Florida coach Jim McElwain has a happy boss.
UF athletic director Jeremy Foley has praised the job McElwain did in his first year with the Gators, guiding the team to a 10-win season and SEC East title.
McElwain and his assistants are full speed ahead in 2016 with National Signing Day coming up and spring practice around the corner. In a Q&A with FloridaGators.com, Foley said he’s been impressed with McElwain’s vision for the football program.
“I just like the way Mac goes about his job,” Foleys said. “He is very thoughtful, very methodical. He knows what he wants and what his vision is. I’ve been very impressed with his vision for the total program, and the way he has gone about setting a foundation in order to achieve those goals has been very impressive.
“When you hire a coach, you can look at their track record, you can look at national championship rings, you can look at what he’s done with quarterbacks — everybody can find that out. But until you get there and watch him work and watch him deal with players and watch his philosophy on things, it’s hard to see the whole picture. The more I’m around him, the more I’m impressed with what he visualizes is going to happen here.”
Florida’s 2015 campaign took a turn for the worst in October when quarterback Will Grier, who led the Gators to a 6-0 start, was suspended one year by the NCAA after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. UF finished 4-4 with a three-game losing streak to end the season, and Grier transferred from the school last month.
Foley commended McElwain for the way he handled the whole ordeal.
“I like the fact that Mac is very competitive,” McElwain said. “He hates to lose, but he never overreacts to things he can’t control. Calling it like it is, he had a very difficult situation with Will Grier. He just dealt with it and moved on, turned the page. He had no choice but to turn the page. He had no control of that situation.
“I’m not talking about turning the page on Will and his life and his future, but you can’t worry about something you can’t control. I think that’s really important. His focus has been really impressive.”