Former Florida coach Steve Spurrier says Jim McElwain’s offense was ‘so bad’

Former Florida coach Steve Spurrier revolutionized the Gators offense in the 1990’s with his wide open attack, leading to a national title and six SEC crowns during his 12 years as coach. 

Jim McElwain, who parted ways with Florida on Sunday after just two-and-a-half years in the same position, never achieved the same kind of success.

The “Head Ball Coach” shared his thoughts about the Gator offense with The State.

“The offense has been so bad, everybody knows it,” Spurrier said. “Did you see us play Georgia? Yeah, it was a sad, sad day, but anyway.”

Spurrier echoed the sentiments of Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin, who said that the sudden decision to part ways with McElwain — who won back-to-back SEC East championships in 2015 and 2016 — was a culmination of several issues behind the scenes that boiled over in front of the world last week during a week-long controversy stemming from unsubstantiated death threats McElwain claimed during a press conference. 

“I thought he did a good job of saying that this was not about wins and losses, it was about the whole thing, other things and so forth,” Spurrier said. “That was just part of it, the wins and losses. He took into consideration everything I guess, and they thought it was time to make a change.”

Matt Hayes of Bleacher Report said Sunday that Spurrier, who serves as an ambassador and consultant to the Florida program and has an office on campus, reached out to McElwain twice this fall and was rebuffed. Spurrier said in the report from The State that he had a good relationship with current Gators offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and discussed the offense “every week or so,” but didn’t say anything about doing the same with McElwain.

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Florida’s offense is currently ranked 81st nationally in yards per play (5.38), finished 105th in 2016 (5.19) and 102nd in 2015 (5.11). 

The Gators (3-4, 3-3 SEC) will travel to Missouri this weekend in a game that kicks off at noon ET.