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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Florida hires Todd Golden as next head coach

The former San Francisco head coach was hired just four days after Mike White’s departure

New Florida basketball head coach Todd Golden held an introductory press conference Wednesday.
New Florida basketball head coach Todd Golden held an introductory press conference Wednesday.

On Sunday, Mike White stepped down from his position as UF’s head coach in order to take the same role at Georgia. 

Just five days later, Florida has its new head coach.

The team announced Friday that Todd Golden, 36, will be taking the reins of Florida men’s basketball. He is the 20th head coach in program history.

“I embrace the standard of excellence at Florida and the passion of Gator Nation,” Golden said. “We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds in Gainesville.”

Golden spent his last three seasons as the head coach at the University of San Francisco. In his tenure, the Dons maintained a 57-36 record and reached their first NCAA tournament since 1998 this season. 

The Gators’ new leader has gained respect in coaching circles for his sustained use of advanced analytics. This season was his best at the helm in San Francisco, leading his Dons to a top-25 KenPom overall defensive efficiency rating.  

The Dons started this season on a tear, winning their first 10 games of the season before losing to Grand Canyon March 18. Their schedule also featured three matchups with the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, including in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals. San Francisco would end up losing all three contests with an average margin of defeat of 14 points. 

San Francisco held a 24-9 record heading into the NCAA Tournament and were awarded a No. 10 seed. The Dons fell to No. 7-seed Murray State in the first round Thursday, giving Florida the leadway to pursue Golden for the head coaching role.

Golden has SEC Experience, spending time as an assistant coach under Bruce Pearl at Auburn. He also faced plenty of tough competition in the WCC, scheming against coaches like Gonzaga’s Mark Few and BYU’s Mark Pope. 

“[Golden] is an innovative, relationship-oriented coach,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “He has a wide range of experience, particularly for a coach his age, and brings an outstanding track record and high level of integrity to the job.”

Contact Jackson Castellano at Find him on Twitter @jaxacastellano.

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Jackson Castellano

Jackson Castellano is a third-year sports media journalism student and the Digital Managing Editor at The Alligator for Spring 2024. In the past, he's served as the Sports Editor, Assistant Sports Editor and a Sports Reporter covering Football, Men's basketball and Baseball.

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