Florida Coaching Hot Board: Top 10 Potential Replacements For Jim McElwain - He Has Been Fired

UPDATE 2:02pm ET: Jim McElwain has been fired as Florida's head football coach

Although the Florida Gators are the two-time defending SEC East champions, the buzz around McElwain's job security increased of late, ending with his termination on Sunday. In terms of on-the-field play, Florida is 3-4 this year, with no offense and fresh off an embarrassing loss to hated rival Georgia. In fact, two of the Gators' wins were rather lucky. They beat Kentucky thanks to the Wildcats forgetting to cover a WR on two different plays and on a Hail Mary against Tennessee.

Also read: Here Are The Top 5 Heisman Contenders After 9 Weeks Of Play

But it's not just the on-field play. McElwain became engulfed in controversy after claiming there were death threats against himself and his players. That's a claim that might have actually been made up by the coach. That could be why ESPN reported yesterday that Florida officials were looking into firing McElwain with cause, thus getting out of a nearly $13 million buyout.  

With McElwain fired, the Florida job becomes one of the more coveted jobs on the coaching market and the Gators will surely aim high. Randy Shannon will become the interim coach, but he's not a long-term option. Don't get too caught up in the order here, especially for the top 5, because it's still very early in the process. Of course, every good AD has a list of coaches. With that in mind, here are 10 coaches Florida could hire to replace Jim McElwain. 

10. Bob Stoops, former Oklahoma Head Coach

Florida fans would love this, as a Twitter or message board search can confirm. After all, Stoops was the DC at Florida under Steve Spurrier and those two are still friends. Plus, maybe Stoops could get the Ol' Ball Coach to help him out? While it's a nice dream, it's only a dream. I'll be stunned if it happens

9. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Head Coach

Surely there's no way Gundy will leave his alma mater, where he's had a ton of success, to coach at Florida, right? You'd think, but he also chased the Florida job last time. There have been rumors that Gundy doesn't get along with mega-booster T. Boone Pickens, which could help spur a move. While Gundy might have changed his mind, it's an option worth mentioning. Plus, the mullet totally works in Florida. 

8. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado head coach

MacIntyre's career win-loss record won't wow you (38-52) but he has turned around programs at both Colorado and San Jose State. He led the Buffs to the Pac-12 Championship Game last season, and they're off to a 5-4 start this year. Florida isn't a rebuild, but MacIntyre has proven he knows how to get the most out of his talent. He should draw interest from more schools if Colorado closes strong and makes a decent bowl. MacIntyre was born in Miami, played at Vanderbilt and coached at Ole Miss, so there are SEC ties. However, his poor handling of a domestic violence incident could scare Florida off. 

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7. Neal Brown, Troy Head Coach

At just 37 years old, Brown is on the rise in the coaching ranks. He went from four wins to 10 wins in year two at Troy and managed to upset LSU in Baton Rouge this year. He does have some ties to the SEC, having coached and played at Kentucky. Someone will give Brown a promotion soon, it's just a matter of which program. At 6-2, Troy is going bowling again this year. 

6. Jeff Brohm, Purdue Head Coach

Brohm made the jump from Western Kentucky to Purdue this year. Before losing to Rutgers, Brohm had been generating coach of the year buzz from other Big Ten coaches. Brohm's done an impressive job taking a Purdue team that won nine total games under Darrell Hazell to a 3-4 mark so far this year. 

5. Scott Frost, UCF Head Coach

Frost has quickly emerged as a coveted head coach candidate. He's led the Knights to a perfect 7-0 record this year, after UCF went 0-12 in 2015 before hiring Frost. That's a hell of a turnaround. The reason he's not at the top like some Florida fans want? Frost is a Nebraska alumnus and the Cornhuskers will go after him hard if/when Mike Riley is canned. 

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4. Matt Campbell, Iowa State Head Coach

Campbell is just 37 years old with few ties to anywhere outside of Ohio, but that didn't stop him from taking the Iowa State job after the 2015 season. Iowa State won just three games last year, but is 6-2 this year. The ranked Cyclones have already beaten TCU and Oklahoma, both top 10 teams at the time. Not having any ties to the SEC or Florida could hurt Campbell, but few coaches are as hot as Campbell right now. 

Also read: Here Are The Top 5 Heisman Contenders After 9 Weeks Of Play

3. Mike Norvell, Memphis Head Coach

Norvell has already been connected to the Florida job and for good reason. Just 36 years old, Norvell left his OC position at Arizona State to take over the Memphis head coaching gig last year. After an 8-5 season in year one, the offensive-minded Norvell has guided one of the most electric offenses in the nation. The Tigers are 7-1, with their lone loss coming to undefeated UCF. 

2. Chip Kelly, former Oregon/NFL head coach

Following a one-year stint with the 49ers, Kelly has returned to the college game as an analyst for ESPN. If there's no NFL interest next year, Kelly might elect to head back to the college ranks where he had so much success. And that success is why his name will be mentioned for every notable college opening, with Florida near the top. He's already been linked to the Gators and if the program pays him, they might actually be able to land him. There's been buzz that Kelly doesn't want to coach in the SEC, but the SEC East is much different than the SEC West. 

1. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State Head Coach

Mullen was not considered among the candidates when McElwain was originally hired. So why would the former Florida OC be at the top this time around? For starters, Mullen continues to produce quality teams at MSU, no easy task in the SEC West. While there is some doubt about whether Mullen would want to go coach at Florida (there's a lot of pressure that comes with being the UF coach), don't forget who is now the AD at Florida. It's Scott Stricklin, the former Mississippi State athletic director. So provided Stricklin believes in Mullen and wants to work with him again, he's an obvious fit. 

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Related Topics: Mike Gundy, Florida Gators Football News, Florida Gators Football, Randy Shannon, Bob Stoops, Jim McElwain, Mike MacIntyre, Florida Gators, Bob Stoops Rumors, Mike Norvell, Neal Brown, College Football Coaching Hot Seat, Matt Campbell, Dan Mullen, Florida Gators Football Rumors, Jeff Brohm, Scott Frost, Chip Kelly