Foley understood what kind of job McElwain had in front of him in year one and given everything going on, liked what he saw out of the first year coach.
“He had a six year deal coming in and that is because we knew he had work to do,” Foley said. “He obviously had a great year and we’re very proud of the job he’s done.”
Florida won 10 games this season after subpar back-to-back years and the firing of the former coach. Foley saw lots of things that make him believe the future is bright under the current leader.
“We never put wins and losses expectations on our coaches,” he said. “We just want them to get the program headed in that direction. It would be hard to sit here and say it isn’t moving in the right direction. Obviously, it didn’t end the way anyone wanted, especially for Coach Mac. To sit here and look at a team that won 10 games, made it to Atlanta, and to a January 1, bowl game in his first year with probably some holes… I think that is a reflection on Coach Mac and his staff.”
Foley also sounded off on the staff and the job they have done. Several members of the football staff have multi-year contracts and that may have something to do with why McElwain was able to get a staff that has performed well to date. It is a group they want to keep intact.
“Knock on wood,” Foley said about keeping the staff in tact so far after a busy off season of coaching changes in the region. “Obviously there are some NFL jobs out there. You never know what the domino effect is there, but right now our staff is here. I think it is as good a staff as I have been around, not only as coaches but the kind of people they are. I give all the credit in the world to Coach Mac. He thoughtfully and deliberately found those guys and they’re all good Gators and right now they are still Gators. I’m confident that (they will be).”