The focus wasn’t about the coaches’ offices in the football facility. McElwain wanted all of the attention on areas that impact the players.
“As I told the people around, don't worry about our offices,” Jim McElwain said. “It doesn't matter. It's about what the players -- it's about helping them. We're moving in that direction. Got a long ways to go, but it's good to see that those things are happening.”
Florida’s indoor practice facility continues to go up quickly. The Gators needed one for a long time before his arrival in Gainesville, but McElwain was able to get a 100-yard facility that will provide cover for practice on rainy Florida days, but it’s also an important link in the recruiting process for the Gators.
The original plan was for it to be done in September, but according to McElwain, the progress is ahead of schedule.
“When you go into it, I think it was long needed, and it's a beautiful facility,” McElwain said. “They're ahead of the construction date right now. It sounds like we'll at least be able to get permit to be able to go spend a couple hours in there as we go through two-a-days. So that's something that's really exciting, and it's exciting for our guys.”
When the indoor practice facility plan was set in stone, McElwain and Florida administration turned their attention to the athletic dorms. They needed serious attention after being ignored for extended time, falling behind the schools the Gators are recruiting against in the southeast.
The updated dorms are also expected to be done by the time the fall semester starts.
“Gutting out some of the dorms, the living arrangements is something we tackled right away, and that should be finished up for these guys to be moving in this fall,” McElwain said. “We're excited about that and the security within those dorms, something that's really important.”
During his press conference in the main room on Monday afternoon, McElwain was asked why the SEC West has been able to dominate the league over the last six years. He brought his answer back to facilities again.
“I think the one thing that they have done on that side is they've really invested in facilities,” McElwain said. “I think, when you look at it up and down the road as far as helping in the recruiting phase of it, I think that they're really -- there's a lot of really good things happening that way. And they got out ahead of the curve just a little bit.
“But at the same time, we all have the opportunity to recruit the same guys, right? So that's what we've got to be able to do, and we've got to be able to put them together and go out and play their tails off.”