December 6, 2017
News and notes on Florida Gators of the past, present and future.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dan Mullen has game. Shoe game.
The new Gators head coach is known for his trendy selection of casual shoes, most notably those Yeezys made famous by Kanye West. They are comfortable and, perhaps more importantly in the life of a college football coach, recruits dig them.
Florida’s announcement Wednesday that its football and men’s and women’s basketball teams are making the move to Jordan Brand gear for the 2018-19 season is a perfect fit for Mullen’s feet.
Dan already has a plan.
“I can’t wait to roll into SEC Media Days with a fresh pair of Jordans. I will be rocking them in recruiting as well,” Mullen told CBSSports.com. “Recruits are always asking about swag and what kind of gear we have.”
Florida joins Michigan, North Carolina and Oklahoma as football programs who have partnered with the Jordan Brand. The Wolverines unveiled their Jordan Brand uniforms in 2016 to rave reviews from their fan base.
The move is multi-fashionable for the 45-year-old Mullen. The University Athletic Association was in talks with the Jordan Brand for several months prior to Mullen’s arrival.
“Obviously, it is a great marketing and branding advantage to be associated with the Jordan Brand — and at the same time, the gear is comfortable and functional for our players,” he said.
The Gators volleyball team is hosting the regional final for the first time since 2011. As the No. 2 overall seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, Florida (27-1) is in good position to advance to the Final Four for the first time in 14 years.
But first, the Gators must defeat UCLA on Friday night, and if they get by the Bruins, must face the Southern Cal-Minnesota winner for the region title.
In her 27th season, Gators head coach Mary Wise is still chasing the program’s first national title. Check out the story below on Wise by Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com.
“I’m thrilled with how far volleyball’s come: how many girls are playing now, how athletic this game is, how many times we’re on television, the crowds we’re drawing.” — @GatorsVB Mary Wisehttps://t.co/g9f6eyRIYD
— espnW (@espnW) December 6, 2017
Randy Shannon took over as interim coach when Jim McElwain departed with four games left in the regular season and under difficult circumstances, Shannon kept the team together. Shannon was not retained after Mullen was hired but quickly landed on his feet this week when new UCF coach Josh Heupel hired Shannon as defensive coordinator …
“Well let me give you a little story about UCF…”
— #TheHeupIsReal ?? (@UCF_Football) December 5, 2017
Another former Gators assistant – offensive coordinator Kurt Roper – is on the other end of the coaching carousel. Roper was let go after two seasons as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator under ex-UF coach Will Muschamp, who hired Roper to run Florida’s offense in his final season with the Gators in 2014 …
— News 19 WLTX (@WLTX) December 6, 2017
Former Gators reserve offensive lineman Elijah Brown Jr. has passed away at age 43. Brown was a prep All-American at University Christian School in Jacksonville in 1992.
Elijah Brown Jr. However, Brown’s weight and academic issues kept him from cracking the lineup on a regular basis at UF.
Brown passed away on Nov. 27 in Jacksonville due to complications from diabetes. Brown created a gofundme.com page four months ago trying to raise funds for a kidney transplant. Former teammates such as Ed Chester and Jon Xynidis contributed to Brown’s cause according to donations posted on the website.
Brown is survived by a son and two daughters.
Former Gators shooting star Bradley Beal showed off his touch in Portland on Tuesday night, scoring a career-high 51 points in Washington’s win over the Trail Blazers.
Beal made 21 of 37 shots and scored the most points by an opponent in Portland history, topping Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (49), Larry Bird (47) and Michael Jordan (46).
Beal said it’s the only time he has scored 50 points in a game since a 52-point outburst in high school at Chaminade College Preparatory School in Missouri …
Bradley Beal got out of his own head, ditched the glasses and had a career night https://t.co/y2S57b0Vmi
— Post Sports (@PostSports) December 6, 2017
Maria Torres finished her final season with the Gators last spring and recently earned her LPGA Tour card. She appeared on The Golf Channel on Wednesday morning to discuss becoming the first Puerto Rican player on the LPGA Tour.
Check out this story from ESPN.com …
This past weekend, she became the first Puerto Rican woman to achieve the feat.https://t.co/8CtNiSZPnn
— espnW (@espnW) December 6, 2017