After Steve Spurrier returned to Florida last year as an “ambassador and consultant” to the UF athletic department, he got a close look at the direction of the football program under Jim McElwain.
The school opted to cut McElwain loose over the weekend following a 42-7 loss to rival Georgia. Spurrier, who coached the Gators to six SEC titles and a national championship during his 12-season tenure from 1990 to 2001, told The State newspaper the news was “surprising” but “not shocking.”
Spurrier’s teams were known for offense and offenses under McElwain have been consistently terrible.
“The offense has been so bad, everybody knows it,” Spurrier said. “Did you see us play Georgia? Yeah. It was a sad, sad day, but anyway…”
Spurrier said he offered some suggestions and would share plays with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and his staff “every week or so.” Sometimes they’d use them, but Spurrier ceded that some of his concepts were unfamiliar.
“Sometimes they actually use them, and sometimes it’s foreign to them,” Spurrier said. “Our offense was so much different from what they do here.”
“Different” is an understatement. Florida has lost three games in a row, is No. 112 nationally in total offense and is averaging just 21 points per game. After making the move to part ways with McElwain, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said the decision wasn’t just about wins and losses. There were things off the field, but the on-field product, despite two SEC East titles, wasn’t what he thinks Florida football should be.
“When Florida has been really good, it has looked really fun. I want it to be really fun. Our fans deserve it to be really fun,” Stricklin said.
Spurrier’s offenses were definitely fun, but he was adamant he won’t put himself in the mix. He may offer Stricklin some input, however.
“I may throw some names at him,” he said. “I’m not on the selection committee. Remember when they used to have those selection committees?”
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