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With McElwain Out, UF's Athletic Director Begins Search For Next Gators Football Coach

Former UF football Head Coach Jim McElwain.
Former UF football Head Coach Jim McElwain.

The search is on for a new head football coach at the University of Florida after the school parted ways with Jim McElwain on Sunday, following the Gators’ 42-to-7 drubbing by Georgia the day before in Jacksonville.

WJCT sports analyst Cole Pepper said whoever is hired, it will be a legacy-making decision for UF Athletic Director Scott Stricklin.

Former UF football Head Coach Jim McElwain.
Credit University of Florida / Via WUSF
Former UF football Head Coach Jim McElwain.

However, Pepper said on First Coast Connect Monday it appears Stricklin may already know what he’s looking for in a coach, based on what the athletic director himself had to say about the search.

“Whether it’s hard work, whether it’s character, whether it’s competitiveness—their ability to sell both to fans and to recruits—these are figure it out kind-of jobs,” said Stricklin.

Pepper’s list of 13 possible candidates for the head coach job at UF includes former Gators’ defensive coordinator Bob Stoops and former N-F-L head coach Chip Kelly.

“Every school is different. Every School is unique. Every school has its own set of strengths and challenges and there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to what’s going to be successful at every school,” Stricklin surmised.

In the meantime, interim coach Randy Shannon will lead the team for the Gator’s last four games.

Florida and McElwain agreed to part ways a day after a third consecutive loss and nearly a week after he said his players and their families had received death threats.

The parties are negotiating McElwain's $12.5 million buyout.

WUSF contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 or on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

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