A success story that stretches further than pure dominance on the football field.
In the history of the Florida Gators, many legends have come and gone from the program, leaving long-lasting impacts on those who succeed them.
From the likes of Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Jack Youngblood, Emmitt Smith, Fred Taylor, Percy Harvin and many more, Gators' history contains immense talent and a rich resumé of development.
However, on December 13, 2005, the Florida football program secured a commitment greater than they could have ever imagined in the form of Heisman winner and two-time champion Tim Tebow.
Producing an astounding 12,232 yards (9,285 through the air and 2,947 on the ground), 145 touchdowns to leads the Gators to a 48-7 record as a starter, the impact Tebow saw on the field was one no individual has been able to eclipse since he said farewell after a momentous victory over Cincinnati in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
Etching himself as a mainstay in the discussion for the greatest to ever lace up the cleats as a member of the Florida Gators — and college football for that matter — Tebow became the sixth player to be inducted into the ring of honor at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the back of a laundry list of accolades he accumulated over his four seasons.
Accomplishing more than many collegiate quarterbacks could hope to, the former Gators signal-caller has been linked to a possible return to the sideline to aid a former head coach of his.
Whether it be his former O.C. in Dan Mullen at Florida or his former head coach Urban Meyer in Tebow’s hometown of Jacksonville with the Jaguars, the sheer presence of Tebow’s enthusiasm and intensity has and continues to raise questions of a possible career in coaching.
On Wednesday evening, the current Gators head coach appeared as a guest of the Paul Finebaum show — aired weekdays on SEC Network from 3-7 p.m. ET — and shared his thoughts on the likelihood of Tebow returning to the gridiron in some capacity.
“I don’t know that the coaching lifestyle fits him, his family, his mission and his calling,” Mullen said.
Showing love to and for people — both near and far — the busy schedule Tebow takes on to showcase that love leads to a conflict of time for a career in coaching, according to Mullen.
“Believe it or not, coaching consumes a lot of your time, consume a lot of your life,” he said. “With recruiting, with coaching, with helping your players, mentoring your players, it’s 24/7/365.”
Despite his quick stint in the NFL — that was highlighted by a miraculous regular-season stretch and an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the 2011 playoffs — and his retirement from baseball after just five seasons in February of 2021, Tebow has made quite the impact off the green grass for many years.
While his claim to fame may be athlete, Tebow has served as an author, media analyst, speaker, businessman, philanthropist and — the calling Mullen was referring to — a Christian-based missionary.
Now 33 years old, the former collegiate icon works tirelessly to bring light to the world. Starting the Tim Tebow Foundation with a passion and purpose to “bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need,” Tebow has conducted been a catalyst for belief in better days to more than football and baseball fans.
Playing a large role in faith-motivated initiatives like Night to Shine, Tebow Cure Hospital, W15H, Orphan Care, Adoption Aid, Timmy’s Playroom and Team Tebow, while participating in the fight to end Human Trafficking around the world, the former representative of the number 15 in orange and blue commands a new playing field, one that attempts to bring joy to a broken world.
Possessing a personable and unwavering character, the anomaly of Tebow continues to be seen as he grows older.
Despite the desire for many to see him on the football field orchestrating their favorite teams to victory, he elects to play a larger role in society, one that gifts “Faith, Hope, and Love” to those in need.
Mullen emphasized that Tebow’s ability to have success as a coach is not in question, as he has proven on multiple occasions he is a gifted leader of men and a positive influence on . More so, his ability to turn away from the life he has built as an empowering member of the community is the great inhibitor of a possible career in coaching for the Gator Great.
“To say Tim would not be good at this is wrong. Tim would be fantastic at that, but I think he has a calling beyond that to do other things.”
For more information on the Tim Tebow Foundation, click here.