry. Schottsy never had any head coaching experience or recruiting experience. Thar is one one problems with firing Mac rather than insisting changes to coaching staff. Alternatives are frought with too many unkowns. Mac is a good CEO and what atleast know what needs to be fixed. Inspite of our frustrations he is still the fastest way back to prominence. I try to post every chance i get Pat’s staying the course is whats best for the program as long as he is willing to make the changes.

  3. Pat, I know you want to present a moderate view on this debacle. But “let’s ride it out” is not the answer now, and hasn’t ever been the answer here. We’ve seen the Zook Era, the Muschamp Era, and now the McElwain Era, and they all have this formula in common:

    Stubborn head coach + terrible offensive coordinator(s) + limited/no QB development + lack of skill players = multiple futile, failed seasons

    The coaching and the system is broken, and tinkering with changing special teams or practicing more two-minute drill or other trivial modifications isn’t going to fundamentally change the philosophy and identity of the program. Fans want a coach that raises standards, takes care of what matters, and delivers results. That’s not McElwain.

  4. I don’t think anybody needs let go- except maybe Nussmeier; the rest seem to be doing O.K., but the offense is flawed by design AND execution- and adjustments are NEVER made. Most of the apoplectic alumni are in agreement on this one. Very few want Mac to go. Horizontal, sideline-to-sideline offense will never consistently win this league. The defensive front sevens are too fast- you know this. When the Gators are running and Malik Davis is toting the rock, the Gators look right. They get a little edgy- borderline nasty. When they are running this dink and dunk crap they are standing around looking for someone to hit. Run- with Malik getting the majority of carries and then when they load the box- out of the same formation-go play- action. Most of these issues go away.

  5. Again, I strongly think that what we have now is never going to be the answer. Just go back and look at the replay of the 2016 S.E.C Championship game and you may get and idea of why we will never get there with the head Barber of a coach in Jim McElwain. I beg Scott Strickland and ALL BULL GATOR Boosters to go get Brian Schottenheimer, “TODAY”, as fast as you can before someone else does, and give him a ten year contract to boot.
    He is a Gator, knows Gators, and he has football knowledge genes that most do not. He know’s the S.E.C and he know’s the importance of a rivalry, he knows what it take’s. PLEASE SEE THE LIGHT LIKE I DO!!!!!!!!!!!

    • G. Kelley – I’m not to keen on Brian Schottenheimer as the next head coach for Florida. Yes, he is the son of a great NFL head coach, played for the University of Kansas before transfering to the University of Florida, where he played for the Gators. After almost 25 years in the NFL as an assistant coach, he has yet to be a head coach, Why? Also, lets not forget, that Schottenheimer was the offense coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the University of Georgia. Under his tutiledge, he was a so-so assistant coach under Marc Richet. The Gators need someone with head coaching experience! I think we should go after Mike Malarkey or Kerwin Bell, both Gators, as the next head coach should MacElwain be terminated.

  6. I’ll have to admit the season is over for a SEC East crown, but maybe, and just a slim maybe, they could spoil someone else’s season.
    Franks is tall enough to see Ocala in the shotgun, but can’t do anything except locking onto the first option. If that’s not open, he hasn’t moved on to the second or third option and maybe see a WR waving his arms in desperation. It’s definitely mental and who knows if he will ever see the field.
    Hope Corral or Allen will be a better option next year, but we’re stuck now with a QB wearing pampers.

  7. It’s a different era Pat. With everyone cutting the cord and having more entertainment options to choose from, you can’t afford to wait it out. What it means is that the cost of one new fan is rapidly increasing so when you lose fans you are losing more than you did in the past. It’s not like some new splashy hire or an improved season is going to fill up the coffers all of a sudden like it used to be. Now is exactly the time to not have a terrible product on the field. They’re not gonna come back like they used to.

  8. Also, enough about the missing players crutch. How many of those players were expected to play meaningful snaps? 3? 4? Under who’s watch were they suspended? C’mon, that’s not the reason for this dumpster fire of an offense. Guys were open in the game? Great, then why the heck does the quarterback not know where they are? Why not run plays where someone is open and the quarterback knows about it. (See less reads if the ego of the coach can handle that)

  9. UF will be fine if fans stop bitching and appreciate that Coach Mac won’t have “his guys” until next year and a full roster of his guys that can actually play until a year after that. He’s recruiting well and that takes time and he’s wining games with less talent now. Run a coach off after 3-4 years and we’ll never get a decent coach to take the job again.

    I agreed Zook had to go and I agreed Muschamp had to go but Coach Mac is winning games he shouldn’t and he’s in games he shouldn’t be in. I’d like to see more development and see teams get stronger as the season goes on but injuries last year and suspensions and injuries this year make that impossible. Give the guy 4-5 years and then start bitching.

      • Penn State has averaged an 18th ranked class the past 4 years and they lost 6 games in 2015 and 3 games last season. Fire Franklin? 6-0 is great so far but if they lose to Ohio St, Michigan, and Michigan St. and don’t win the Big Ten he’s a crappy coach that needs to go? Penn St has lost 9 games the past two seasons and UF 8. If you don’t think injuries matter look what happened to Georgia last year when Michelle and Chub went down… they lost to UF even with a full roster of top 6 class ranked players.

        Let Coach Mac sign a top class next year and let’s see what he does with an offensive line with more experience then the RS FR, RS SO, RS JR and a true Sophomore and Junior. When we have RS Jr’s and Sr’s that he recruited and developed on the OL, then I’d be ready to start bitching but that’s two years away.

    • Bill – this was the “no excuses” year for McElwain, remember? The year we “kick the door down”. Year 3. Mac already has “his” players and there is enough talent on the field this year – even with suspensions – to beat every team we have lost to this year. We have some glaring coaching issues. Franks not knowing how to manage 5 seconds in the pocket going through progressions to find receivers is a picture of a huge QB coaching problem. Franks’ 2nd year here. 5 seconds of decision making. Franks could dramatically improve in a week if a good QB coach would run him through this drill 100+ times.

  10. Florida’s problem and ultimately Mac’s downfall is the inability to recruit the top talent n the state of Florida. If you look at the Rivals rankings for Florida, you will be at 23 before you find the first UF commit. Been a problem for a while and while you find an occasional diamond in the rough, you’re not going to perfat a high level in the SEC without great, not good, recruiting. Not sufficient in itself but necessary.
    On a separate note, Pat has any coach ever turned it around after letting the program slip to the point where a sizeable and vocal portion of the fan base is calling for him to be fired? Can’t be many that have which leads to only one logical conclusion: you are only painfully delaying the inevitable.
    Personally, I’d love to see Scott Frost given a shot. Energetic recruiter, connects with the players, runs an exciting offense and a tough defense. Played under Tom Osborne, coached under Chip Kelly. Interesting mix. Could use a little more experience but he might not be available for too much longer.

    • Just like Saban at Miami, Charlie Strong was a bad fit at Texas – he had no ties there whatsoever. Strong dominated with Florida talent at Louisville and now he is doing the same at USF. Granted he(like Frost) is racking up big numbers vs weak competition. But they are dominating these weak teams, not struggling to beat them. Frost would be a big improvement over Mediocrewain, but that still – at best – puts UF in the “also ran”s pack chasing Bama. NOBODY can recruit the state of Florida like Charlie Strong. All these 4 and 5 stars that Mediocrewain loses to the likes of Bama, OSU, Mich, Louisville, etc? …. Strong would keep most of those boys home in Gainesville. I won’t say I know Strong would be able to out-recruit Saban(I think he would). But I know for sure we’d be Bama’s closest recruiting competitor annually with Strong as our HC.

      Winners win. Losers make excuses(or have to have the media make their excuses for them). Looks like a duck, quacks like a ….. Bottom line, then writing is on the wall – Mac is not a winner.

  11. Yep…let’s let the season play out.
    Just like we let Mac’s first year play out.
    Just like we let Mac’s second year play out.
    Only then, he had tons of talent on the defensive side of the ball.
    So his hoping, wishing, praying not to lose worked a few times.
    We had ZERO chance of beating Bama either year, and even less now.
    The man has no idea how to run an offense. No idea how to handle the QB position, whether in recruiting, practice, the media, the game…anything. What he has been doing on the offensive side of the ball for three straight years is called Insanity.
    His “great finish” to the 2017 recruiting cycle was the signing of James Robinson, whom very few other programs wanted. Whether it was his weed problem, or whatever. And now, unfortunately, he has a heart problem, and will probably never play. Uhhhh…another “big get” was K. Telfort….uhhhhhhhhh….yeah, a big get for the police maybe, but not for the program. All of the knucklehead nine were his guys.
    Martez Ivey and Cece Jefferson are the only five stars he’s “gotten”, and both were heavy Gator leans before Mac even got the job. And neither, by the way, has gotten any better with his “coaching”. They have regressed if anything.
    Mac has zero positives. Zero. Any way you look at it…he has zero positives. Yet somehow, this guy sits in a mansion, with millions upon millions owed to him. It makes absolutely no sense. His claim to fame was “running” Nick Saban’s offense and Nick Saban’s roster full of five star future NFL Pro-Bowlers whom Saban was coaching up.
    We might beat UAB. Maybe.
    We might score an offensive touchdown against FSU. Maybe. Not beat the ‘Noles, not stay close…we might score one offensive touchdown. If the FSU QB fumbles and we recover at their one yard line. And if we have all three time outs at the time of the turnover… for the chaos that would ensue with having to get the offense on the field with the right personnel, formation, snap count, and play called.
    And it would be the first offensive touchdown against FSU in Mac’s tenure.
    UF’s biggest rival. We bring in an “offensive” coach, and we can’t even score on them, let alone beat them.
    I can already see the 10,000 or so fans staring at the field in the third quarter when we are down 28-3.
    Awesome. Thanks Mac. Thanks for running our program into the ground even though you could win with a dog at QB.
    And this question of “Ok, so who is out there to take over? Who do you plan on replacing him with?”
    How about ANY ONE of a thousand guys that can lead our program into the top 100 of total offense.
    I don’t care. Anyone. Pick a no-name. Buy out Mac and pay some unknown a little salary to compensate for the millions we lost with Mac. He will recruit just as well. His offense can’t be worse or less imaginative. His clock management in-game couldn’t be worse. His timeout usage/knowledge could not be worse. His handling of the QB position couldn’t possibly worse. It’s not possible.
    Kind of like when Treon Harris continually ran out of the pocket and threw the ball out of bounds…for like 8 games.
    I kept asking, Are we allowed to try another quarterback or did Treon have to always be in unless he was injured? How bad could the other guys be? Did they all have broken limbs? Did we not have enough helmets, jerseys, pads? Did grad transfer Josh Grady save one of Mac’s kid’s lives? How does he have a uniform, and a scholarship? And then Appleby…what did we owe this guy? Why was Feleipe not taking his lumps and learning on the field as a true freshman so that this season he had a better feel for SEC football? We were not going to beat Alabama last year once if we had a hundred tries with Appleby. When did “winning” the East become a thing? Is that what we need to aspire to now…SEC East Championships…? Too late for that. Georgia and Mr. Kirby Smart and his actual talents for recruiting and coaching will pummel our beloved Gators for the next 5 years at least.
    So, yep, let the season play out. Sounds like a blast.

    • Well said, and I agree with you 100%. With a program like ours with millions pouring into supporting the team every year, we can’t seem to find the right coach and recruit the top players in the nation like our friends at Florida State or Alabama. I don’t get it! At one time, we had elite players begging to become part of the Gator Nation, now we have to do the begging. Get a coach that has a winning record and success!!!!

    • Have some patience Gators fans. We won nothing before 1996 and now have three natonal titles. Only one team wins it annually and it’s usually a team that has had 4-5 top ten classes in a row so have some freaking patieince.

      McElwain started with the 92nd ranked class and only four scholarship offensive linemen. He went from 92nd to the 23rd ranked class with only a few months on the job. One year on the job, he signed the 14th ranked class in 2016. And he won the East twice!

      Now he is on track to sign 3 top ten classses in a row but Gator fans want it now and it’s downright shortsighted. 2017 cracked the top ten and 2018 and 2019 are projected to also be top ten classes.

      The true Gator fans that fill the stadium and support the coaches and players will help top ten classes want to come to UF. If the uninformed noise gorws and grows, what coach would take the job and what are the odds that they’ll be anymore successful in this unrealistic environment?

      Give the guy 4-5 years before all this noise about firing people. The recruiting competition from UM, USF and FSU are much stonger now and pulling in top ten classes is not easy with UF’s acedemic standards compared to our in-state competition.

      It takes some time to build relationships and kids are recruited as sophomores these days. Give Coach Mac 4-5 years before all the negativity and if it’s still like this, then start the complaining.

  12. Micheal, after Urban left they didn’t want to hire Charlie Strong But bring muschamp who recruited only defense. I can’t think of another coach that would greatly improve recruiting with head coach experience that would be a more perfect fit, that would leave their program.

        • Joe, the Texas AD wanted him there, but the big $$ boosters didn’t want him from the get go. Strong did the right thing, the right way, and cleaned up the program. The cost of that was shown in the win-loss stats, of course. Behind the 8-ball. I do believe he would have been an excellent hire after Urban M., but the timing was all wrong.

          • Gator-6, I get your point, and agree with what you say. I just think Mac has been behind the 8-ball as well, losing his best QB in each of his first three seasons. Grier’s suspension and Del Rio’s injuries were beyond his control. You can argue that he should’ve been able to better evaluate Franks’ talent and develop his skills better, but I still think Mac’s been put in a difficult position that, for the most part, is not of his own doing.

  13. All we can do at this point in Gator History is wait out the rest of the schedule and maybe beat the Holes. In the end, when ever that is, UF administration will have to make the assessment of when Mac is not worth $4-5 mil/year. IE. He isn’t being paid to win 8-9 times/year. PERIOD. I’m afraid his biggest issue is not X & Os or teaching the game, BUT is he inspirational??? If the kids do not react to his leadership in the fourth quarter and block SOMEBODY, then they will never be SEC Champions. Meyer the Traitor, has inspirational skills. Your either a born leader or not. I’m afraid the “flip flop, it will be OK attitude” has caught on. Scary!

  14. It always amazes me that people evaluate coaches without regard to the personnel available to them. I’m not shocked that a team with approximately 12 seniors and 63 freshmen or sophomores loses too games by a total of 3 points to good SEC teams. Chump left a mess that neither the OBC or Meyer had to deal with. Add in the injuries to key upper classmen and just maybe it’s not all on the coaches. Don’t fall for the media drivel and fuel the fire of negativity. Our coaches have to deal with reality of the hand their dealt. The whining fans should do the same.

  15. If we fire McElwain it sets us back as far as recruiting goes. Last year he realized some of the coaches lacked the ability to recruit and land top tier players. The only coaches that should be fired are Nuss, Nord and possibly the strength and conditioning coach. I think even Mac realizes that and will make changes there. Two losses by a total of three points hurts but things could be worse. Heck we could be Tennessee. I don’t think Franks will ever be the answer. He just can’t read a defense and doesn’t have the IT factor. Hopefully Corral or even Allen do. Football IQ means a lot more than arm strength. As always Go Gators

  16. It’s easy to just say clean house and let’s start over, but everybody has down periods. I’m willing to give him a little more time because look at FSU and Michigan this year, and they have pretty solid teams all around their crappy QBs. That said, there are things that worry me about Mac; 1) gets out coached at half time, 2) can’t develop plays to attack an obviously loaded box, 3) doesn’t seem to be able to hire or manage assistant coaches well. When you see our special teams suck this much, our O-line players basically go backwards in development, our receivers not able to run routes that get them open, and our strength coach bring in a “new” olympic style training that doesn’t appear to guard against injury or prepare well for the 4th quarter, then I worry about his ability to actually see the details and manage the team. Our guys look to be weak on some basic fundamentals, and primarily on the O side of the ball. That’s just not a good sign. Wait, why am I saying give him another year?