Florida hires coach Todd Golden: San Francisco to lead Gators after taking Dons to NCAA Championship

Florida hires coach Todd Golden: San Francisco to lead Gators after taking Dons to NCAA Championship


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The school announced Friday that Florida has appointed Todd Golden of San Francisco as its men’s basketball coach under a six-year, $18 million deal. Golden replaces Mike White, who left Florida to take the Georgia job on Sunday. CBS Sports first reported the news of Golden’s impending lease earlier on Friday.

Golden Hours removed from San Francisco training to her first NCAA championship in 24 years. 10th-seeded Donnes fell 92-87 in a classic overtime Thursday night in Indianapolis against No. 7 Murray State. Sources said Golden had met with Florida officials in recent days.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to lead the Elite Program in Florida, and I’m ready to get started,” Golden said. “Florida has a division of athletics, collegiate and men’s basketball at the championship level, and I embrace the Florida standard of excellence and the passion of the Gator Nation. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds in Gainesville.

“I would also like to express my thanks to the University of San Francisco, Joan McDermott and Reverend Paul J. Fitzgerald for the incredible support they have given me during my past six years at USF and the opportunity to lead a special group of men.”

Upon Golden’s appointment, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin chose another lower-level coach to lead a high-profile job. In December, Stricklin hired Louisiana player Billy Napier to lead the football program. Sources in recent weeks have told CBS Sports that Stricklin was not interested in bringing in a big name from the Power Conference. He was focused on hiring the best fit people and actually wanted to be young.

At the age of 36, Golden saw his star rise rapidly in his three seasons as an NFL coach, going 57-36 in three seasons with the Dons. Prior to becoming a head coach at USF, he was an assistant there under former coach Kyle Smith. Golden played for St. Mary’s from 2004 to 2007, then went into training in 2012 for Smith’s staff at Columbia. Has previous SEC experience: Golden was an assistant to Bruce Pearl at Auburn from 2014 to 2016.

As for Florida, its season is not over yet. The Gators play at Xavier Stadium on Sunday in the second round of the NIT.