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Completing the puzzle: Gator sports without a NC

Discussion in 'Alligator Alley (other sports)' started by TJtheGator, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. TJtheGator

    TJtheGator GC Hall of Fame

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    The Gators have won National Championships in the following sports:

    Football
    W Soccer
    W Swimming and Diving
    M Swimming and Diving
    M Basketball
    Gymnastics
    M Golf
    W Golf
    W Indoor Track
    M Indoor Track
    W Tennis
    M Outdoor Track
    Softball
    Baseball

    Sports without a NC:

    Volleyball
    M Cross Country
    W Cross Country
    W Basketball
    W Lacrosse
    M Tennis
    W Outdoor Track

    14/21 of the programs or exactly 2/3 have won it all. We've come close in W Outdoor Track and Volleyball, but have not challenged seriously in a while. M Tennis always seems to sputter at the Sweet 16 and W Basketall and both Cross Country teams seem to be relegated to also-ran status (pun intended).

    What needs to be done to complete the puzzle and elevate those programs to where they are challenging and eventually winning a NC? Before you dismiss the idea of UF winning a NC in women's hoops, think back to 20 years ago how that program was in the Elite 8 and the men's was in the toilet. At UF ANYTHING is possible.
     
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  2. apkgator

    apkgator Premium Member

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    Next 2 recruiting classes gives men's tennis a legit shot

    Lacrosse is right there, betting they are there in next few seasons
     
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  3. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    Gator fans can help with women's hoops a lot, imo. Just a couple 100 rowdies attending can change the fan dynamic. Getting another 100-200 fans to attend on weekends that have both men and women home games can do a lot. It will help with team energy and recruiting.

    As the team wins, it will draw fans organically. But we can help do our part too with our attendance to help the Cam era get underway.
     
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  4. G2MGA

    G2MGA GC Hall of Fame

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    Agree with apk. Men's tennis is the program on this list that I could conceivably see winning a NC in the next 5 years and they'll probably owe a big assist to the USTA for opening its new player development center in nearby Orlando.

    Volleyball and lacrosse are very good, but both seem to be stuck in inferior conferences that are inadequate preparation for the post-season. Both have coaches that are arguably legends (i.e. way too accomplished to fire) but maybe not the most capable of getting the team over the hump for a NC. I think we'd need a couple years of #1-type recruiting classes to give ourselves a chance in either of these sports and even that's no guarantee.

    Cross country and women's track probably need dedicated, top-notch coaches but I'm not familiar enough with these sports to know if that's commonplace or something we'd be willing to invest in. The cross country program has arguably been worse that WBB but with only 5 runners needed, it wouldn't take a herculean recruiting effort to improve quickly.

    We'll wait and see with women's hoops with the new staff but obviously there's no NC-level goals on the immediate horizon. I don't think it would be too bold of a prediction to say that we'll win a NC in a sport not currently offered at UF before we do in women's hoops.
     
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  5. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    that really is big!
    very good in both.
    lacrosse is new and is already top 5 type program. stay the course.
    that big east is an anchor, though.
    seems like an afterthought for men's track. that may be an issue.
    wait and see is best.
    what did it take USCe and Miss State to make the turnaround and compete. 4-5 years? then knock on the championship door? if we can get to an elite 8 round in 4 years I would say that's a major success story.
     
  6. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    In terms of volleyball- the national player of the year plays in my hometown of Spartanburg, SC. She is a Gator commit. (Thayer Hall.) So it's possible that program can go from great to a national title winner once she is on campus.

    I can comment more about cross-country since I ran for UF back in the 80s.

    The problem with cross-country is that there are no cross-country scholarships- the runners are all on track scholarships. The head track coach only has 12.6 track scholarships to give for a 27 man team, so it's a balancing act between the many different track events. (There are about 20 track events. Cross-country guys can do 4-5 of the 20.)

    Some schools "specialize" in distance, others in field, others in sprints/ jumps/ hurdles. We are in the latter category.

    Therefore, it's hard to imagine us ever winning a natty in men's XC under the current coaches but as G2 says above, you only need 5 runners in XC. It's possible we could get one superstar, then add a few guys who are already on academic scholarships, and win one in the near future. I hope so.
     
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  7. iowagator

    iowagator Premium Member

    It looks like we are going to add a bit of emphasis to the distance side! @Distant Gator is this guy good?

    Chris Solinsky, the former American record holder and first non-African to break 27 minutes in the 10,000 meters, will join the University of Florida track and field and cross country programs as an assistant coach, head coach Mike Holloway announced Thursday (July 13) evening.

    "Chris obviously made a name for himself as a runner, but what he's done as a young coach is impressive as well," Holloway said. "He's a fiery competitor, and he's a winner. We think those two things will enable Chris to bring a lot of passion and a lot of intensity back to our distance group."


    http://floridagators.com/news/2017/...ris-solinsky-joins-gators-coaching-staff.aspx
     
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  8. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    Yeah, saw this. Should be a good addition.
     
  9. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    I think so. I was going to post this.
    Solinsky did a good job at W&M. I don't know what kind of resources he had there, but he probably had much less than he will at UF. And his teams have done as well as UF's in the last 2 years- if not better.

    His women finished 4th at Regionals in Cross-country in 2015. (Regionals is the key meet in making NCAAs. Top 2 or 3 make the national meet.) He certainly seems to know what he is doing. I'm excited about the hire though I certainly am no expert.

    His bio is very impressive to be so young. Here's a cut and paste on his coaching...

    While at William & Mary, Solinsky brought the Tribe back to the national ranks with several standout performances. As the head men's cross country coach, Solinsky was named CAA Coach of the Year after guiding the Tribe to their 17th straight conference title. As an assistant track coach for the men and women, Solinsky coached his runners to sweeps in the 1500m, 5000m, 10K, and steeplechase at the CAA Championships. At the 2015 NCAA Southeast Regional, the men's cross country team finished 11th and the women secured a fourth-place finish. In 2016, the Tribe men finished eighth while the women finished ninth, and Regan Rome earned an individual spot to compete at NCAAs with a sixth-place finish
     
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  10. missourigator

    missourigator GC Hall of Fame

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    Volleyball in the SEC is rather weak so we don't get enough good competition to complete at the highest levels at nationals. The last time we actually had a chance, a bad call at Texas did us in.
     
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  11. gtj31

    gtj31 GC Hall of Fame

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    Well, volleyball goes for it tomorrow. Would love to see them add their name to the list. Mary definitely has a special group this year, win or lose.
     
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  12. swampgas44

    swampgas44 Junior

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    What are you talking about? We own the Pac-12 this year. Just beat UCLA, USC, & Stanford. Also beat Texas and Nebraska earlier in the year.
     
  13. Managator

    Managator Premium Member

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    I do believe 3 teams won championships last year, including Baseball for a first Three out of 21 is fantastic.
     
  14. iowagator

    iowagator Premium Member

    I believe the Big 10 won 3 national titles in 16-17.
     
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  15. red4512

    red4512 Premium Member

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    No Comment!
     
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  16. Gator_84_88

    Gator_84_88 Gator Great GFL VIP Member Trusted GC Insider

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    I will disagree with you on volleyball. Mary Wise makes CERTAIN that she plays a tough ooc schedule. The conference she can't help. Take the good with the bad. Overall SEC teams came out on top of PAC 12 schools last year. The SEC has gotten a lot tougher. Also i could swear we won a Natty in women's track. I could be wrong. Lacrosse will win one soon. It's still a relatively new sport and what an AMAZING AMAZING job the coaching staff and the athletes have done. They announced Florida had arrived from the first season
     
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