If Florida Offers Him the Job: Jim McElwain Has to Say Yes


Jim McElwain has done a remarkable job in his three years at Colorado State. He’s taken a program that was 4-8 with very little talent, and turned it into a 9-1 team this season. That 9-1 record includes an eight game winning streak and an outside chance at a New Year’s Day Bowl Game.

He’s done all of this with someone else’s players; sure some are his guys but for the most part, McElwain is winning with Steve Fairchlids’ players. The future looks bright for the Rams but there might be a wrench in the plan.

McElwain’s name has come up in connection with the open job at the University of Florida. Actually it has more than just come up, many believe the McElwain is one of the leading candidates to land the job. At this point, these are all rumors but in my experience there is usually a lot of truth in rumors like these.

If McElwain is offered the job at Florida, HE SHOULD TAKE IT! Yes you read that right, McElwain has to say yes if the Gators come calling.

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No one is a bigger fan of the Colorado State Football Program than me and the selfish part of me wants McElwain to stay forever, but that’s not realistic. McElwain is an up and coming star in the coaching ranks, and it is only a matter of time before a big time program offers him a job that he just can’t say no to.

Think about the job you are in right now; would you turn down a huge pay raise, a chance to work at the very top of your profession and a chance to compete with the very best? Some of you would because you are happy and that’s commendable. Sonny Lubick turned down Miami 20+ years ago to stay in Fort Collins and I don’t believe he ever regretted that decision. However, that’s the exception and not the rule.

McElwain, like most coaches, is always looking for the next challenge and the next mountain to climb.

As great of place as Colorado State is, there is a ceiling for the football program. They could go undefeated for five straight years and they are never going to play for a National Championship. The Rams are never going to play in front of 90,000 fans versus the likes of Alabama, LSU, Auburn and so on. Colorado State just can’t compete with that.

A head coaching job in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is the Holy Grail for most college coaches and McElwain would be foolish to turn down that opportunity if it presents itself. He has experience in the conference and knows the area very well, which will make him attractive to the Gators.

While he was at Alabama as the offensive coordinator, McElwain was responsible for getting a number of their five star recruits to commit there and was a part of two National Championship teams.

He trained under Nick Saban who is considered the best college coach in the country and the Gators will look at that. If they believe that McElwain is the next great coach, then this very well could happen.

Even if it’s not Florida or not this year, it’s going to happen. A big program is eventually going to offer McElwain a chance that he just can’t turn down. It will upset most every fan of the Rams and that’s understandable, but I won’t be one of them.

I’ll miss him and I’ll be sad to see him go, but I’ll wish him well and I will root for him. McElwain has done wonders for Colorado State and he doesn’t owe anyone, anything. He owes it to himself to be the very best he can be and that involves taking over a big program and leading them to championships.

If Florida offers, McElwain has no choice. He has to say yes!