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Arrival: The Rowdy Reptiles

At Duke you clearly have an athletic program centered around basketball, at Penn State (despite their upset win against Illinois), its clearly a football school.  

Even in coaching searches its quite rare when a hot coaching commodity makes his way to school not known for a specific sport. Take the opening at Florida several years ago when Lon Krueger took off in one of his many coaching moves to a basketball school. The thought at the time is that Florida was a football school, and except for a few rare breakthrough years, they are not going to compete with the big boys of college basketball.  Rick Pitino gave the young Marshall coach Billy Donovan good advice when the Florida job opened. Billy coached under Pitino at Kentucky and prior to that he became a star at Providence under Pitino.

What has happened in the years since Billy Ball was installed at UF is that Florida is now known more than just a football school. Not only can we compete with with the basketball schools like Kentucky, we can recruit as well as they can, and even beat them on a regular basis. Well, in the last three stright games against them we can.  

In what was Billy's biggest sign he would remain in Gainesville for the long term was helping the Gator Nation recruit a new football coach in Urban Meyer. He was instrumental in showing Meyer what a great job the Gator job was.

It does not end with the big money sports like basketball and football either. The Gators know a little about Hardball too. After making way to the college world series last year, we are slowly becoming a school with deep athletic talent in its programs.

You know you are becoming big program when the student fans have a name that show up on SportsCenter. Like they noted over at the TBO:

After the win, Noah stood at midcourt and pointed at the student section. "You guys are the best, baby," he said.

Gator students known as the Rowdy Reptiles provide the extra home court advantge. We really have arrived when your fans have a name!