McElwain arrives in Gainesville

After the official announcement on Thursday, Florida coach Jim McElwain arrived the Gainesville Regional Airport early Friday evening.

The introduction was short and sweet, as McElwain spent no more than five minutes on the ground before he was whisked away in a university vehicle and driven to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

When his plane landed at the University Air Center just north of Gainesville Regional Airport at 4:50 p.m., McElwain’s family poured off the plane first. Joined by his three children and wife, McElwain walked from the plane to the building off the runway. He high-fived Albert and Alberta mascots and thanked the cheerleaders for coming during his walk up the ramp of the building. The Florida coach was greeted by a contingent of 15 media members inside.

McElwain didn’t want to talk to the media on Friday -- he’ll have his introductory press conference on Saturday at 11 a.m. When asked about speaking to the media, the Florida coach replied with a smile, “You guys are going to get sick of me anyway.” His ear-to-ear grin was difficult to miss on during his quick walk from the airplane to the car on Friday.

He shook hands with some of the student members of the Rowdy Reptiles before walking out the building for his car that was headed to the stadium. And then he was gone, no more than five minutes after he stepped off the plane.

McElwain was officially named the head coach of the Gators on Thursday after negotiations over his $7.5 million buyout from Colorado State were completed. The buyout was talked down to $7 million, with Florida paying $3 million over a six-year span. McElwain will pay $2 million out of his pocket, and the remaining $2 million will be paid when the Rams travel to Gainesville for a game at some point between 2017-20.

Check back to on Saturday when McElwain is formally introduced at 11 a.m.

Fightin Gators Top Stories