Friday Notebook: Steve Spurrier Made Darin Hinshaw A Knight...Seriously

Charleston Southern v Florida

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Darin Hinshaw proudly stood at the podium when introduced as UCF's new offensive coordinator and told anyone who would listen how excited he was to be home again. The former Knight quarterback was back and given the keys to Gus Malzahn's offense. 

Hinshaw talked about his memories as a player and his first of 82 touchdown passes enroute to tossing for 9,000 yards in Mike Kruzcek's offense. That offense ran the ball and threw the ball as well as anyone when UCF was playing as an FCS independent. 

Those offensive principles molded Hinshaw into the college coach he is today and now he gets to run the offense at the school where, as he said, "I bleed black and gold."

But Hinshaw's journey to UCF almost never happened. 

Growing up in Punta Gorda, Hinshaw was a fan of the Florida Gators. He wanted to be a Gator and thought he was all set to be. Then Florida coach, Galen Hall, recruited Hinshaw to come to Gainesville and play quarterback. But something happened. Hall was fired in 1989 as Florida faced another round of NCAA violations and a new coach arrived in Gainesville, That coach was Steve Spurrier. Spurrier loved a certain quarterback from the area where Hinshaw played. It wasn't Hinshaw. It was Terry Dean, who played at Naples Barron Collier, a rival high school of Hinshaw. 

Spurrier offered Dean a scholarship to come to Gainesville and Hinshaw chose to be a Knight. He has no regrets about that decision because he became a four-year starter. Heck, Hinshaw was even a dual sport star as he played for the 1993-94 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament and faced Purdue featuring Glen "Big Dog" Robinson.

If Spurrier chose Hinshaw over Dean, who knows what the path would have been for Hinshaw but then UCF coach Gene McDowell listened to Mike Kruzcek who thought Hinshaw could run his offense.

Over the years Hinshaw has traveled for coaching stops including Tennessee, Cincinnati and Kentucky. At CIncinnati, where he was the passing game coordinator and QB coach, the offense ranked 1st, 2nd and 1st in the AAC.

At this introductory presser talked about his offensive philosophy of mixing the run and the pass but also how he likes to go vertical- just as he did as a quarterback at UCF. He praised Gus Malzahn and his offensive mind and influence on the game.

In the end, it comes to what college football is today. Fans want their team to be exciting on offense and score points and win. If that happens then the formation, amount of receivers and gap blocking doesn't matter. Just win.

Hinshaw knows he worked hard to get to this position and is aware of UCF and its new journey in the Big 12. A Knight has come home and is ready to help his school shine on its biggest stage...

Nuggets: I nominate "Big Red" the Nebraska mascot for Speaker of the House. Who doesn't like Big Red?...Maybe Jim Harbaugh just likes talking to NFL owners...Kirby Smart was 8-5 in his first year at Georgia and sat 4-4 after Florida beat the Bulldogs in their annual game. That Florida team was coached by Jim McElwain. What an interesting journey for the two coaches since...According to, only 36% of players to enter the transfer portal are committed to a new school. Also 2% have withdrawn. That means 62% still haven't found a also ranked teams in portal movement of those leaving and coming and has Arizona State number one with Colorado behind them. FSU is 5th and UCF 13th. Miami is 55th with more players leaving than arriving and Florida sits 66th. The Gators have added four players in the portal while 22 have exited..Luke Fickell left Cincinnati to take the job at Wisconsin. He chose to coach in Wisconsin's bowl game as well. So if a coach can change jobs and coach in his new team's bowl game, why can't a player transfer and play for his new team in a bowl or playoff game?...The NCAA Transformation Committee is recommending the basketball tournament expand to where 25% of the team who play D1 basketball get in- or around 90 teams. Well, if we want 25% of teams to make a playoff when is someone going to tell everyone that if the same thing applied to college football then you better get ready for 32 teams in a playoff. Just saying...

Final note: It is recommended you drink 8 bottles of water a day. The average bottles of water that a person drinks per day is just under 4.

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