Gator News And World Report (12/08/2004)

The Gator News and World Report for Wednesday, December 8 , 2004. Player reviews mixed on Meyer; Several players ponder pro future; Degory Playing Through; Meyer anticipates a long and successful stay at UF; It's fun 'n' games again at Florida; UF won't let Zook coach Peach Bowl; Definitely the man for the job; Trust a Panther about Meyer; He Sounds Confident, Not Cocky; Meyer Impresses His Future Team and more...

Florida Gator Football

Foley: Zook won't coach bowl
Ron Zook couldn't make a decision about whether to coach Florida in the bowl game. Jeremy Foley made it for him.

Meyer wants to be just like Spurrier
GAINESVILLE -- When Florida hired Ron Zook in January 2002, he said 11 times at his introductory news conference that he wasn't Steve Spurrier

Strong to lead Gators in Peach
Charlie Strong's long-term future with the University of Florida is still up in the air, but his immediate future was made clear Tuesday when the Gators' defensive coordinator was named interim coach for the Dec. 31 Peach Bowl against Miami.

Player reviews mixed on Meyer
Urban Meyer was not even announced as the coach at Florida before some players decided he wasn't the right coach for them.

Several players ponder pro future
Florida center Mike Degory said Tuesday that he will definitely return for his season season, but running back Ciatrick Fason is still undecided about whether he will come back for his junior season.

Enjoying The View
He stood at the mouth of the Section 2 tunnel at 3:19 p.m., distinguishable only by his coat and tie from the step-climbers and joggers that populate Florida Field on a typical offseason Tuesday.

Zook Hired At Illinois
Ron Zook was fired a second time by the University of Florida on Tuesday.

Degory Playing Through
Mike Degory's appearance at new University of Florida coach Urban Meyer's news conference Tuesday debunked yet another slew of Internet rumors.

Meyer anticipates a long and successful stay at UF
Shortly after Urban Meyer decided he would accept Florida's offer to become the school's next head football coach, his 14-year-old daughter wanted an answer.

It's fun 'n' games again at Florida
The Swamp swagger is back. The Florida Gators have charisma again and chutzpah. And presence and prestige. And eloquence and arrogance.

UF won't let Zook coach Peach Bowl
Florida coach Ron Zook has coached his final game for the Gators, Florida spokesperson Steve McClain confirmed today. Zook, who was named Illinois' next coach at a press conference today, leaves the Gators with a final record of 23-14 – including a dramatic win at Florida State in his final game.

Zook won't coach in the Peach Bowl
AD Jeremy Foley changed his mind and said defensive coordinator Charlie Strong will coach Florida against UM.

New UF coach has tough reputation
Paris Warren has a word of advice for the Florida Gators about their new coach.

Coach's first conference a love-in
New Gators coach Urban Meyer toured The Swamp, soaked in Florida's lore and said all the right things as he was officially introduced in Gainesville.

UF players welcome new coach
Apprehension, questions and fidgeting marked Urban Meyer's first meeting with the University of Florida football team. And a lot of that came from the new coach himself.

Urban Meyer introduced as Florida head coach
Urban Meyer learned many years ago how special The Swamp is. Now it's his challenge to restore the Gators to Spurrier-like greatness.

Definitely the man for the job
From out of the shadow of Steve Spurrier on Tuesday stepped a sunburst of optimism, of systematic play-calling chaos, of gleeful Gator pranksterism. Come to think of it, Urban Meyer is pretty much what Spurrier was 14 years ago at the moment Florida football finally grew up and made a place for itself in the national championship discussion.

Foley welcomes AD position's risk, reward
He sounded genuinely surprised, even a little hurt, when he heard about the billboard on I-75 calling for his head.

Trust a Panther about Meyer
Count Urban Meyer among the believers in the ol' ball coach against which he will be measured — the coach he'll have to beat at South Carolina if he is to measure up.

Time on Zook's side this time
Ron Zook told Illinois football players, administrators and fans his Fighting Illini will become Big Ten championship contenders--in time.

He Sounds Confident, Not Cocky
You could tell why University of President Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley wanted Urban Meyer almost immediately after the coach started talking.

Meyer Impresses His Future Team
University of Florida center Mike Degory was one of the few players who knew their new football coach, Urban Meyer.

Meyer, Gainesville Enjoy Introduction
Called a great leader by University of Florida President Bernie Machen, Urban Meyer was formally introduced as coach of Gators' football team Tuesday.

Meyer expects high prospects
Urban Meyer was in the middle of a recruiting trip as a young assistant at Notre Dame who kept losing players to the Florida Gators when he just couldn't take it any longer.

Meyer already loves new home in Florida
Urban Meyer's eyes widened as he looked around Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. He saw references to the school's six Southeastern Conference titles, two Heisman Trophy winners and the 1996 national championship.

Confidence is in the heir
Urban Meyer first became enamored with the Florida football program back in the days when Steve Spurrier ran the show.

One thing's for sure: He can talk the talk
The first impressions are over, but still, there are many things you do not know about Urban Meyer, the new sheriff in town.

Florida Gator Basketball

Stetson at Florida
TV/Radio: Sunshine Network, WFXJ (930 AM). On the Hatters (2-2): Stetson was the preseason pick by The Sporting News to win the Atlantic Sun. ... All five starters average at least 27 minutes per game. ... Former Wolfson standout Will Holloman starts in Stetson's three-guard lineup and he's averaging 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

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