Best Gator Hires: Part Two

Our look at the best hiring decisions in the last 30 years at UF continues with five more exceptional additions to the UF program. Again, these "hires" are ranked based on the success the person had at UF, the risk level or inspiration behind the hire and the prestige the individual brought to UF over a period of years.

Let's remember the hires identified thus far:

  • #30 Anne Marie Rogers
  • #29 Beverly Kearney
  • #28 Bill Koss
  • #27 Keith Tribble
  • #26 Norman Sloan

    #25 Ron Aldy ----- When Carol Ross needed an "X and O" assistant to help raise the Florida program to a new level she turned to her former mentor and it worked out just fine. Aldy came to the Gators in 1994 and the Florida squad went on the best five year run in school history. The Gator women won 114 games in those five years, made the NCAA Tournament every year and reached the elite eight once and sweet 16 another time.

    #24 Andy Lopez ----- Lopez was one of the nation's hottest coaches when the Gators pried him from his native West Coast and Pepperdine. He had won the College World Series and the Gators hoped he could do the same thing here. After a tough transitional year (1995) Lopez guided the Gators to the SEC Title and a trip to Omaha in year two and returned the Gators to the College World Series in 1998. He was fired after being eliminated in the NCAA Regional three years later, but his five NCAA bids in seven years is the best percentage of any Gator Baseball Coach.

    #23 Dr. Keith Carodine ----- Since arriving in 1992, Carodine has elevated the Gators' Office of Student Life to a national model for the development of the entire student-athlete. Florida annually leads the SEC in academic all-conference honorees. Think about it, when it the last time you heard about a Gator student-athlete being academically ineligible?

    #22 Greg Troy ----- In 1997 the Gator Women's Swim Team finished a dismal 20th at the NCAA Championships and Greg Troy was brought in. The next year he took over the struggling men's team as well. Troy has re-established the Florida programs as consistent top ten performers nationally and top three in the SEC. Last year the Gator men were fourth and the women seventh at the NCAA meet and both look to be stronger in 2008.

    #21 Norm Carlson ----- Mister "C" was already a long timer at UF when I got here, but I couldn't leave him off this list. Carlson is credited by many for Steve Spurrier winning the Heisman in 1966 but his greatest contribution to UF might have been his steady demeanor and calming influence during Florida's big NCAA investigation in 1983-84. Carlson is now often listed as Florida's historian, but that title doesn't do justice to one of the classiest gentlemen ever to go to work at Florida Field.

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