Report: CSU’s Jim McElwain ‘targeted as UF’s top candidate’

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Ole Miss earlier today confirmed a new contract for head coach Hugh Freeze, a move that presumably takes the rumored candidate out of the equation in Florida’s search for a head coach.  Just as one has been crossed off athletic director Jeremy Foley’s to-do list, another one is gaining some significant traction.

Over the weekend it was reported that Colorado State’s Jim McElwain was emerging as a leading candidate for the UF job.  Two days later, Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com is reporting that McElwain is being “targeted as UF’s top candidate to replace Will Muschamp.”

The plot thickened a short time later as well, with an eye toward the sky reporting yet another development.

On the FlightAware website, a private plane took off from Gainesville Regional Airport at around noon this afternoon and landed in Joplin, MO., two and a half hours later. It’s scheduled to leave Joplin a little before 3 p.m. ET today, with a destination listed as, you guessed it, Fort Collins, home of Colorado State University.  The reports are that Foley is on that plane, although that’s yet to be confirmed.

In three seasons at CSU, McElwain’s Rams have gone from four wins to eight to 10 in 2014. Earlier today, McElwain was named as the Mountain West’s Coach of the Year.

McElwain certainly knows the SEC as he spent four years at Alabama (2008-11) as the Tide’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before taking the Rams job in December of 2011.

An announcement from Florida on its new head coach could come as early as Wednesday.