A coaching change is always a big opportunity for athletic directors to make changes to their football programs but in the case of Florida’s transition from Jim McElwain to Dan Mullen, Gators AD Scott Stricklin is also wiping away some of the reminders of the former from the team’s stadium.
247Sports’ GatorBait.net says that UF is removing the 2015 and 2016 SEC East division title signage from the Swamp after their former coach fought to get the accomplishments recognized at the team’s home stadium.
“Part of it is we’re going through an assessment of our signage and our graphics at all of our facilities,” Stricklin told the site. “We don’t have any division titles listed at our facilities. Baseball has won a bunch of division titles but they aren’t recognized anywhere. We recognized SEC and NCAA championships pretty consistently across all of our venues in every sport.”
You can certainly understand the thinking on two fronts. While winning the division was undoubtedly an accomplishment for those two Florida teams, many in the fan base probably don’t view the efforts as fondly as you would expect given how weak the SEC East was at the time and the fact that both times ended in drubbings by Alabama in the conference title game. Add in a messy divorce from McElwain after two and a half somewhat strange seasons in Gainesville and you can see why making sure the new guy has a clean slate without any reminders of the past is a good idea.
Of course, at a place like Florida it also goes without saying that competing for SEC and national titles is what the program expects to be doing and winning the division is nice but somewhat expected from Mullen on down. Either way, it seems like the only visible reminders of McElwain’s tenure will soon be limited to the school’s media guide at this rate.