Florida coach Jim McElwain shocked some in the college football world by winning the SEC East in his first season leading the Gators. On Friday, he was rewarded for the quick success.
McElwain received a $750,000 annual raise to his initial contract that runs through 2020, the school announced. He will now earn $4.25 million per season.
“We recognized early in Coach Mac’s tenure that he totally changed the vibe around football for The Gator Nation and in the building,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. “(Florida President) Dr. Fuchs and I first talked about this in mid-October — we didn’t want to make it about winning one game or advancing to the SEC Championship Game.
“We wanted to make a change because of the direction of the program and his leadership. From the moment he set foot on this campus, he has steadily put into place his blueprint for the football program. His efforts have been relentless. We are very grateful to have him and his family in Gainesville.”
McElwain’s new deal vaults him to sixth on the list of the SEC’s highest-paid coaches, and first among SEC East coaches. Alabama’s Nick Saban ($7 million), Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin ($5 million), Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze ($4.7 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($4.39 million) and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn ($4.35 million) are ahead of the second-year Florida coach.
“It’s great to know that our university and administration believe in the direction we are taking this program,” McElwain said. “This sends a strong message about the things we are putting in place and the work of the entire organization. It sends a real message in recruiting that we have the support and confidence in our long-term vision.”
The Gators went 10-4 in McElwain’s first season, winning the East outright for the first time since 2009.