TWO OF the highest-profile coaching jobs in college football were filled yesterday when Florida and Nebraska announced hirings.
After working though a sticky buyout issue, Jim McElwain left Colorado State to become Florida's next head coach.
At Nebraska, Mike Riley will take over the Cornhuskers after serving his second stint at Oregon State.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley wanted a coach with an offensive track record of success.
McElwain went 22-16 in three seasons at Colorado State. He was Alabama's offensive coordinator for 4 years, helping the Tide win two national titles.
"He has an engaging personality and is someone who can connect with a variety of audiences and he operates with a high level of integrity," Foley said.
The Gators announced the hiring at the same time McElwain started a team meeting with players and assistants. Reporters heard a loud ovation before McElwain exited the room in tears.
McElwain agreed to a 6-year deal at Florida that will average $3.5 million annually.
McElwain accepted the job after working with Colorado State to reduce his $7.5 million buyout. Florida will pay the Rams $3 million over 6 years. McElwain will pay $2 million over time. The Gators also guaranteed Colorado State $2 million for a game in Gainesville between 2017 and 2020.
McElwain replaces the fired Will Muschamp.
At Nebraska, Riley's name never appeared on the radar of college football pundits who speculated about Bo Pelini's successor. Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, a Nebraska native who quarterbacked the Cornhuskers' 1997 national championship team, and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema were among those believed to be under consideration.
* State-owned California University of Pennsylvania has hired a consulting firm to review its football program, which has six players suspended and awaiting trial for their alleged roles in an off-campus beating.
The Compliance Group of Lenexa, Kan., will be paid up to $60,000 to complete the review by June 30.