The Gator Country Team
Welcome to Gator Country – The Insider Authority on Gator Sports!
Gator Country, founded in 1996, has always put together a top-notch staff to bring you unparalleled coverage not matched anywhere! We are also the only Gator media outlet 100% owned and operated by Florida Gators! Here’s our “Dream” team:
Raymond Hines III - Founder/Chief Executive Officer
Back when I was a wee one I had to decide if I wanted to live dangerously and become a computer hacker or start a website devoted to the Gators. I chose the Gators instead of the daily thrill of knowing my next meal might be at Leavenworth. No regrets, however. The Gators have been my addiction. What makes this so much fun is doing innovative things to help bring all the Gator news that is news (and some that isn’t) to Gator fans around the world. Andy Warhol said we all have our 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to Gator Country, I’m working on a half hour. Thanks to an understanding daughter that can’t decide if she’s going to be the female version of Einstein, Miss Universe, President of the United States or a princess, I get to spend my days doing what I’ve done since Gus Garcia and I founded Gator Country back in 1996. Has it really been over a decade and a half now? You can find me on the message boards as “Solari”. P.S. That’s my lovely daughter, Alyssa, you see in the picture with me. :)
Bernadette King - Chief Operating Officer
In my senior year at Dunnellon High School, I entered a drawing and won Roger Sibbald’s Florida Gator football jersey. That was 1983 but I’ve heard it said folks in the area can still hear my screams. Grabbing my diploma with one hand and waving goodbye with the other, I jetted for New York right after high school. Over the next two decades I wore that jersey till it was in tatters. From NYC it was on to Houston, then Los Angeles. A career in the entertainment business segued into a career in SEO, branding and marketing for the Internet, which is how I landed at Gator Country. Much as I loved living and working all over the country, Roger’s jersey was a wearable time machine. Slipping it on was always a guarantee I was making a trip home; even if only in my head and only for a little while. Putting on my Gator Country shirt makes me feel the same way. Only this time, it’s not just in my head! If I can do anything to make you feel more at home here on our site, please let me know. After all, as the saying goes, “There’s no place like Gator Country.”
Andrew Spivey - Recruiting Analyst
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Seth Puglio - Social Media Manager and Editor
Seth Puglio is a sports management graduate from the University of Florida originally from Vero Beach, Florida. Seth has been a huge sports fan his whole life and always knew he would want to get into the sports industry anyway he could. He has spent time working for several athletic administrative departments for the Gators and joined Gator Country as an intern in October of 2012. He is now viewing the sports industry from a new angle as Gator Country’s editor. In his free time Seth enjoys fishing, grilling out, watching too much sports and afternoon naps on the hammock. He is a fan of the Gators, Miami Dolphins, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning. Email Seth atSeth@gatorcountry.com and follow Seth on twitter @spuglio.
Nick De La Torre - Football Beat Writer
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC
David Parker - Columnist
One of the original columnists when Gator Country first premiered, David “PD” Parker has been following and writing about the Gators since the eighties. From his years of regular contributions as a member of Gator Country to his weekly columns as a partner of the popular defunct niche website Gator Gurus, PD has become known in Gator Nation for his analysis, insight and humor on all things Gator. You can also find him on our message boards as a very active and engaging poster, although he has a tendency to to drive rivals and certain fans crazy with his invectives. After all, he’s a passionate Gator fan and he’s certainly one of our more popular columnists.
Dan Thompson - Columnist
Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan works as a Recruiter for a south Florida-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, gin, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan has previously covered the Gators extensively on BourbonMeyer.com; on Twitter (@DK_Thompson; and as the administrator of TheGatorsDaily.com(http://TheGatorsDaily.com).
Nicole Boyett - Contributing Writer
Born and raised in Gainesville to two graduates of the University of Florida, Nicole has been a Gator since before she was born. She graduate from UF with degrees in Finance and Sport Management and is currently continuing her education in graduate school at UF in the fall. She supports all Florida sports In All Kinds of Weather, but believes football season is the most wonderful time of the year (March Madness and Masters week are close seconds, though). College football stadiums fill her Bucket List and she will talk for days about the Gators if you let her. Just don’t ask her the Sunday after a game – she won’t have a voice. Follow her on twitter @GatorNicole
Elizabeth Rhodes - Gymnastics Beat Writer
Elizabeth Rhodes is a junior at the University of Florida majoring in Telecommunications and hopes to one day be working at ESPN. She loves all sports but has a particular fiend for college basketball, loving and always looking forward to the NCAA March Madness. She hopes to make her way to Chicago one day because she loves the city and cold weather up north. As an intern for Gator Country, Elizabeth really wants to impress readers with her writing as she covers sports and writes features on the incredible athletes at UF. Thus far, she also has completed an internship at Waterman Broadcasting in her hometown of Fort Myers, Fla.
Richard Johnson - Intern
Richard lives in Gainesville and prides himself in being a bonafide lifelong Alachua County Resident. He attends the University of Florida and is in his third year studying Telecommunications. He isn’t sure how he started loving football being the son of two immigrants that don’t care about the sport, but he has developed a borderline unhealthy obsession with it. In his free time, Richard watches other sports and is an avid Los Angeles Lakers fan. He also recently acquired an affinity towards the Tampa Bay Rays. He doesn’t like chocolate, knows Moe’s is better than Chipotle and drinks way too many Arnold Palmers. He also took up golf in the summer of 2012. That pursuit isn’t going well. You can listen to him talk about sports during the Cheapseats radio show on ESPN 850-WRUF or online at WRUF.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RagjUF.
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