McElwain, 52, went 22-16 in three seasons at Colorado State but quickly turned around a program that had struggled for most of the last decade. The Rams went 10-2 this season.Florida had zeroed in on McElwain, who won two national titles as Alabama’s offensive coordinator under Nick Saban, earlier this week with athletics director Jeremy Foley flying out to Fort Collins to hammer out the deal.Florida announced that McElwain will have a six-year contract paying $3.5 million per year.ANALYSIS: McElwain has right background, skill set for Gators job“Coach McElwain was someone we targeted from the beginning of the search,’’ Foley said. “The more we worked through the process and did our due diligence, coupled with our meeting and conversations with him and those around him, it was obvious he is the right person to lead the Florida Gator football program.”Colorado State has named offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dave Baldwin as its interim head coach.“CSU athletics has benefited from the three-year association with Jim McElwain,” Colorado State president Tony Frank said via a release. “We wish him well, and are confident and we can recruit a coach who is committed to a sustained program of excellence at Colorado State over the long term.”John Morris, Colorado State’s interim director of athletics, said the school will begin its national search for McElwain’s replacement immediately. “The head football coach position at Colorado State is a dream job,” Morris said. “I am confident we will attract an outstanding group of candidates who want to coach under tremendous university leadership at this world-class institution.”FOOTBALL FOUR: Rating and debating college football and the PlayoffMcElwain had a $7.5 million buyout at Colorado State, a large sum that could have held up an agreement between him and Florida. Florida announced, however, that its University Athletic Association has agreed to play Colorado State $3 million over six years and will host the Rams for a game in Gainesville between 2017-20, with a $2 million payout attached. McElwain also will pay Colorado State $2 million.The Coloradoan reported earlier this week that the CSU’s president, Tony Frank, had verbally agreed to lower or eliminate the buyout if a so-called “dream job” came along.“He has a proven track record on the offensive side of the ball, has coached in the SEC, won two national championships and has had success as a head coach,’’ Foley said. “He has recruited the South and the state of Florida and has spent time coaching at the highest level in the NFL.“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. I welcome him and his family to The Gator Nation and I’m looking forward to working alongside him and his staff as they build a championship program both on and off the field.”McElwain replaces Will Muschamp, who was fired after four seasons. Florida has its man — finally.Colorado State’s Jim McElwain has agreed to become Florida’s next head coach, the school announced Thursday. McElwain will be introduced at a news conference on Saturday.
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