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Not all new college football coaches wait for success

in Sports/Top Headlines by

With a new coach comes a new start. New hope. New ideas.

With a new coach, hopefully there is a new direction, and new energy, and new standards.

With a new coach, the old days are possible all over again.

Just as the Florida Gators, who have returned to their winning ways after hiring Jim McElwain. The Gators are 8-1 and ranked 11th in the nation. They have survived a new quarterback, and then a second new quarterback. They have succeeded despite an difficult schedule.

For McElwain, it will do for a start.

The thing is, however, McElwain is just one of several new coaches who are making their presence known in college football. How about Tom Herman at Houston, who has gone 9-0 and is ranked 16th in the nation. How about Jim Harbaugh of Michigan, who is 7-2 and ranked 15th? How about Paul Chryst of Wisconsin, who is 8-2 and ranked 23rd?

For some new coaches, it happens this way. In his second stint at Stanford, Bill Walsh had a great first year (10-3) but fell off afterward. Steve Spurrier had the best record in the SEC in his first year (although his team was ineligible for the title). Larry Coker won a national title at Miami.

Jimbo Fisher won a division title. So did Les Miles. Urban Meyer was unbeaten at Ohio State. Gus Malzahn of Auburn played in the national title game.

Some of the coaches listed here sustained their success. Some did not.

With McElwain, we’ll see.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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