Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin sent out a message to Gator Nation on Monday.

His goal in writing the letter to Florida fans was to address the rumors and speculation about the details of the announcement that Gators head coach Jim McElwain was fired on Sunday.

Stricklin wanted to give some background on the process.

“Sunday morning I began conversations for the first time with Coach McElwain and his representation about Coach Mac’s future. By early evening, we had reached the decision to mutually part ways,” Stricklin said. “Out of respect to Coach McElwain, I will keep those conversations between me, him and his representatives private.

“We appreciate the way Coach McElwain has handled this and I want to thank him for his time and effort serving as our football coach.”

Stricklin also said he met with Randy Shannon about serving as the Gators’ interim head coach, the team and the rest of the coaching staff.

“These are difficult times for those involved, including the families,” he said. “Our student-athletes are always our top priority, especially during unusual circumstances like this. In my meeting with the team, I told the players that the athletic department did not release anything about Coach McElwain until I talked to them face to face.”

Stricklin also spoke about the coaching search ahead:

“Our search for the next head coach of the University of Florida begins immediately. The search is my responsibility, but I will utilize my contacts and relationships to help us find the best coach for the Gators. I will do everything I can to keep the search process and details confidential. We all understand that rumors tend to run rampant during these situations, and because of that, a lot of what you read and hear will not be accurate. It will not be practical to respond to every rumor. I ask for everyone’s patience as we go through this process and at some point, I will stand up in front of a podium and announce the next head coach at the University of Florida.”

Read the full letter here.