GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley met with the media Saturday to discuss the latest plans for this year’s renovation of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Naturally, the Gators football team was also brought up during his availability. Foley praised UF coach Jim McElwain and what he accomplished in his first season.
“Obviously he had a great year, and we’re very proud of the job he’s done,” Foley told reporters. “You’d be hard-pressed to say it’s not moving in the right direction. Obviously it didn’t end the way anyone wants, especially coach Mac.
“But to sit here and look at a team that won 10 games and made it to Atlanta, made it to a Jan. 1 bowl game in our first year with probably some holes, I think that’s a reflection on coach Mac and his staff.”
To date, that staff has remained in tact thus far, despite several high-profile coaching changes in the SEC and throughout college football. If all nine assistants return next season, it will be the first time since 2007 that Florida has brought back an entire coaching staff from the previous season.
“Knock on wood,” Foley said. “Obviously there’s some NFL jobs out there and you never know what the domino effect is there, but right now our staff is here. I think I’ve said before it’s as good a football staff as I’ve ever been around in terms of not only coaching, but the type of people they are.
“I give all the credit in the world to coach Mac. He thoughtfully and deliberately found those guys and they’re all good Gators. Right now they’re still Gators. I’m confident that that’ll continue to be.”
Foley added that the University Athletic Association is working with an architectural firm to develop a “master plan” that will be ready in February to upgrade the facilities for football as well as other sports.
Last year the UAA built an indoor practice field and luxury apartments for the football program, which will receive another round of facility upgrades once February’s plan is in place.
“There’s some stuff we want to get done in football,” Foley said. “There’s some things that I think will enhance what we’re doing.”