Report: Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain 'leading candidate' for UF job
With the regular season completed and Will Muschamp’s dismissal from Florida finally official, conversations regarding who will be the next Florida head coach are beginning to ramp up.
Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde reported Sunday night that Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain has emerged as the “leading candidate” for the job, according to what multiple sources have told Forde.
Information has been gathered on McElwain by Florida officials since the school announced two weeks ago that Will Muschamp would not return as coach, sources said. It is unclear how many other candidates may be involved. Sources said Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was among those on Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley’s radar, but McElwain’s name be at the top of the list.
SEC fans will recognize McElwain’s name because of his time as an assistant coach under Nick Saban. From 2008-11, McElwain served as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for Alabama and won two national championships.
In addition to the offensive success McElwain has had during his coaching career, he also possess a proven winning record as a head coach. In his three years as head coach at Colorado State, McElwain has taken his team from a 4-8 season in 2012 to a current 10-2 record this season.
Colorado State’s offense is currently ranked 25th and 13th nationally with 35.9 points per game and 497.8 yards per game, respectively. In the three years prior to McElwain’s arrival at CSU, the Rams hadn’t finished higher than 79th nationally in either category.
One potential hiccup with McElwain comes in the form of a buyout. The three-year head coach has an unusually high reported buyout of $7.5 million. Although Florida is one of the premier college football programs, the price to even get McElwain to Gainesville may be more than Foley wants to pay out.