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ESPN Analysts Praise McElwain

By on December 5th, 2014

As announced yesterday Jim McElwain will pack up his Colorado State home and head to Florida.  The new head coach will be formally introduced to the Gator Nation Saturday at a press conference. McElwain will be paid approximately $3.5 million per season with a six year contract.

With all the talk on settling the $7.5 million buyout— which Florida agreed to pay $3 million over six years to Colorado State as well as a future game with a $2 million guarantee between 2017 and 2020– it might be time to get some insight on what McElwain can bring.

Former Gator and SEC Network analyst Tim Tebow likes the hire.

“I think he’s got a good offensive mind and I think he’s someone that continues to grow. If you look at his offenses and what they do, it’s not just hey this is what we did in 08′, 09′, and 2010 at Bama; it’s continuing to grow and I think you always have to have that mindset to be a successful coach,”Tebow said.

McElwain was previously the offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks coach at Alabama from 2008-2011, and helped the Tide win two national titles.

McElwain is in his third season with Colorado State leading his team to wins in 16 of their last 20 games. In the three seasons prior to McElwain’s arrival the team had lost 27 of 36.

Former Gator and ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer also likes the hire by Florida.

“Jim McElwain has shown that he’s been a very good coach in a little amount of time at Colorado State. So a guy that’s young, that’s going to be energetic, and that obviously having coached at Alabama– is familiar with recruiting in the SEC–and who’s also an offensive mind, I think Gator fans have a reason to be very hopeful for this hire,” he said.

Despite preparing for an ACC Championship Game Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher took some time to congratulate McElwain.

“Jim’s a great guy… he’s a heck of a football coach so I mean, they weren’t going to get a bad one. So good job, they’re going to have good players, and he’ll do a good job coaching. He’s had a lot of success in his past, and congratulations to him,” said Fisher.

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Friday Sports Update (12/5)

By on December 5th, 2014

A new Gator football head coach, more Gator sports, a great ending to a college football game, NFL and more in our Friday Sports Update…

** The Florida football program will formally introduce its new head coach, Jim McElwain, at a press conference on Saturday.   He was officially named Florida’s coach yesterday.

** The Florida women’s basketball team falls to Savannah State 68-58; UF next plays at FSU Sunday.

** The Gator men’s basketball team faces nationally ranked Kansas tonight; you can hear the game live on Country 103-7 The Gator starting at 8:25 pm.

** The Florida volleyball team plays Alabama State tonight in NCAA Tournament action; that match can be heard live at 6:45 pm on ESPN 850 WRUF.

** A Hail Mary pass into the end zone propels UCF to an improbable 32-30 win over East Carolina in college football last night.  This weekend, a host of conference championship games with national playoff implications will take place.

** The Dallas Cowboys top the Chicago Bears 41-28 to improve to 9-4 on the year.   Chicago falls to 5-8.

** All three Florida NFL teams are in action Sunday; Jacksonville hosts Houston; Baltimore is at Miami and Tampa Bay visits Detroit.

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Gator Women’s Hoops Loses to Savannah State on the Road

By on December 5th, 2014

Amanda Butler and her Florida women’s basketball team couldn’t get things going in its road loss against Savannah State Thursday night. The Tigers (4-1) jumped out early in the game with a 15-5 run to open the first half. Florida (5-2) began to build momentum and fight back during the end of the half, but despite their efforts, they went into halftime trailing 31-28.

After halftime the Gators still struggled allowing SSU to go on a 9-2 run stretching the score to 40-30. The game went downhill from there for the Gators. They finished with 25 turnovers which lead to the 68-58 Savannah State victory.

Butler credited the loss to poor execution.

“They clearly had a great game plan and stuck to it, and we didn’t. We couldn’t press them at all. They did a really great job of being aggressive and attacking,” said Butler.

“It’s unfortunately not a great message [we’re sending]. It’s something we’ve talked about all season, the way we start the game. We need to value our possessions. We still need to learn that lesson,” Butler added.

Next up for the Gators is another road match up against in-state rival Florida State (7-1) Sunday at 2 p.m.

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NBA Recap

By on December 5th, 2014

It was a tough night for NBA teams in Florida on Wednesday. The Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic both lost in disappointing games. Miami falls to 4-6 at home this season, while the Magic fell to 5-9 on the road.

The Heat took on the Atlanta Hawks falling to them 112-102 despite shooting 56 percent from the field. Dwayne Wade led the team with 28 points with Chris Bosh not far behind adding 27 of his own.

“Its frustrating when you lose a game, and even more when you lose at home especially a game you wanted to win before you go out on a road trip,” says Wade.

After the Heat took a three point lead with seven minutes left in the third period, Jeff Teague led the Hawks on a run that put them up by 16 going into the final period. The Heat never cut the lead down to 10 the rest of the game.

Miami forward Luol Deng left the game at halftime with a bone bruise on his right hand forcing the Heat to go with a different lineup for the remainder of the game.

“Every team deals with something, you know that’s why you have 15 guys on the roster so no excuse,” Wade said regarding the injuries.

The Magic got dominated by the Clippers losing 114-86. Orlando was out rebounded and also struggled whenever they got to the line shooting only 52 percent.

This loss comes after a heartbreaker at home the night before where they lost on a last second three-pointer by Warriors guard Steph Curry.

“You know you give a great effort the night before then you fly to another city and now your effort has to be even better and your concentration even better; we’re still learning,” says Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn.

Orlando goes on the road again as they head to Utah to go up against the Jazz.

To listen to the audio mentioned click below:

Wade on losing at home

Wade on injuries

Vaughn on playing after tough loss



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Florida Women’s Hoops Look to Stretch Their Winning Streak In Savannah

By on December 4th, 2014

The Florida women’s basketball team (5-1) is in Savannah, Georgia tonight to take on the Savannah State Tigers (3-1). Florida is coming off of a 73-44 win over Virginia Tech. The last time the Gators played SSU, they defeated the Tigers 88-38 in the O’Connell Center.

In Florida’s Monday night game against the Hokies, Gator coach Amanda Butler says she was proud of the way her team played defensively and wants that energy to carry on throughout the season.

“I’m really proud of the way that we played defense today. It is something that we have been harping on and really trying to work on. I think that we did a great job of carrying over the things that we have been working on in practice, on the defensive end in particular” said Butler. “I am really impressed with that and [with] winning the rebounding battle, which is something that we have been struggling to do this year.”

Against the Hokies Florida led the entire game for the second time this season.

Not only was the game a big team win, the game was also a big one for guard Cassie Peoples who scored a career high 19 points to go along with four assists and three rebounds.

“I haven’t been shooting too well from the three point line this year, so I got in the gym and shot 200 times before the game today,” said Peoples. “That helped to get me a little bit more comfortable, and as far as the assists, I try to get into the paint and to kick it [the ball] out. My team is really good about finishing and picking their spots.”

Florida looks to stretch its three game winning streak to four against the Tigers. You can listen to the game right here on ESPN 850 WRUF, with coverage beginning at 5:45 pm.

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McElwain Named New UF Football Coach

By on December 4th, 2014

Colorado State football coach Jim McElwain is officially the new football coach at Florida.  The formal announcement was made today.

There will a press conference Saturday to formally introduce the new coach.

The Denver Post is reporting that the buyout issue in McElwain’s contract, a stumbling block to getting a deal done with Florida, has been worked out.   The school will receive three million dollars from UF, two million for a future game to be played in Gainesville and there are reports that McElwain also is going to pay two million dollars to Colorado State as well.

According to the paper, McElwain held a meeting with his team to tell them of his departure to Florida.

ESPN 850 has confirmed that McElwain will receive a six year deal from Florida that will pay him an average of approximately three and a half million dollars a year.



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Gator Football Plays Waiting Game On McElwain Contract Buyout

By on December 4th, 2014

University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and an entourage from the University Athletic Association is back home today after meeting with Colorado State football coach Jim McElwain about the coaching vacancy at Florida.

All indications point to McElwain wanting to accept the job apparently offered to him by Foley but the sticking point to him taking it is his contract buyout at Colorado State which is 7.5 million dollars.

It seems clear that Foley does not want to shell out that kind of money and pay a new head coach and pay off the rest of former coach Will Muschamp’s contract and now McElwain is trying to work with school officials to reach some sort of compromise on the buyout in his contract.

There are conflicting reports about whether or not Colorado State officials are willing to negotiate with McElwain to reduce the buyout amount.   If a compromise or a deal is not struck, it could be a major stumbling block to McElwain being hired by Florida.

Spencer Conover from ESPN radio in Denver said in an interview on ESPN 850′s Sportscene show Wednesday that one type of deal that could be struck is for Florida to play Colorado State in a place like Denver for a big gate for the school, or Colorado State could play a game in Gainesville and get a bigger than normal pay day for playing the Gators.

If McElwain is not hired, it is not clear who Foley would next target for the Florida job.

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Thursday Sports Update (12/4)

By on December 4th, 2014

Still looking for a new football coach at Florida, shake up at Vanderbilt football, NFL news and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The University of Florida is still looking for a new football coach today although it is clear who the school is targeting.   Colorado State coach Jim McElwain is the man, and his contract buyout amount is now being negotiated down and if that happens, he will more than likely take the UF job.

** Vanderbilt, coming off a winless SEC football season, fires offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell and also fires the wide receivers coach as well after a year in which the Commodores finished near the bottom of nearly every league offensive category.

** The student conduct hearing held at FSU for quarterback Jameis Winston ended after two days with no immediate decision being reached.   There is no timetable for a decision to be reached.

** The NFL week starts tonight as Dallas faces Chicago.

** The 5-1 Florida women’s basketball team plays Savannah State tonight before playing FSU on Sunday.

** The Philadelphia 76ers win their first game of the season last night after beating Minnesota 85-77.   Philly had lost its first 17 games of the season.

** Former Gator hoops player Patric Young, after being cut by New Orleans in the NBA, said on his Twitter account he will now play for a team in Istanbul.

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Wednesday Sports Update (12/3)

By on December 3rd, 2014

A lot of movement in the Florida football search, a new top four in college football, and more in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** The University of Florida could have a new football coach very soon.  UF athletic director Jeremy Foley has reportedly met with Colorado State coach Jim McElwain about the Florida vacancy and McElwain has emerged as the leading candidate to take over for Will Muschamp.

** The new College Football Playoff Committee has released its new poll and the top four teams are now Alabama, Oregon, TCU and Florida State.

** The University of Alabama-Birmingham is shutting down its football program due to financial concerns; the team is bowl eligible this year and the players would like to play if they are invited to a bowl game.

** Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, amid speculation he was a hot commodity for the Florida job, gets a new contract and a raise from his current school, Ole Miss.   Ironically, the Gators will play Ole Miss next season.

** Brady Hoke was fired as the football coach at Michigan.   He coached four seasons for the Wolverines.

** Kevin Durant scored 27 points in his season debut after recovering from injury but his Oklahoma City Thunder lose to New Orleans 112-104.


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Is McElwain Florida’s Next Football Coach?

By on December 3rd, 2014

University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley is in Fort Collins, Colorado amid reports he is negotiating with Colorado State football coach Jim McElwain to possibly become Florida’s new football coach.

Foley flew out west yesterday and several media reports say he and McElwain did meet to discuss the job that became vacant when Will Muschamp was let go.

There could be more meetings between the parties today.   The Denver Post reported that Foley and McElwain spoke as early as this past Saturday about the Florida job.

McElwain, a former offensive coordinator at Alabama, has been the head coach at Colorado State for three seasons.   This year, the Rams are 10-2, and feature an offense that is one of the best in the country led by senior quarterback Garrett Grayson, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, and sophomore wide receiver Rashard Higgins, a Biletnikoff Award finalist after gaining over 1400 yards receiving this year with 15 touchdowns.

All indications are that McElwain is the top candidate for the job at Florida; the only possible stumbling block might be the 7.5 million dollar buyout clause in his contract but sources tell ESPN 850 WRUF that the buyout can be altered or negotiated to a different number.

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