Doesn’t every coach want to run the Gators?

by Gary Shelton on December 1, 2014 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, University of Florida

It’s an easy question, really. And a common one.

These days, it’s being asked in Oxford. And in Fort Collins. Maybe in Clemson. It could be asked in Los Angeles. Wherever whistles are sold, best best college coaches in America are asking it.

Do I want this Florida coaching job?

Do I really?

It isn’t as simple an answer as you might think. Yeah, I know. For those who love Florida the way Tim Tebow loves Florida, why, it’s the place where the angels sing. The sky is bluer, the grass is greener and there always seems to be a Tom Petty song on the radio.

You know how it is for fans. They simply cannot imagine anyone not wanting to live in Gainesville, and not wanting to be a Gator. They cannot fathom any coach who would turn down the chance to work there. To a Florida fan, Bill Belichick and Nick Saban are prepared to get into a fistfight for the right to interview.

But to the coaches, is it really that great a job?

Let’s be honest. Coaching the Florida Gators is a trip to the meat-grinder. You win, and you win big, or the fan base is going to have no use for you. You pass, and you make opponent look silly, or the fan base will shake its head.

Some jobs ought to come with a warning label. This is one of them. Not every coach, and not every good one, is cut out to work on these sidelines. In Gainesville, they keep score by the size of your trophies. In Gainesville, no one is happy until the seventh extra point of the night. Maybe the eighth.

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