Jim McElwain’s $7.5 million buyout looked like it could keep him from being the head coach in Gainesville, but the buyout was negotiated down to $7 million and the sides got creative to make it work.
Florida will pay Colorado State $3 million over a six-year span. McElwain will pay $2 million out of his pocket to the Rams. The final $2 million will be paid to Colorado State in return for a visit to The Swamp at some point between 2017-20.
McElwain’s total compensation package from Florida will average $3.5 million annually over six years.
“Coach McElwain was someone we targeted from the beginning of the search,’’ Foley said in a statement. “The more we worked through the process and did our due diligence, coupled with our meeting and conversations with him and those around him, it was obvious he is the right person to lead the Florida Gator football program.”
The track record on the offensive side of the football caught the attention of the Florida administration. Yahoo! Sports reported on Sunday night that McElwain was gaining traction as a possibility and that Foley spoke with him about the job on Saturday night after the Gators’ regular season ended with a loss at Florida State.
McElwain coached in the Southeastern Conference and served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2008-11. He recruited the southeast and the state of Florida, giving him experience with what he’ll do as the head coach in Gainesville.
Foley made it clear in his press conference that he wanted a coach with a track record of offensive success, and McElwain has had that in all stops.
“He has a proven track record on the offensive side of the ball, has coached in the SEC, won two national championships and has had success as a head coach,’’ Foley said. “He has recruited the South and the state of Florida and has spent time coaching at the highest level in the NFL.
“He has an engaging personality and is someone who can connect with a variety of audiences and he operates with a high level of integrity. I welcome him and his family to The Gator Nation and I’m looking forward to working alongside him and his staff as they build a championship program both on and off the field.”