New UF Hoops coach swings through Bay County Thursday

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Local Gator fans got a visit rom the new mens head basketball coach at the University of Florida, Todd Golden. Coach Golden the guest of honor at a gathering of the Panhandle Gator booster club Thursday night at the Anderson Event Center. As it happened, UF Athletic Director Scott Stricklin and his wife vacationing in South Walton County, so they made the trip east Thursday night. So it was Stricklin introducing the coach he hired recently! The 37 year old coach hired in mid-March, moving east from the University of San Francisco where he coached for three seasons, leading the Dons to a 57-36 record in that span. He joins the Gators in what is a rather complex time for head coaches on the major college level, what with the transfer portal allowing players who are displeased in the slightest to walk away, and having to compete in what’s basically a bidding war to get recruits on board! Before he addressed this crowd, I spoke to coach Golden about all of that!

“Yeah I have said that I think the college game has changed more in the last two years than it had the previous 20.” coach Golden told me. “So I think it’s really important for us as coaches to be able to navigate rosters. And have a good understanding of what makes student athletes tech right now. And you’re going to have a little more roster turnover because of the flexibility that the student athletes have nowadays. But that’s just the nature of the business and the nature of our profession at this time. So the guys that don’t understand that and figure out the right way to deal with it are going to get left behind. I feel fortunate to be in a place like Florida where student athletes want to be, and it’s a place that we can recruit to as a destination.”

We will have more with the coach on his visit to meet with local boosters, and the progress he’s made already within the program, coming up Friday.

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