Welcome to Bait & Bits, a series on Hail Florida Hail that will feature one “bait” about an opposing school and some bits about the Gators. Have any links that you want on Bait & Bits? Tweet it at us @HailFloridaHail or @BrettKaplan13 or email it to us at [email protected].
Mississippi State Women’s Basketball. Florida will open up the SEC Tournament the same way they opened conference play: Against Mississippi State. The Gators beat the Bulldogs 82-72 at the O’Dome in the lone regular season match-up. Florida owns a 24-18 record over MSU all-time and have won the last eight games. The Gators, the five-seed, had a first round bye, while the 13-seed Bulldogs beat 12-seed Missouri Wednesday. The winner faces the 12th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, a team Florida swept this season. Tip-off for Thursday’s game is set for 2:30 pm EST.
New Coaching Contracts Released. New Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will be getting paid nicely for taking over a putrid offense. Roper signed a three-year contract worth about $590,000 annually. With incentives, the contract could be worth close to $2 million over the life of the deal. Offensive line coach Mike Summers signed on for two-years at $190,000 per year and special teams/outside linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler, who returned to Florida after two years at New Mexico, inked a one-year deal for $230,000.
Nine Spring Practices Open for Fans. Under Will Muschamp, Florida football practices haven’t always been open to the public. But this spring, nine practices will be open, including the Orange & Blue game. There will be another opportunity for season-ticket holders to catch the new-look Gators that has yet to be announced. Click on the link for dates open to the public.
Track & Field Qualifies 23. Florida’s men’s and women’s track and field teams qualified 23 athletes between the two teams for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The SEC Champion women qualified 12 competitors, while the SEC runner-up men’s team added 11. Both teams are ranked number one heading into the NCAA Championships. Click here for a complete list of athletes and events they’re participating in. The championships start March 14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Florida Sending 14 Women Swimmers to NCAA Championships. Fourteen Gators swimmers have qualified for the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Florida will send Elizabeth Beisel, Natalie Hinds, Taylor Katz, Ashlee Linn, Hilda Luthersdottir, Alicia Mathieu, Lindsey McKnight, Megan Rankin, Taylor Roy, Sinead Russell, Jordan Smith, Jessica Thielmann, Danielle Valley and Ellese Zalewski to the event. Diving teams will have a chance to qualify at the NCAA Zone Diving in Greensboro, North Carolina starting March 10th. The NCAA Championships start March 20 for the ninth-ranked Gators.