© Jacquie Franciulli/Scout
Florida Athletic Director has a message for Gator Nation ahead of UF’s next game in Omaha at the College World Series.
COURTESY UAA COMMUNICATIONS
Greetings from Omaha
It has been another terrific year in Gator Athletics and as you know – it’s not over yet. I’m writing this letter to you from Omaha, Neb., where Kevin O’Sullivan has our baseball team here for the third year in a row and the sixth time in the last eight years (the most appearances in the nation during that stretch).
Getting to Omaha is always special but this year’s team had to overcome numerous rain delays and elimination games in the both the regional and the Super Regional to punch their ticket.
Like their baseball counterparts, the softball program rebounded from losses in NCAA Tournament regional and super regional action to reach the Women’s College World Series. Making its eighth trip in school history, the Gators advanced all the way to the championship final against Oklahoma. The two teams battled for 17 innings in the opening game, which drew a record 1.68 million viewers on ESPN. More fans watched that softball game than 200-plus college football games during the 2016 season.
In between softball and baseball, UF fans had a chance to see two Gator programs win national titles in a 17-day span. First the women’s tennis program won its seventh national title, and fourth under RolandThornqvist, by defeating rival Stanford. Then, the men’s outdoor track and field program captured its seventh national title by topping the field in Eugene, Oregon. All seven track titles for the Gators have come since 2010, giving them the most in the nation during that time frame. Here is a remarkable stat: head coach Mike Holloway has led the Gator men to 19 top two finishes in his 30 NCAA Championship meets.
?UF athletic director Scott Stricklin got to taste his first national championship after the UF women’s tennis team defeated Stanford 4-1 in the NCAA final.
UF has now won a national title in each of the last nine academic years, and 38 overall. UF is one of four schools to win at least one national championship in each of the last nine years and owns 17 national titles during that time.
Overall in 2016-17, 13 Gator athletic teams finished in the top 10 in the nation and 10 finished in the top five.
When final results are announced later in June, Florida will finish third or fourth (depending on how the CWS turns out) this year, the ninth-straight Gator top five finish in the Learfield Director’s Cup. It also marks the 34 th straight year the Gators have finished in the top 10, making UF the only school in the nation to finish in the top 10 in each year of that time period.Finally, on the heels of five SEC team Championships, Florida won the SEC All-Sports Trophy for the 27thtime, including a sweep of the men’s, women’s and overall title for the 16th time – no other league school has pulled […]