1978 Florida Gators football team

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1978 Florida Gators football
Conference Southeastern Conference
1978 record 4–7 (3–3 T-4th SEC)
Head coach Doug Dickey
Offensive coordinator Steve Spurrier
Defensive coordinator Doug Knotts
Captain Mike DuPree
Don Swafford
Home stadium Florida Field
Seasons
« 1977 1979 »
1978 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Alabama $ 6 0 0     11 1 0
#16 Georgia 5 0 1     9 2 1
Auburn 3 2 1     6 4 1
LSU 3 3 0     8 4 0
Tennessee 3 3 0     5 5 1
Florida 3 3 0     4 7 0
Mississippi State 2 4 0     6 5 0
Ole Miss 2 4 0     5 6 0
Kentucky 2 4 0     4 6 1
Vanderbilt 0 6 0     2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1978 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season. The season was Doug Dickey's ninth and last year as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. The 1978 Florida Gators finished with a 4–7 overall record and a 3–3 Southeastern Conference (SEC) record, tying for fourth among ten SEC teams.[1] After a disappointing 1977 season, Dickey had been under pressure to shake up his coaching staff, and he decided to abandon the run-oriented wishbone offense his teams had used for several seasons in favor of a more pro-style system.[2] Former Florida quarterback Steve Spurrier, who had lived in Gainesville since wrapping up his NFL career in 1976, was hired to run the offense in his first coaching job.[3]

However, without the proper talent to run the new scheme, Florida's 1978 scoring output was almost identical to 1977's output - about 22 points per game.[3][4] Florida struggled with consistency, never winning consecutive games, losing to traditional rivals Georgia and Florida State, and enduring their first losing season since 1971. Days before the final game, Dickey (along with Spurrier and the rest of the coaching staff) were told by University of Florida president Robert Q. Marston that they would be let go after the season.[2] Days after the season finale, Florida announced that Clemson coach Charlie Pell had been hired to coach the Gators.[5]

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result
9–16–1978 Southern Methodist* Citrus BowlOrlando, FL L 25–35  
9–30–1978 Mississippi State Florida FieldGainesville, FL W 34–0  
10–7–1978 No. 11 Louisiana State Florida Field • Gainesville, FL L 21–34  
10–14–1978 No. 7 Alabama Bryant-Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL L 12–23  
10–21–1978 U.S. Military Academy* Florida Field • Gainesville, FL (HC) W 31–7  
10–28–1978 Georgia Tech* Grant FieldAtlanta, Georgia ABC L 13–17  
11–4–1978 Auburn Florida Field • Gainesville, FL W 31–7  
11–11–1978 No. 11 Georgia Gator Bowl StadiumJacksonville, FL L 22–24  
11–18–1978 Kentucky Commonwealth StadiumLexington, KY W 18–16  
11–25–1978 Florida State* Doak Campbell StadiumTallahassee, FL L 21–38  
12–2–1978 Miami* Florida Field • Gainesville, FL L 21–22  
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game.

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide[1]

Postseason[edit]

After leaving Florida, Dickey went into private business for several years before becoming the athletic director of the University of Tennessee's Volunteers sports program in 1985. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2003.[6] After a dozen years spent as an offensive assistant and head coach in college football and the USFL, Spurrier would return to become Florida's head coach in 1990.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  2. ^ a b UPI (20 November 1978). "No Title so Florida Gives Ax to Dickey". The Evening Independent. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "UF Fans can thank Vol's AD for Spurrier". Orlando Sentinel. 29 November 2001. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Golenbock, Go Gators!, p. 438
  5. ^ Cobb, Mike (6 December 1978). "UF Unveils Pell as New Head Football Coach". Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  6. ^ College Football Hall of Fame, Hall of Famers, Doug Dickey. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  • Golenbock, Peter (2002). Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory. St. Petersburg, Florida: Legends Publishing, LLC. ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.