Gator historian helps new coaches learn to appreciate Florida history
When Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio spoke at the Tampa Gator Club Gator Gathering Monday night, he told the audience several times during the night about his profound appreciation to be a part of the Gator staff.
And he insisted he was not alone. It's impossible, he said, not to feel a sense of pride once you have a deeper understanding of the Gators' history.
With four new assistant coaches on the Florida football staff, former longtime sports information director and current UF historian Norm Carlson recently met with the coaching staff to offer up a brief "Florida 101" course.
"He came in and spoke to us about the history of Florida,'' Steve Addazio said. "He talked about the great decades of Florida football. It was humbling to watch the new coaches come in and get an appreciation. . . . It's really a cool deal to be a part of something so big. And I want you to know we don't take it for granted. I want you to know that we all have a sense of awareness that we are at a great place.''
Addazio said the pride in the program isn't just linked to the Gators' past, but its current teams,and its future.
"It's rare at a university where you have 15 teams ranked in the Top 10,'' Addazio said. "It's rare when you can stand up here right now and talk about men's track winning an indoor national championship and women's swimming and diving winning a national championship, and five other teams winning SEC titles. You can't do that at just any place. So the magnitude of where we are strikes me a lot.'
"I'm well-traveled in this business and I've been in some places that people consdier to be good places, and this is a great place,'' he added.