Urban Meyer's Replacement: 5 Candidates Florida Football Should Not Be Pursuing
As a result of Urban Meyer's decision to resign as the head coach of the Florida Gators, athletic director Jeremy Foley must now begin to hunt for a new man to lead his football program.
And with an opening as prestigious as the Florida head coaching job, Foley will certainly have a large pool of candidates to consider.
But some of the big names that have been thrown around would be wrong for the Gators even though they are great coaches in their own right.
Here are five coaching candidates that Florida should not seek out (in alphabetical order).
Honorable Mention: Steve Addazio
When Urban Meyer resigned and then decided instead to just take a leave of absence at the end of last season, offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was named the Florida Gators' interim head coach.
However, with the way this season has gone, athletic director Jeremy Foley would have to be an idiot to consider promoting Addazio to the top job.
But before you write off Addazio completely, remember that Foley did hire Ron Zook back in 2002.
This slide's only a joke--well, at least I hope it's a joke. Are you listening, Mr. Foley?
While he was a much more likely candidate for the Miami Hurricanes' vacant head coaching position, several members of the Gator Nation have thrown out Jon Gruden's name for consideration.
Gruden certainly has a sparkling résumé that includes 95 career NFL wins and a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII and he's definitely a big name that would bring a lot of fanfare.
However, he just doesn't seem like the right fit.
I'm a little wary of the NFL-college football crossover and while I believe Gruden is a good coach, he just doesn't really click right with the Gators in my mind.
Fortunately, this is a long shot and probably won't come close to happening.
Every time a high-profile coaching job opens, that sound you hear is Bobby Petrino's ears perking up.
The man who often flirted with Auburn while at Louisville and then ditched the Atlanta Falcons mid-season for the Arkansas Razorbacks is a high-risk, high-reward hire.
The word is that Petrino was a close second behind Urban Meyer in Florida Gators' athletic director Jeremy Foley's last head coaching search.
Sure, Petrino is a great offensive mind and one heckuva good recruiter, but will he actually view the Florida job as a destination like most other candidates will?
Petrino would be an unstable hire for the Gators, who will probably go looking for a guy that would be willing to stick around in Gainesville for a while.
Like Jon Gruden, Rich Rodriguez is also a long shot for the Florida Gators' job, but the reasoning for the embattled Michigan coach is legitimate.
In seven seasons running the spread offense as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, RichRod won 60 games, four Big East Championships, and three BCS bowl berths.
However, his record at Michigan has been awful, to say the least.
Granted, Rodriguez is completely reinventing Michigan football with his offensive strategy, but after three seasons, the folks in Ann Arbor are getting antsy.
For the Gator Nation's sake, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley would be wise to not even consider Rodriguez.
In recent seasons, the futility of the Big East has been exposed and with RichRod's struggles as Michigan's head coach, it seems that West Virginia's success under Rodriguez has been tarnished.
This move has potential, but with the pool of candidates the Gators have to choose from, they don't have to take this risk.
The intrigue of bringing the Ol' Ball Coach home to Gainesville is awfully tempting.
After all, he finally got over the hump at South Carolina and got the Gamecocks to the SEC Championship Game, annihilating Florida 36-14 at "The Swamp" in the process.
But let's face it, a return to Florida for Spurrier would be doomed for failure.
If you thought Spurrier set the bar high in Gainesville, just take a look at the standard Urban Meyer has set for his successor.
Even in his coaching prime, Spurrier didn't have the success that Meyer enjoyed during the past six years and if he were to struggle, then it would put the Gators in a very awkward Bobby Bowdenish situation.
It's certainly fun to talk about, but Spurrier has a very talented team in a weak SEC East division and he'd be crazy to leave it all behind for ridiculously high expectations at his alma mater.
Ever since Steve Spurrier left the Gators following the 2001 season, Bob Stoops has been the top candidate to take over Florida's head coaching job each time it's become available and for good reason.
After all, Stoops has had a phenomenal run as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, winning 128 games, seven Big 12 Championships, and the 2001 BCS National Championship.
However, pursuing Stoops is just a waste of time.
Stoops has rejected Florida's past advances and Oklahoma's a premier college coaching job in which the Gators' former defensive coordinator is very comfortable.
Besides, if Stoops did take the Florida job, how would he adjust to switching conferences after spending 12 years in the Big 12?
As great as Stoops is, there would definitely be some transitional pains in the process and with his current situation, why would he want to take that risk?
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