Sources: Florida AD meeting with Colorado State coach Jim McElwain

Pat Forde
Yahoo Sports

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley is in Fort Collins, Colo., on Tuesday and meeting with Colorado State football coach Jim McElwain, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Jim McElwain argues an interference penalty in the fourth quarter against Air Force. (USA TODAY Sports)
Jim McElwain argues an interference penalty in the fourth quarter against Air Force. (USA TODAY Sports)

According to FlightAware.com, a private jet left Jacksonville, Fla., this morning and made a brief stop in Gainesville. It then flew to Joplin, Mo., for a brief stop before heading to the airport in Fort Collins.

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Foley and McElwain have been meeting for several hours at McElwain's house, sources said.

Yahoo reported Sunday that McElwain had emerged as a leading candidate for the Florida vacancy. Sources say the Gators' search has focused on the third-year coach of the Rams.

McElwain, 52, and Foley discussed the Gators job Saturday night on the phone, sources said.

Information has been gathered on McElwain by Florida officials since the school announced two weeks ago that Will Muschamp would not return as coach, sources said. It is unclear whether any other candidates have been involved in Florida's search.

According to a source, McElwain met briefly with Colorado State president Tony Frank on Monday morning before leaving town to recruit.

The Rams are 10-2 this year and were one of the strong possibilities for a major bowl bid from the "group of five" conferences until being upset by rival Air Force on a field goal on the final play Saturday.

Colorado State has taken a step up in each of McElwain's years at the Mountain West Conference school. He took over a program that had gone 3-9 for three straight seasons from 2009-11 and has gone 4-8, 8-6 with a victory in the New Mexico Bowl, and now a 10-2 season that includes victories over rival Colorado and Boston College. The only other loss outside of Air Force was in September to Boise State.

McElwain's team features the No. 2 quarterback in the nation in pass efficiency in Garrett Grayson, who has thrown for nearly 3,800 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions this season. The Rams also have the nation's leader in receiving yardage per game (149.1) and touchdowns (17) in Rashard Higgins.

McElwain has Southeastern Conference experience. He is a former Nick Saban assistant coach at Alabama, working as offensive coordinator and receivers coach from 2008-11 when the Crimson Tide won two national titles.

McElwain has a reported $7.5 million buyout, according to the Denver Post.

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