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Antonya English, Times Staff Writer

Antonya English

Antonya English has covered University of Florida sports for the Times since 2001, a tenure that has included three head football coaches and three national champions. A former news reporter, she moved to the sports department at the Gainesville Sun in 1993 for what she thought would be a short stint, and never looked back. She came to the Times from the Dallas Morning News in 1997.

Phone: (813) 226-3389

E-mail: english@tampabay.com

Blog: Gator Report

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  1. Gators OL Rod Johnson: "It's hard to walk away from this game"

    Blog

    Nearly one week after a medical diagnosis forced him to quit playing football, Gators OL Rod Johnson issued a statement, saying how difficult it is to walk away from the game he loves and thanking the Florida staff for its assistance.

    Here is Johnson's statement, in his own words, released by the UAA today.

    “Spinal stenosis -- April 3 2015 -- the day that changed my life. It’s hard to walk away from this game, and it's dearly easy to fall In love with when you have the right mindset and the dedication. I enjoyed my time as a Gator from the first day I got that call from Coach Muschamp. I instantly fell in love with a school I didn't like since I was a kid (lol). I had a tough time trying to enroll due to my grades....

  2. Gators strike right balance for gymnastics dynasty

    Colleges

    GAINESVILLE — Rhonda Faehn was sitting in Jeremy Foley's office during a job interview 13 years ago when the Florida athletic director asked what was probably the most important question she'd hear: "Why can't Florida win a national title (in gymnastics)?"

    Before Faehn arrived, it had never happened.

    "I said, absolutely we can," Faehn recalled Monday morning. "Everything is here, it's a gold mine. Recruiting is a huge lifeblood of a program and since I firmly believed with all my heart that this program had that potential, (I had) to go out and find those athletes that believed that as well. To slowly build, and build, and keep believing was just key."...

    The University of Florida gymnastics team celebrates its first place win in the 2015 NCAA Gymnastics Championships on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. [Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS]
  3. Gators football player J.C. Jackson arrested on armed robbery charges

    Blog

    Florida cornerback J.C. Jackson is in the Alachua County Jail today facing a charge of robbery with a firearm after he allegedly participated in an armed robbery at a Gainesville apartment.

    Jackson, whose full name is Jerald Christopher Jackson, was arrested early Sunday morning.  A judge has ordered a $150,000 bond.

    "We are aware of the news involving J.C. Jackson, and he is currently dealing with a serious issue,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “We don't condone any of his actions, and it is not something that reflects on the expectations we have in the program. It is being handled accordingly due to the severity of his actions."...

  4. Gators gymnastics team begins quest for third straight national title

    Blog

    The two-time defending national champion Florida gymnastics team will begin its quest for a third consecutive title tonight at the Fort Worth Covention Center.

    This is the first NCAA Gymnastics Championships event held in Texas.

    For the first time in the history of NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, a pair of teams - Florida and Oklahoma - will be trying to defend their titles. The two shared the national championship in 2014. The Gators also won in 2013....

  5. Billy Donovan NBA talk resurfaces

    Blog

    Talk of Florida coach Billy Donovan leaving for the NBA is on the rise, again.

    After the Gators finished the 2014-15 season with a 16-17 record, speculation began that Donovan may be starting to feel the need to move on after 19 years as the Gators' head coach.

    He has never denied his interest in possibly becoming an NBA coach.

    On Thursday, Yahoo Sports reported that sources have said Donovan "could emerge as a serious candidate" to replace Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks if he is not retained....

  6. Former Gators use social media to react to Aaron Hernandez guilty verdict

    Blog

    After former Florida All-American tight end Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd on Wednesday, former teammates took to social media to express shock and sadness.

    Hernandez was part of the 2008 national championship team with the Gators, and was close to several of his former teammates.

    Shortly after the verdict was announced on live television across the nation, former Gator All-American CB Joe Haden put one word on his Twitter account: "Speechless."...

  7. Gators to find role for injured OL Rod Johnson

    Blog

    Gators OL Rod Johnson has been foreced to quit football, but coach Jim McElwain said that doesn't mean he's leaving the program.

    On Tuesday Johnson was diagnosed with congenital cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that surrounds the spinal cord, preventing enough fluid to gather around the spinal cord to properly protect it from injury.

    Doctors recommended Johnson never play football again....

  8. UF's McElwain has somber booster club debut

    Sports

    GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Jim McElwain began the first of his nine spring booster tour appearances with a heavy heart Tuesday night.

    Earlier in the day, the Gators announced offensive lineman Roderick Johnson will no longer be able to play after being diagnosed with congenital cervical stenosis — a narrowing of the spinal canal that surrounds the spinal cord. The condition prevents the proper amount of fluid from gathering around the spinal cord to properly protect it from injury....

    New Gators football coach Jim McElwain begins his booster tour by addressing the Titletown Gator Club.
  9. Clearwater's Mike McNeely nominated for prestigious SEC McWhorter Scholarship

    Blog

    Palm Harbor University alum and former Gators WR Mike McNeely has been nominated by the University of Florida for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship. Lacrosse player Nora Barry is the Gators' female nominee.

    The McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented to the SEC's top male and female scholar-athletes since 1986. The SEC will name the 2015 recipients of the McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 30....

  10. Injury puts an end to career of Gators OL Roderick Johnson

    Blog

    The college football career of OL Roderick Johnson has been cut short by injury.

    The Gators announced today that Johnson will no longer be able to play after being diagnosed by the University of Florida medical staff with congenital cervical stenosis - a narrowing of the spinal canal that surrounds the spinal cord. The condition prevents the proper amount of fluid from gathering around the spinal cord to properly protect it from injury....

    Roderick Johnson will no longer be able to play after being diagnosed by the University of Florida medical staff with congenital cervical stenosis — a narrowing of the spinal canal that surrounds the spinal cord.
  11. Former Gators assistant Anthony Grant rejoins Billy Donovan's staff

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The staff that arrived in Gainesville in 1996 and helped build Florida basketball into a national championship program is largely back intact.

    Anthony Grant, who spent 10 seasons as an assistant to coach Billy Donovan before leaving in 2006, has rejoined the Gators staff. Alabama fired him last month after six seasons as the head coach.

    Grant will be reunited with Donovan and assistant coach John Pelphrey — a staff that came to Florida together from Marshall and helped build the Gators into a national power....

    Anthony Grant, who spent 10 seasons as an assistant to coach Billy Donovan before leaving in 2006, has rejoined the Gators staff. [AP photo]
  12. Two Gators baseball players suspended after weekend arrest

    Blog

    Florida has suspended pitchers A.J. Puk and Kirby Snead after the two were arrested late Sunday night.

    Puk, a 19-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Snead, a 20-year old from Alachua, are accused of  trespassing at a posted construction site after climbing into a crane on that site, which is a third degree felony.

    The alleged incident happened at the site of UF’s new chemistry building on the corner of University Avenue and Buckman Drive....

  13. Former Alabama coach Anthony Grant returns to Gators basketball staff

    Blog

    The staff that arrived in Gainesville in 1996 and helped build Florida basketball into a national championship program is largely back intact.

    Anthony Grant is returning to Gainesville.

    Grant, who spent 10 seasons as an assistant to Florida coach Billy Donovan, has rejoined the Florida staff. He was fired earlier this month after six seasons as the head coach at Alabama.

    His return was made possible by the departure of assistant Matt McCall, who on Sunday was hired as the new head coach at Chattanooga....

    Anthony Grant, who spent 10 seasons as an assistant to Florida coach Billy Donovan, has rejoined the Florida staff.
  14. McElwain postpones decision on Gators starting quarterback

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Jim McElwain is not ready to name sophomore Treon Harris or redshirt freshman Will Grier the starter, meaning the quarterback competition will carry over into August.

    "We haven't made a determination on that," the new coach said Saturday after the annual Orange and Blue game and conclusion of spring practice. "We'll get back, we'll look at the video, the guys will work this summer, and come back in the fall. I'm just excited those two guys are here."...

    Jim McElwain, coaching his first spring game at Florida, talks with Gators defensive back Marcus Maye, a redshirt junior, during the Orange team’s 36-6 victory over the Blue.
  15. Gators Treon Harris vows to stay and battle for starting QB job

    Blog

    Florida QB Treon Harris admits he's slightly behind in the Gators' QB compeition with Will Grier, but said he has no plans to transfer and intends to stay and battle for the job.

    "I will be here this fall competing for the spot," Harris said. "Like I said earlier me and Will are brothers. We're here for each other."

    Harris started the final six games of the 2014 season, while Grier redshirted last season....