The Florida Gators and Dan Mullen elected to part ways over the weekend. The unexpected coaching change has fans of college football around the country wondering who will be the next head coach in Gainesville. The opening odds on Monday from BetOnline had Lousiana Lafayette's Billy Napier at the top of the list.
Just one day later, there's a new favorite. SportsLine gave Bob Stoops (+400) the best odds to be the Gators' next head coach on Tuesday afternoon. Notably, Napier (+600) is third on this list while Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin (+500) is second.
Florida State fans are all too familiar with Stoops and the saga he can bring. He was among the candidates that the Seminoles were interested in having replace former coach Willie Taggart before eventually hiring Mike Norvell. For those few weeks where Stoops' name was involved, the rumors ran at a furious pace.
Steve Spurrier, arguably the best coach in the history of UF football, has publicly shared his approval of Stoops coming in.
“I told him a while back, I was 60 when I got the South Carolina job and became the winningest coach in school history at 70.”
Stoops spent nearly two decades at Oklahoma from 1999-2016. During that time, he compiled a 190-48 record while winning one national championship, 10 conference championships, and multiple coach of the year awards. Stoops retired from coaching before returning to the XFL's Dallas Renegades in 2019. He went 2-3 before the league was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Big Game Bob was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Florida under Spurrier from 1996-98. He developed a championship defense with the Gators that allowed him to spring that success into his eventual position with the Sooners.
It remains to be seen whether this is a legitimate possibility or simply desparation. The Gators are one more missed hire from being back to the bottom of the state.
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