Discover the University of Florida's top stars and the years that Florida won National Titles and SEC Football Championships

The list of University of Florida football legends extends well into the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames.  The Gators program has produced Heisman Trophy winners, the NFL's all-time leading rusher and more.

Florida player and coaching legend Steve Spurrier was the first Gator to hoist a Heisman Trophy. Quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow not only led Florida to SEC and National championships, but also won college football's top award.

Considering the Gators impact on the pros, Emmitt Smith was a great back for Florida in the 1980s before joining the Dallas Cowboys. In the NFL, the former Florida star rushed through opponents all the way to Canton as the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

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Florida Heisman Trophy Winners

In the SEC, only Alabama has produced more Heisman winners than Florida

Year
Player
1966
Steve Spurrier
Led Florida to a 9-2 record and beat out Purdue's Bob Griese for the award
1996
Danny Wuerffel
Guided the Gators to a National Championship season and finished ahead of Iowa State's Troy Davis in the voting
2007
Tim Tebow
Led Florida to a 9-4 record and outpaced Arkansas' Darren McFadden in the Heisman voting.

Gators in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Florida has placed two players into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jack Youngblood was a defensive force with the Los Angeles Rams and Emmitt Smith helped lead Dallas to two Super Bowl titles on his way to becoming the NFL's all-time leading rusher

Year
Player
2001
Jack Youngblood
2010
Emmitt Smith

NFL's All-Time Leading Rusher

Emmitt Smith is Florida's most accomplished NFL star. Smith holds the NFL record for rushing yards (18,355) and was a 3-time Super Bowl Champ with the Dallas Cowboys. The former Gator was also the 1993 NFL MVP. Smith is inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team and is also on the NFL's 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. The Former Gator was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

Florida National Championship Seasons

The Gators are tied for third place in the SEC for most national championships won.

YearRecordCoachChampionship Game
1996
12-1
Steve SpurrierDefeated
FSU 52-20
2006
13-1
Urban MyerDefeated
Ohio State 41-14
2008
13-1
Urban MyerDefeated
Oklahoma 44-14

Florida SEC Football Championships

On the field, the Gators captured their first SEC title in 1984. However, Coach Charley Pell's squad had their title vacated due to NCAA infraction penalties. The 1985 and 1990 squads sat atop the SEC standings, but were ineligible for the conference crown due to NCAA probation.

SeasonCoachOverall RecordSEC Record
1991Steve Spurrier10-27-0
1993Steve Spurrier11-27-1
1994Steve Spurrier10-2-17-1
1995Steve Spurrier12-18-0
1996Steve Spurrier12-18-0
2000Steve Spurrier10-37-1
2006Urban Myer13-17-1
2008Urban Myer13-17-1
Florida's Fergie Ferguson Award

The Fergie Ferguson Award

This prestigious award is given in the
memory of this former Gator All-American who was severely wounded while leading American forces on a World War II D-Day landing assault.  The award's honor is bestowed upon an individual who displays "leadership, character and courage."

Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Gators Football

Q. Who is Florida's Biggest Rivalry

A. When it comes to college football in Florida, one rivalry stands above the rest: The Florida-Florida State rivalry. This age-old matchup between the Gators and Seminoles has been going on for over 70 years with each team laying claim to some of the most memorable victories in gridiron history.

Q. Who is Florida's All-Time Winningest Coach

A. The Ole Ball Coach compiled a 122-27-1 record at Florida. Spurrier’s accomplishments were remarkable; he took a team that had not won a championship since 1984 to win six championships in 12 years. His 106-13 record over his final 10 seasons was one for the record books as well - it included 51 consecutive weeks ranked number one in college football by multiple polls and an undefeated season in 1996.

Q. What was Steve Spurrier's Nickname while coaching

A. Steve Spurrier was widely known as “the Ole Ball Coach” during his long and trophy-filled coaching career. His football teams were renowned for their dynamic offense, which he designed and perfected as a head coach at the University of Florida from 1990 to 2001. It was during this time that Spurrier earned the nickname, which is derived from an old Southern saying meaning “an experienced coach who knows what he’s doing”.

Q. When did Florida win their first national championship

A. 2006 - With their impressive 12-1 record, the Gators were a force to be reckoned with during the 2006 season. Not only did they capture their fifth consecutive SEC Eastern Division title, but they also secured their fourth straight SEC Championship Game victory. However, their crowning achievement came in the form of their first national championship in team history. The Gators dominated their in-state rivals, the Florida State Seminoles, in the Sugar Bowl with a commanding 52-20 victory.

Florida Gators Traditions

Florida Gators Mascots
The Florida Gators have the best mascot duo in the nation and many traditions that continue to Swamp college football.