This article includes a game-by-game list of the Florida Gators' ten football seasons from 1940 to 1949. During the 1940s, the Gators were coached by Thomas J. "Tom" Lieb (1940–1945) and Raymond "Bear" Wolf (1946–1949). Lieb and Wolf compiled an overall record of 33–50–3 (.401) during the decade.
The 1942 college football season was Tom Lieb's third as Florida's head coach. By the autumn of 1942, World War II had begun to affect many college football programs. Florida lost several players and most of its coaching staff to the war effort before the season, and lost several more players during the season, leading to diminishing success as the schedule progressed. The highlight of the campaign was the Gators' 6–0 edging of the Auburn Tigers on Florida Field, the Gators' only Southeastern Conference (SEC) victory of the year. They also suffered through a crushing 75–0 defeat by coach Wally Butts' SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Florida, the worst defeat in the history of Florida's football program.
The Gators began the season 3-1 but lost their final six contests to finish with a 3–7 overall record. Their 1–3 conference record placed ninth among twelve teams in the SEC.
The 1945 college football season was the fifth and last for Tom Lieb as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Among the season's highlights was the Gators' 26–13 neutral site victory over the Ole Miss Rebels played in Jacksonville. The Gators also split a pair of games against teams from two U.S. military training bases. Lieb's 1945 Florida Gators finished with a 4–5–1 overall record and a 1–3–1 record in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), placing ninth among twelve SEC teams. After Lieb's coaching contract was not renewed, he became the track & field coach and an assistant football coach at the University of Alabama, where his old Notre Dame teammate Frank Thomas was the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The 1946 college football season was Raymond "Bear" Wolf's first of four as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Wolf's first Gators squad was composed mostly of college freshmen and returning World War II veterans who had not played football in several years. The winless 0–9 season was also the worst win-loss record in the history of Gators football to date, surpassing the winless 0–5 record of the overmatched 1916 Gators. Wolf's 1946 Florida Gators finished 0–5 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), placing twelfth of twelve SEC teams. Despite the winless record, the Gators developed the seventh best passing attack in the nation, with end Broughton Williams leading the nation in receiving.Harold Griffin led the nation in punt return average.
The 1946 season was at the center of a school record 13-game losing streak which stretched from the last game of the 1945 campaign until the fourth contest of 1947. The players on these squads ironically dubbed their time at Florida the "Golden Era," and members of the "Golden Era Gang" regularly held reunions and raised funds for scholarships and facilities improvements at UF for many subsequent years. Players on these teams included future Florida attorney general James W. Kynes and College Football Hall of Fame coach Marcelino Huerta.
The 1947 college football season was Bear Wolf's second as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. The Gators broke a thirteen-game post-war losing streak, dating back to the 1945 and 1946 seasons, when they upset the eighteenth-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack 7–6 on the Wolfpack's home field in Raleigh, North Carolina. Among the other highlights of the season, the Gators beat the in-state rival Miami Hurricanes in Miami, Florida, and ended the season with a 25–7 intersectional victory versus the Kansas State Wildcats. Wolf's 1947 Florida Gators finished with a 4–5–1 overall record and a 0–3–1 record in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), placing twelfth among twelve SEC teams.
The 1948 college football season was the third for Bear Wolf's as the Florida Gators football team's head coach. The season's highlights included the Gators' 16–9 win against the Auburn Tigers and their 27–13 Homecoming victory over the Miami Hurricanes. Wolf's 1948 Florida Gators finished with a 5–5 overall record and a 1–5 record in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), placing tenth among twelve SEC teams. Several members of the Florida Board of Control and a number of Florida alumni called for Wolf to step down after the 1948 season, but football player-led student rallies in his support ended with Wolf's contract being extended for another year.
The 1949 college football season was Bear Wolf's fourth and last as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. The highlight of the season was the Gators' 28–7 upset of the Georgia Bulldogs. Led by halfback Chuck Hunsinger, who rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns, and team captain Jimmy Kynes, who was the defensive star and played every minute of the sixty-minute game, the Gators beat the Dawgs for the first time since 1940. Wolf's 1949 Florida Gators finished 4–5–1 overall and 1–4–1 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), placing tenth of twelve SEC teams, and ending the Gators' ironically-named "Golden Era." After Wolf left Gainesville, he returned to his alma mater, Texas Christian University, where he became a long-time administrator.