Debate has persisted about who should be the next Gator women’s basketball head coach. University of Florida’s athletic director, Scott Stricklin, targeted Belmont’s Cameron Newbauer as a candidate early. As of Monday morning, Stricklin announced that Cameron Newbauer is officially hired as the head coach for the Florida Gators. Newbauer is the 10th head basketball coach in program history at the University of Florida.
— Gators WBasketball (@GatorsWBK) March 28, 2017
Hopes for Program Improvement
The Gators end with a 15-16 overall record this season with a 5-11 record in SEC play. Previous head coach, Amanda Butler, leaves her team after what is considered her most unfortunate season at her alma mater. While the team says their goodbyes to Butler, they look forward to using this change to revitalize the program. Butler spent 10 seasons as Gator head coach and leaves with a 190-136 overall record. In addition to the change in coaching staff, Newbauer is also the first male to hold this position in Florida history. With Newbauer on board, Stricklin, the team, and fans hope that the program can enter a new chapter that will provoke positive change.
Newbauer observes that there are a lot of good pieces that make up the team’s roster. He sees that the girls are hungry to succeed, having come to Florida with a purpose to do something special. He is confident that this attitude will not change regardless of their leader. His expertise as a coach can bring about this determinant stance that the players already exhibit.
Filled With Emotion
As Stricklin’s first hire at the University of Florida, Newbauer is overwhelmed with emotions. This experience is a dream come true for Cameron as he begins the journey in what he believes is the best college sports town in America. He displays his immense appreciation for the opportunity that Stricklin has granted him. Newbauer’s primary interview with the Gators wasn’t your typical scenario. Stricklin actually first “interviewed” Newbauer while he was coaching in the NCAA tournament last year. Newbauer’s pride in this accomplishment encompasses his enthusiasm towards the new role. Throughout this experience, Newbauer has learned that everyday is an interview, which is a lesson he seeks to bestow upon his new players.
Having always been both a dreamer and a worker, he understands that it takes divine intervention to make dreams come true. Cameron’s realistic outlook displays his acceptance that him and his team will experience both failure and adversity. However, he feels this is important to ultimately develop as a team with skill and chemistry. Florida women’s basketball is the only program at UF that has not earned an SEC title. While Newbauer doesn’t believe in goals or benchmarks, he does believe in expectations. His transparent passion and dedication to his team will contribute to achieving the expectations set out for the future of the Florida women’s basketball program.
— Fernando Juncadella (@FJuncadella) March 28, 2017