Dooley: Big plays, repeat NCAA titles and a fantastic finish in a memorable year

NO. 1 Florida pitcher Alex Faedo, center, holds the NCAA trophy as he, Brady Singer, left, and Michael Byrne enter McKethan Stadium during Wednesday’s national championship celebration. Brad McClenny/Staff Photographer

Florida was still in the middle of the College World Series when UF athletic director Scott Stricklin sent out an electronic letter to the Gator Nation lauding the accomplishments of the athletic programs on and off the field.

Obviously, it only got better a few days later.

It was a special academic year for Florida sports, one that is to be applauded and cherished.

Gator fans have a couple of months to smell the roses of multiple seasons of excellence until there is another game or match of consequence.

Try to enjoy the time off.

There were so many special moments, more than some schools have in a decade. It wasn’t easy to limit it to the 10 best, but 10 is a round number so sit back and revel in a program that finished third in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.

1. Oma-happy Gators

It wasn’t just that Florida won its first national title in baseball. It wasn’t just that this team had been kicked to the curb in April.

It was how they won it.

If you needed any verification as to why this was the top story, go find the final call of the last out and watch Mick Hubert and Jeff Cardozo get weepy at the end.

Because it wasn’t just winning it all, it was beating a storied rival twice in front of two crowds that were 90 percent LSU fans in Omaha to do it.

It was amazing for the casual Gator baseball fans, emotional for the hardcore Gator baseball fans and the perfect way to end the academic year. 2. A home win on the road Jim McElwain sent a message to his football team before it faced LSU in Baton Rouge — this is our home game. Unfortunately, this article is either no longer in our system or is in a different location.To find additional or related content, you can check out latest articles or use our site search function above.Thank you.