A Las Vegas betting website recently posed odds on who will be the next University of Florida football coach.
The obvious names were at the top: University of Central Florida coach Scott Frost, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen and Oregon coach Willie Taggert.
But at the bottom of the list, right below former Gators coach Steve Spurrier, was the last UF quarterback to lead the Gators to an SEC and national championship: Tim Tebow.
Well, Tim … interested?
“You never know,” Tebow said with a laugh on Wednesday before his induction into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame at the Sawgrass Marriott.
That coy moment over, Tebow then said, “maybe one day … but not this day.”
While Tebow may have officially taken his name out of the running (he doesn’t have coaching experience of any kind yet), he’s well aware of the type of person that Florida needs, such as his coach, Urban Meyer, who guided the Gators to two national championships.
“I think it’s a great job, it really is a great job, but it’s a hard job,” Tebow said. “It’s not easy and the people close to the program know that. They know it takes a big personality, someone who really believes in their convictions and stands by them.”
Tebow said the tenure of former coach Jim McElwain, who was fired two weeks ago after leading Florida to two SEC East division titles and 19 victories in his first two years, proves nothing short of SEC championships and contending for a national championship is enough for the Gator fan base.
“Our senior year  we were still really good,” Tebow said. “We went undefeated [in the regular season] but it wasn’t always easy because we weren’t as good as the year before [when UF won the national championship]. It’s a pretty hot seat. That coach is going to have to do a really good job of being locked into his system that he blocks out the outside noise because there’s a lot of it. All big programs are like that, Florida, Alabama, LSU … it seems like there’s a little bit more.”
Tebow said he saw the the job affected Meyer, who lost 30 pounds and had health problems late in his six-year tenure at UF.
“I saw how much pressure he put on himself,” Tebow said. “It is a seat that is very unique. The administration is always going to be supportive but it’s still very hard. Look at what’s happened. Spurrier hardly ever lost. Urban won more [national] titles than anyone else [at Florida]. Gator fans think the next guy should just be able to do that. It’s just not that easy to bring the Fun and Gun back.”
Tebow said the struggles at Florida and Florida State (both are 3-5) aren’t just happening in Gainesville and Tallahassee.
“It’s a microcosm of what’s happening around the country,” Tebow said. “There is more parity in college football than ever before. You can get FCS teams that can go play pretty good [FBS] teams and compete with them. The smaller schools can get bigger recruits and more high school players come in more developed, the quarterbacks and wide receivers, because of all the 7 on 7 [programs]. That’s why a Louisiana-Lafaytte, a UCF, a USF, an FAU can have the same quality quarterback or close to it, and receivers. Instead of their guy being 6-4, maybe he’s 6-1. Instead of throwing the ball 65 yards, maybe it’s 55. Those things matter in recruiting, hype and draft stock but when you’re trying to win for 60 minutes those things get overrated.”
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