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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 get Georgia back as permanent opponent in basketball

    Blog

    Playing Georgia in basketball twice annually is back as a normal part of the Gators' schedule.

    The SEC announced today a new scheduling model for men’s basketball that will include three permanent opponents, beginning in 2015-16.

    For the Gators, Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt will be those permanent opponents.

    Each SEC team will play the other 13 teams at least one time during league play. They will then play their three permanent opponents a second time and the remaining two games will be scheduled on a rotating basis....

  2. Gators open Women's College World Series with 7-2 win over Tennessee

    Blog

    Gators pitcher Lauren Haeger hit a solo home run in the first inning, then threw a complete games, striking out four and allowing just two runs to leaddefending national champion Florida to a 7-2 win over Tennessee in the first game of the Women's College World Series at Oklahoma City’s ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

    The Gators (56-6) will play LSU - a 6-1 winner over Auburn - Friday night at 7 in a winner's bracket game. LSU won two of three games against the Gators during the regular season....

  3. Gators open play in Women's College World Series today

    Blog

    The Gators softball team will open play in the Women's College World Series today on a quest for a second consecutive national title.

    No. 1 seed Florida (55-6) will play SEC-rival Tennesssee (47-15)in the opening game of the WCWS today at noon. The game will be televised on ESPN.

    The Gators and Vols are meeting for the second time in the WCWS. Florida is the defending national champion, but coach Tim Walton is doing his best to keep the Gators from putting extra pressure on themselves....

  4. SEC plans increased fines to control fans

    Colleges

    DESTIN — Seeking to further deter potentially dangerous postgame celebrations, the SEC is planning to "substantially" increase fines — possibly as much as 10 times the current penalty — for league schools who violate the celebration rule.

    "It's an attempt to change behavior," commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday at the SEC spring meetings. "I think we have changed it considerably, but there are times when it happens, and I think our folks thought that the current fine structure is not sufficiently large enough to be a quality deterrent."...

  5. SEC football coaches sick of satellite camps

    College

    DESTIN — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is headed to Boca Raton to be a guest at a football camp at Florida Atlantic University on June 17. Last season, Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff were guests at a camp in Atlanta with Georgia State.

    In the already heavily recruited Southeast, the camps help other schools increase their presence there. It's a trend that SEC coaches are fed up with....

    Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was one of the first league coaches to bring the issue to light, telling his colleagues as far back as last year that satellite camps and clinics were a growing problem. [Getty Images]
  6. Gators' softball success leads to Florida's growing new facilities needs

    Blog

    The Florida softball team is about to partitipcate in its seventh Women's College World Series in the past eight years, and that unprecedented success has led to a need for upgraded facliities.

    Gators AD Jeremy Foley said Wednesday that upgrades for the softball facility are part of $100 million worth of projects under consideration at UF.

    "Rght now we have a really good softball team – No. 1 in the country, going to Oklahoma City seven of the last eight years," Foley said. "I don’t know if you’ve been to their facility lately, it’s too small. We got people hanging from trees, press box too small, we got national coverage all over the place, dugouts are too small. It’s time to do something with that one. That’s on the drawing board too."...

  7. Gators' Lauren Haeger named National Player of the Year

    Blog

    Florida pitcher Lauren Haeger has been named the 2015 USA Softball National Player of the Year, becoming Florida's first player to ever receive the honor in Division I women's softball.

    Haeger won the award from a group of three finalists that also included Oregon’s Cheridan Hawkins and Michigan’s Sierra Romero.

    “I was shocked, honestly,” Haeger said. “I didn’t expect it at all. I think it could’ve gone to any one of us, and it would’ve been a great reward for anybody. It was a really cool feeling – my heart was beating so fast before [the presenter] said the name. I was looking at Bailey [Castro] like ‘feel my pulse, my heart’s pounding!’ It’s so cool and such a relief. I still couldn’t breathe because it was crazy to think of how big of an award that is. It blows my mind.”...

  8. Nick Saban confident in Jim McElwain's ability to lead Gators

    Blog

    During his time as Alabama offensive coordinator from 2008-11, Jim McElwain more than proved his worth for the Crimson Tide.

    That's one of the reasons Alabama coach Nick Saban believes Florida first-year coach McElwain will turn out to be a very good coach for the Gators.

    “Jim did a fantastic job for us," Saban said. "First of all he’s a real quality person. Players really respect him and like him. He’s a really good teacher. He’s innovative in terms of things that he does that create problems. And I think he really has the best interest of the player in mind, and the game. But he did a fabulous job for us. He did a great job of managing the players that we had and putting them in positions to give them a chance to win. And we won a couple of championships with him. He made a great contribution to those.”...

    Alabama's Nick Saban discusses his team's spring practice at a March news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  9. With new coach, UF basketball keeps key players

    College

    DESTIN — At the news conference where he was announced as the new Florida men's basketball coach, Michael White said he had reached out to all four of Florida's incoming freshmen, but had no intention of begging them to stay committed. He only wanted players who wanted to be Gators.

    But on Tuesday as he attended his first SEC spring meetings, White acknowledged that keeping three of the Gators' four incoming recruits — and all but one of the current players — is huge for the program....

    Louisiana Tech coach Michael White reacts to play against during the second half in an NCAA college basketball game against UAB in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament in Birmingham, Ala., Friday, March 13, 2015. UAB won 72-62. (AP Photo/AL.com, Mark Almond)
  10. OL Trip Thurman, other injured Gators making progess toward returning

    Blog

    Florida OL Trip Thurman is making progress toward a posisble return in the fall.

    Thurman, who started 10 games at guard this past season, was expected to be the Gators' starter at center this year, but a chronic shoulder injury kept him out of spring practice and has put his future in question.

    Florida coach Jim McElwain said prior to spring practice that the medical staff hoped that giving Thurman eight months off might help facilitate healing and allow him to play....

  11. Keeping recruits, team intact key for Gators coach Michael White

    Blog

    At his press conference where he was announced as the new Florida head men's basketball coach, Michael White said he had reached out to all of Florida's four incoming freshman, but had no intention of begging them to stay committed to the Gators.

    But on Tuesday prior to the start of the SEC spring meetings, White acknowledged that keeping three of the Gators' four incoming recruits - and all but one of the current players - is huge for the team....

  12. For Michael White, Gators basketball chance feels just right

    College

    GAINESVILLE — For Michael White, coaching basketball at Florida was the dream job, the perfect scenario.

    An up-and-coming coaching star after rebuilding a Louisiana Tech program he took over four years ago, White drew offers from bigger, more prestigious schools as early as last season.

    He rebuffed Missouri, then Tennessee. Because in his heart, he knew something better was out there....

    Mike White’s parents, Jane and Kevin White, have backgrounds in college coaching and administration, with Kevin being Duke’s athletic director.
  13. Michael White embracing the challenge of replacing Billy Donovan

    Blog

    Michael White was born in Dunedin, but never spent more than two weeks there.

    On Monday, he returned to the state where his life began to take on the biggest challenge of his young coaching career.

    White, 38, made his first appearance as Florida's new head men's basketball coach saying it is his duty to continue the legacy former coach Billy Donovan established.

    "It's an absolute honor of mine to replace Billy Donovan, one of the best coaches in the history of this game," White said. "I have tremendous respect and admiration for the legacy that he leaves, and it's my charge to continue the momentum that he's maintained for an amazing 19 years."...

    Michael White, 38, made his first appearance as Florida's new head men's basketball coach today, saying it is his duty to continue the legacy former coach Billy Donovan established.
  14. Florida hires Jenny Rowland as gymnastics coach

    Colleges

    GAINESVILLE — The search for Florida's new gymnastics coach ended Saturday when the Gators hired former Auburn assistant Jenny Rowland. She replaces three-time national champion coach Rhonda Faehn, who resigned last month to take a job with USA Gymnastics.

    Rowland, 40, was hired as an assistant at Auburn in 2010, and was named associate head coach in 2013. In April, she was named the co-national assistant coach of the year after helping Auburn reach the NCAA Super Six for the first time in 22 years....

  15. Dante Fowler injured in first Jaguars camp

    Blog

    Former Florida DL and new member of the Jacksonville Jaguars Dante Fowler, Jr. suffered a knee injury during his first workout with the Jags today at the team's rookie camp.

    Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said:  "He's being evaluated. We'll know more tonight," according to the team's official website.

    Fowler, as St. Petersburg native, was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft this past week, becoming the highest drafted player ever out of Pinellas County....