1969 Florida Gators football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1969 Florida Gators football
Gator Bowl, W 14–13 vs. Tennessee
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
CoachesNo. 17
APNo. 14
1969 record9–1–1 (3–1–1 SEC)
Head coachRay Graves (10th season)
Offensive coordinatorFred Pancoast (1st season)
Defensive coordinatorGene Ellenson (5th season)
CaptainMac Steen
Home stadiumFlorida Field
(Capacity: 58,780)[1]
← 1968
1970 →
1969 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 15 Tennessee $ 5 1 0     9 2 0
No. 10 LSU 4 1 0     9 1 0
No. 20 Auburn 5 2 0     8 3 0
No. 14 Florida 3 1 1     9 1 1
No. 8 Ole Miss 4 2 0     8 3 0
Georgia 2 3 1     5 5 1
Vanderbilt 2 3 0     4 6 0
Alabama 2 4 0     6 5 0
Kentucky 1 6 0     2 8 0
Mississippi State 0 5 0     3 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1969 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1969 NCAA University Division football season. The season was the tenth, last, and arguably most successful season for Ray Graves as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Graves' 1969 Florida Gators finished their regular season with an overall record of 8–1–1 and an SEC record of 3–1–1, placing fourth among the ten SEC teams. Florida concluded the year with a Gator Bowl victory over SEC-champion Tennessee. Afterwards, Graves resigned from the head coaching position to become the university's athletic director, and was replaced by Tennessee head coach Doug Dickey.[2]

Graves' final Gators squad was led by a surprising group of second-year offensive players known as the "Super Sophs", that included quarterback John Reaves, wide receiver Carlos Alvarez and tailback Tommy Durrance.

Before the season[edit]

The team was captained by Mac Steen.[3]


September 20No. 7 Houston*W 59–3453,807
September 27at Mississippi StateNo. 12W 47–35
October 4Florida State*No. 12
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL (rivalry)
W 21–663,957
October 112:00 p.m.vs. Tulane*No. 12W 18–1743,102
October 18North Carolina*daggerNo. 10
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL
W 52–262,945
October 25VanderbiltNo. 10
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL
W 41–2048,631
November 1at No. 17 AuburnNo. 7L 12–3850,086
November 8vs. No. 16 GeorgiaNo. 13ABCT 13–1370,862
November 15Kentucky
  • Florida Field
  • Gainesville, FL
W 31–655,279
November 29at Miami (FL)*W 35–1670,934
December 27vs. No. 11 Tennessee*No. 15
  • Gator Bowl Stadium
  • Jacksonville, FL (rivalry)
NBCW 14–1372,248
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Primary source: 2016 Florida Gators Football Media Guide[2]

Attendance figures: 1970 University of Florida Brochure.[4]


1969 Florida Gators football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
WR Carlos Alvarez So
QB John Reaves So
Pos. # Name Class
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Season summary[edit]


In the opening game against the seventh-ranked Houston Cougars, the unranked Gators debuted a new passing offense which set the tone of success for the rest of the season and upset the Cougars 59–34. Carlos Alvarez had 6 catches and 182 yards receiving.[2]

Mississippi State[edit]

In the second week of play, the Gators beat Mississippi State. 47–25. Alvarez had 12 catches and 180 yards receiving.[2]

Florida State[edit]

1 234Total
FSU 0 600 6
Florida 0 777 21

The Gators won the matchup over Florida State 21–6 on the back of a defensive surge that was unparalleled in Gator history. The Gators defense, led by junior defensive lineman Jack Youngblood, and sophomore defensive lineman Robert Harrell, sacked FSU quarterback Bill Cappleman eleven times for 91 yards leaving FSU with a total of negative 18 yards rushing in the game. Youngblood had been shifted to defensive end, with Harrell at tackle.[5] Harrell earned National Defensive Lineman of The Week honors.[6]

In addition to the pass rush, the FSU offense fumbled the ball eight times, losing five. Two other Gator Sophomores starred in the game as well, All-American wide out Carlos Alvarez and quarterback John Reaves. Alvarez had seven catches for 134 yards.[2]


On "Super Saturday" in Tampa,[7] the Gators came from behind and went for two to beat winless Tulane by an 18–17 score.[6] Alvarez had 11 catches for 146 yards.[2] "It was a damn poor victory, but it tasted a lost better than a defeat would have" wrote Jack Hairston.[8]

North Carolina[edit]

The Gators defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 52–2 and Alvarez caught 4 passes for 122 yards.[2]


Florida won over the Vanderbilt Commodores 41–20. Reaves threw 5 touchdowns[6] and Alvarez had 11 catches for 112 yards.[2]

Auburn; Georgia[edit]

A Southeastern Conference (SEC) loss to the Auburn Tigers and a tie with the rival Georgia Bulldogs cost the Gators a share of their elusive first SEC football championship.


In a 31–6 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats 31–6. Alvarez had 10 catches for 105 receiving yards.[2]


Florida beat the Miami Hurricanes 35–16 as Carlos Alvarez had a then-record 237 receiving yards on 15 receptions.[2]



Gator Bowl
1 234Total
Florida 7 070 14
Tennessee 0 1003 13
  • Date: December 27
  • Location: Gator Bowl

In a strange twist, the Gators were invited to play coach Doug Dickey's SEC champion Tennessee Volunteers in the December 1969 Gator Bowl.[9] In a game dominated by a Gators defense led by linebacker Mike Kelley (the game's MVP), defensive back Steve Tannen and defensive end Jack Youngblood, the Gators upset the Volunteers 14–13 to cap their 9–1–1 season—the Gators' best ever single-season record to that time.[9] After the Gator Bowl, Ray Graves resigned as the head coach of the Gators football team, but continued as the athletic director of the Florida Gators sports program until 1979.

External video
1969 Gator Bowl, YouTube video.

During the 1960s, Graves compiled an overall record of 70–31–4 (.686) during the decade, making Graves the winningest coach in the history of the Gators football program until that time.


  1. ^ Sports Publicity Department. "1969 University of Florida Football Brochure" (PDF). floridagators.com. University Athletic Association, Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 2016 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 110–111 (2015). Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Buddy Martin (December 18, 1969). "Mac Steen: HeIs Gators Answer To jerry Kramer". Ocala Star-Banner.
  4. ^ Sports Publicity Department. "1970 University of Florida Football Brochure" (PDF). floridagators.com. University Athletic Association, Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Florida State Football - 1969 Year In Review".
  6. ^ a b c "Great Teams and Eras: The Super Sophs".
  7. ^ "Florida, Tulane Clash in Tampa". Sarasota Journal. October 10, 1969. p. 30.
  8. ^ "What Writers Said About Gators". Ocala Star-Banner. October 12, 1969. p. 2D.
  9. ^ a b Nash, The Gainesville Sun Presents, pp. 73–76.