When you compare the Florida Gators’ search for a successful head football coach, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seemingly never-ending search, Gainesville looks like a day at the beach. They’re on the lookout for their third coach in eight years, to try and match the success of Urban Meyer.
The Bucs are on number four in nine years, in their quest to try and match the success of Jon Gruden.
As Florida’s Athletic Director Scott Stricklin enters the third week in his search to replace Jim McElwain, three names are in the forefront...which means they’re being mentioned the most often on rumor websites.
Central Florida’s Scott Frost.
Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.
ESPN’s Chip Kelly.
I like Scott Frost for the job, but there are reasons he may not get it. He played QB at Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers reportedly want him to return as head coach. How strong are those Nebraska ties, for Frost?
He’s the hot, young up-and-comer in college football. No less an authority than my dentist...who demanded anonymity for this story...said Frost is an offensive play-calling genius. His Knights seem to routinely score 50-plus points a game.
Hey, isn’t that what the Gators would like?
Dan Mullen is a little older than Frost, with more head coaching experience than Frost, and a good reputation for developing quarterbacks. Ever hear of Dak Prescott? Mullen has Florida ties, having been Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator with the Gators for those two national championships. But now, he’s being mentioned strongly for the Tennessee job.
So, that leaves Chip Kelly. He’s got negatives, too, but it seems everybody does. His two NFL head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and San Francisco, idn’t work. His six years at Oregon, two as OC and four as HC, did work.. extremely well. His hurry-up offenses kept defenses off-balance to the tune of 40-plus points a game.
But how long will it take Kelly to find that dual-threat quarterback he loves to have running that high-octane offense? The Gators have one of the top QB recruits in California’s Matt Corrall, due on campus after the first of the year. Is he the guy to do it?
Remember this. Since Tim Tebow left Gainesville after the 2009 season, the Gators have started 11 different quarterbacks.
For any new coach, that is job #1.
Good luck...to the new head coach, whoever he will be...and to AD Scott Stricklin, for finding him.
Cover photo from the Florida Gator Football Facebook page