Foley addresses coaching search

After an emotional Sunday and Monday morning, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley turned his focus to the coaching search on Monday afternoon.

Before getting to that point, Foley wanted to make sure the Florida fanbase understood the way he’s looking at this. Foley took the blame for the last four seasons and made sure fans know that he knows how important this hire is.

“We understand how important this hire is for this university,” Foley said. “We also understand the pride of the Gator Nation and we understand the pride they have in this football program. Because we have fallen short the last couple of years, we totally understand their frustration and it's their passion that can cut both ways but their passion makes it special.

“We may not have had the results in the last several weeks in The Swamp that we've wanted, but I've been on the field and seen how hard those fans have tried to work to make it special. It's an amazing place and we want to make this decision right for them, this program and this university.”

The characteristics that Foley listed included someone with “high integrity and character,” similar to the way Will Muschamp fit into the program and fixed the locker room issues.

But Foley also made it clear that the new coach will have experience on the offensive side of the football. He has heard about it from multiple Florida fans and understands how much the fan base and those around the program enjoy a head coach that can light up the scoreboard.

“We would obviously like an individual that's been successful on the offensive side of the ball, I think obviously that's what the Gator Nation wants and we see that and that's what we're certainly going to try to provide for them,” Foley said. “I think you listen to the fans, and certainly when Steve was here and Urban was here, what fans say, we think that's important. Going forward we will see what the pool looks like but we do think that's important.”

Asked if that eliminated anyone other than offensive candidates, Foley made it clear that he said he wants a coach “who has a track record of success on the offensive side of the ball.” That doesn’t rule out a coach with a defensive background who has had success with his offenses.

The timetable is less clear. Foley noted that he would like to have someone on the job in December, noting that it would be perfect to do that before Christmas. However, he also added that they would respect other schools and not try to disrupt any other program during their season.

Then there’s the money. Since the last Florida coaching search, salaries have gone up and coaches are making more money. Schools also have more money to keep coaches.

“We have always taken care of our coaches financially, I do think it's changed to the extent that a the lot of people are paying their coaches a lot of money and there may be people that are movable or not movable,” Foley said.

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