Tampa Bay Sports Day

UF Caves to Fans, Boosters as McElwain, Gators Mutually Agree to Part Ways

Jim McElwain and the powerful University Athletic Association (UAA)  have mutually agreed to part ways, Athletic Director Scott Stricklin announced Sunday.

With a 42-7 loss to Georgia Saturday,  Florida dropped to 3-4 for the first time since 1986.

The UAA runs athletics, with the actual university taking a back seat in direction, ethics and decisions. The university does benefit financially.

Randy Shannon will serve as interim coach throughout the remainder of the season following a three-year stint on McElwain’s staff as an associate head coach, defensive coordinator, and linebackers Coach.

Shannon has over 25 years of coaching experience, serving as the head coach for the University of Miami from 2007-10.

During his career as a player and coach, Shannon has been a part of three national championship teams.

“We want to thank Coach McElwain for his efforts in leading the Gator football program,” said Stricklin. “We are confident Coach Shannon will provide the proper guidance to the players and rest of staff during this time and we will begin a national search for the next head coach.”

The two parties are currently negotiating terms of separation. McElwain finished 22-12 during his two-plus seasons as head coach and was hired as the 25th head coach in UF history in 2014 by athletic director Jeremy Foley. Foley has since retired

McElwain won 22 games and Southeastern Conference Eastern Division titles the last two seasons during his tenure at the University of Florida.

Florida’s highest AP Poll ranking under McElwain was No. 8, a mark the Gators reached after their win over Missouri in 2015.  He will be best remembered by many for not allowing criminals to represent the university by playing football – despite their talent on the field.

In his time at Florida, Shannon’s defenses have consistently ranked in the top-10 nationally. During his coaching career, he has tutored 59 players who have been selected in the NFL draft.

Florida’s only score against Georgia was Mark Thompson’s one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that marked his first score of the season.