GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Fans told News4Jax the chase was very exciting for them, from tracking the plane of Jeremy Foley out to Fort Collins Colorado to interview Jim McElwain, to learning that a buyout deal had been reached. They said that excitement is nothing compared to how they feel now that McElwain has been introduced as the new head coach.
"I'm not sure if he's a good sales guy or not, but he's got to be able to sell that he's the guy that's going to be the next Steve Spurrier. Bring it back to the glory years," said Tim Walch, a Gator fan.
It wasn't just fans inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium that were excited about the new beginning for the football team. McElwain's wife and kids are also looking forward to the future, and thrilled by the support they've already received.
"I'm not too surprised. We love the SEC. Coming from Alabama, we know there's good people and they have a lot of passion and pride around here for the program. I'm thrilled to be back in that," said Karen McElwain.
For McElwain's daughter Hanna, an Alabama graduate, she said that there won't be any question which team she will root for.
"We don't mind the orange and blue. Will root for Alabama, but when that game comes we will go with the Orange and blue," said Hanna McElwain.
Saturday's press conference ends a whirlwind week for the family that saw Gator fans all around the world focusing on their Fort Collins, Colorado home trying to see if the coach would indeed come to Gainesville.
"We all thought when it got brought up, 'are you serious?' we're all just very excited. We can't wait for the experience and from what I've seen of Gainesville, it's been awesome," said Hanna McElwain.
"We didn't expect it either. They came in at four, and the circus arrived at 3:30," said Karen McElwain.
Karen McElwain said that their family is going to spend the day exploring Gainesville and seeing what their new city has to offer.