Florida Hires Ex-Saban Assistant McElwain as Coach

Jim McElwain, a former assistant under Nick Saban, is the new coach of the University of Florida.

McElwain, 52, was in his third season at Colorado State, where he led the Rams to a 22-16 record, including 10-2 this year. Prior to his first head-coaching job, he was Saban’s offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide to national championships in 2009 and 2011.

McElwain earlier this week was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year. The Rams have won 16 of their last 20 games, including a run of nine straight earlier this season. The team finished its regular season last weekend with a 27-24 loss to Air Force.

The hiring comes three weeks after Florida fired Will Muschamp. In almost four years under Muschamp, the Gators were a combined 27-20 with no Southeastern Conference titles and one season of double-digit wins.

Muschamp succeeded Urban Meyer, who led the Gators to three SEC titles and two national championships from 2005-2010.

McElwain had a $7.5 million buyout at Colorado State, according to ESPN, which reported today that contract talks were held up because Florida didn’t want to pay the full amount. Florida hasn’t said whether the schools settled on a smaller amount.

The unranked Gators have the No. 30 recruiting class for 2015, according to ESPN. That is based on nine commits, the fewest in the SEC.

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