McElwain has been pegged as the guy the Gators have been pursuing for the majority of time that the Gators were in need of a head coach. During McElwain’s tenure as the head coach for Colorado state, he has racked up an overall record of 22-16, having coached his team to a 10-2 record this season.
One of the things to be optimistic about for Gators fans is that every year that McElwain has been a part of the program, it has seen improvement. He has successfully made Colorado State a legitimate force within the Mountain West conference. While some people may scoff at the success McElwain has found in the Mountain West, people need to remember that McElwain was the offensive coordinator for Alabama for 2 championship runs.
Besides, the last time the Gators hired a relative unknown from a Mountain West school who had some experience coaching as part of a big program, the Gators would play to 2 national championships during his reign. That coach was Urban Meyer, and there is no question that decision worked out in favor of the Gators.
This hire puts the final nail in the coffin of the Will Muschamp of era of Florida Gators football. The Muschamp era has, by all accounts, fallen short of the expectations of the program, something Muschamp is keenly aware of. Under Muschamp’s watch the Gators program missed a bowl game for the first time in decades.
While Muschamp did have some notable stumbling blocks during his tenure, including an injury riddled 2013 season that was a major contributor missing the bowl game, as well as suffering a loss to FCS team Georgia Southern.
During this season, Muschamp’s Gators have suffered largely self inflicted wounds that have kept their record just over .500. After giving up a blocked field goal and a blocked punt in the 4th quarter of the game against South Carolina to allow the Gamecocks to force overtime and steal a win in the swamp. That loss was the straw that broke the proverbial camels back.
With McElwain’s hiring, the new era of Gators football starts today.