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Florida's Jim McElwain named SEC Coach of the Year

The coach's first year with the Gators probably went even better than he had anticipated.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A busy award season continued for the Florida Gators on Wednesday, when head coach Jim McElwain was named the SEC's Coach of the Year. McElwain's first season in Gainesville was wildly successful, finishing with a record of 10-3 and an SEC East Division Title. The Gators fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game.

McElwain inherited a program that had, ahem, seen better days under Will Muschamp (who was just named South Carolina's new head coach). Over the course of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the Gators managed just a combined record of 11-13. McElwain was expected to be able to turn the program around, but few predicted a transformation to occur as quickly as it did. Although the team was hurt by a lack of a consistent offense and reliable quarterback play after Will Grier was lost to suspension, the team overall was still one of the best in the country.

With Grier set to return during next season, as well as many important pieces to the defense that was one of the country's best, things are looking good for the Gators in 2016, especially when you consider how many other schools in the SEC East are undergoing coaching changes that might not go as smoothly as Florida's did.

McElwain and the Gators will finish of the 2015 season in the Citrus Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines (which is already sold out!).

Congratulations, Coach McElwain. Here's to many more years of being honored as the SEC's best coach.