Gator News And World Report (10/26/04)

The Gator News and World Report for Tuesday, October 26, 2004. UF gives up on Zook; eyes turn to Spurrier; This search will be longer than last one; Spurrier's supporters can't be too proud to beg; Players Devastated By Decision; News aside, players prepare for UGA; Foley, Machen slept on decision; Let Spurrier coach 'em up this week and more...

Florida Gator Football

UF gives up on Zook; eyes turn to Spurrier
Gators' loss on Saturday the clinching factor in firing

Players angered, shocked by move
Florida defensive tackle Ray McDonald walked slowly back to the locker room following a Monday night practice.

This search will be longer than last one
What kind of timetable is Florida looking at to complete the search?

Spurrier's supporters can't be too proud to beg
If the Gator Nation really wants Steve Spurrier back, they had better be ready to do a little smooching.

After MSU loss, Foley was right to pull plug
A long-standing friendship with the boss isn't always enough to hang on to a job. Sometimes, even a good man runs out of second chances.

Who's next at UF?
Spurrier obvious possibility, but lots of others could vie for job The search for the next Florida football coach begins with the obvious.

Students' opinions on decision mixed
Some agree with firing, while others say coach just needed more time.

Prep standout dislikes ouster
White High's Bryan Evans, a SuperPrep All-American defensive back, said Monday night that Florida has fallen from the top of his choices as a result of Ron Zook's firing. Evans named LSU and Tennessee as his other leaders and is also considering Florida State, where his cousin Tony Carter plays, and Georgia.

Some top alumni support firing
Boosters, others like Zook, but say last lost showed it was time for him to go.

Fired Florida Coach Ron Zook Will Finish The Season
As the word ``players'' escaped his lips Monday afternoon, Ron Zook trembled.

Zook Fired Soundoff
After Ron Zook was introduced as the new University of Florida football coach, invited fans to submit their thoughts. Here is a sampling of comments:

Spurrier Won't Be The Only Option
University of Florida president Bernie Machen scrolled down the list of e-mails on his BlackBerry pager Monday afternoon.

Frats Low-Key In Wake Of Zook's Firing
Along the University of Florida's Fraternity Row - another on-campus spot where Ron Zook absorbed an embarrassing public defeat - there were no banners or wild parties. There were no references to Zook's September shouting match with Pi Kappa Phi fraternity members, which later came to light in a police report.

Players Devastated By Decision
If many Florida fans were happy with the news of Ron Zook's firing, the players were devastated when they learned the coach that stood by them for the past three seasons would not be their coach after this season.

Spurrier Sidesteps Succession Questions
Steve Spurrier was smiling Monday, but not about what you think.

Gators Notebook
Now that our program has been freed from the awful mediocrity that was the Ron Zook era, Gators everywhere await en masse to congregate at a place and time of Jeremy Foley's choosing

UF's list should begin, end with only one name
verybody calm down. This isn't going to happen in a day or a week. Circulate all of the rumors you want, but it was clear Monday that the Bernie and Jeremy Show is not going to close after one performance.

Captains abound, but who can save UF's ship?
Stunningly, unexpectedly, one of college football's prized head coaching jobs came open Monday morning with the firing of Florida's Ron Zook. Now, in the middle of the season, the search begins for a replacement.

News aside, players prepare for UGA
Florida broke practice about 25 minutes early Monday night, understandable considering how the day played out for the embattled football program.

Frat incident a 'distraction'
UF president Dr. Bernie Machen said the exchange did not affect his decision.

Foley, Machen slept on decision
Here's a closer look at the timeline of the events directly preceding Ron Zook's firing.

Bulldogs ponder Gators' plight
Despite Florida's turmoil, Georgia knows how the series has played the past 14 years.

UF fires embattled Zook
Ron Zook all but broke down in tears Monday while talking about what his players and the football program at Florida meant to him.

Both sides know it: UF, Spurrier were made for each other
The symmetry of the hypocrisy is perfect and symbolic and perfectly symbolic. Educator Ron Zook allegedly stands in front of a frat house with the football team he brought over, looking for a fight.

Gators fans appear pleased
Defensive tackle Ray McDonald described his team as being angry, but most Florida football fans seemed happy to learn that Ron Zook had been fired as the Gators' coach.

Zook error ends!
The emotions ran the gamut, changing colors at every intersection and every barstool that make up the zealous Gator Nation.

Who's next?
Could Ron Zook's replacement at Florida be his predecessor? Speculation as to the Gators' next coach centers on former UF coach Steve Spurrier, with Utah Coach Urban Meyer also considered a top candidate:

Let Spurrier coach 'em up this week
The University of Florida will conduct a national coaching search to replace Ron Zook.

Talk of Florida irritates Utah's Meyer
There was so much going on Monday morning that Utah Coach Urban Meyer had to turn off his phone. And he said he may leave it off.

UF keeps trying to resolve issues
There are plenty of questions. There just aren't many answers. Why they can't maintain second half leads, why they seem fatigued at the end of games and why there are too few playmakers are all issues the Gators are trying to resolve. And with Georgia looming days away, Florida's putting on its thinking cap.

Some UF recruits worry and wonder
Florida fans might be excited about the possible return of Steve Spurrier, but at least one blue-chip recruit will pass on the Gators if the old ball coach comes back.

Zook ousted
Time finally ran out for Ron Zook to prove to his ever-growing legion of detractors — who began mobilizing the day he was hired to replace Steve Spurrier — that he was the right football coach for the University of Florida.

A quick hiring isn't likely to be repeated
Steve Spurrier might be the popular choice to replace Ron Zook, but some of the nation's hottest head coaches — Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Utah's Urban Meyer, Cal's Jeff Tedford and Louisville's Bobby Petrino — likely will end up in the mix before the University of Florida's next football coach is named.

The visor sightings begin
Ron Zook choked back tears Monday at a hastily called news conference and then rushed off to the practice field, saying, "I have a football team to coach." That's the Zooker, "Go, Man, Go," to the bitter end of his relevance as boss of the Florida Gators and beyond.

End of an awkward relationship
The only laugh line for Ron Zook in an emotional goodbye on live television was one he did not intend.

Boosters value Zook but prefer victories
Monday was the wrong day for Jeannie Macaluso to turn off her cellphone.

Notes and quotes from the Era of Ron Zook
Zook, upon being hired, on his runner-up choice of professions: "Hopefully I would have been a good dentist, one who cares about people, who understands and is compassionate. I try to keep people's feelings in mind. But the good Lord didn't think I should be a dentist."

Florida Gator UF Tennis' Jillian Alexander-Brower

Last moments were special moments
Jillian Alexander-Brower lost her five-month bout with cancer on Monday.

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