Florida hires Jim McElwain as new Gators head coach

Colorado State coach Jim McElwain has been hired as the new coach at Florida, putting an end to one of the most high-profile searches of the offseason.

Negotiations on McElwain's massive buyout clause of $7.5 million were reportedly a sticking point Wednesday after UF athletic director Jeremy Foley flew to Fort Collins, Colo., to meet with the 52-year-old former Alabama offensive coordinator. But that hurdle has been cleared, as the school announced the hiring Thursday morning.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported on the details of the buyout Friday.

McElwain won two national championships under UA coach Nick Saban as the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator from 2008-2011 before taking the Colorado State job in 2012. The former Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach (2006) has a strong track record as an offensive mind, something Gator fans will no doubt embrace after seeing fired coach Will Muschamp's offenses struggle on a near-weekly basis.



Terms of McElwain's contract with Florida remain unclear.

Two other prominent programs, Nebraska and Michigan, are in search of coaches, as well.

Former Michigan coach Brady Hoke's offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, has worked with McElwain in the past and McElwain's recommendation was instrumental in Nussmeier replacing him as Alabama's offensive coordinator in 2012. With Michigan looking for a new head coach, McElwain could potentially turn to Nussmeier to direct the UF offense.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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