UF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Gators hire Newbauer to lead women's hoops team


Former Belmont University coach Cameron Newbauer was named the new coach of the Florida women's basketball team Monday.

The Associated Press
Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 at 4:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 27, 2017 at 4:54 p.m.

The last time Scott Stricklin went looking for a women’s basketball coach, he ended up with a guy who has led Mississippi State to this year’s Final Four in Vic Schaefer.

He hopes his latest hire has that same success.

Florida announced Monday that Cameron Newbauer has been hired as the successor to Amanda Butler, who was let go earlier this month.

Newbauer, 38, has been the coach at Belmont for the past four years. He inherited a struggling program, but in the last two years Belmont was 51-14 and made two trips to the NCAA Tournament.

This season’s Belmont team went 16-0 in league play to win its second straight Ohio Valley Conference championship and Newbauer was named OVC Coach of the Year.

“He’s a guy who has a presence about him,” Stricklin said.

It’s the first hire for Stricklin as the UF athletic director. UF did not release contract details.

"Cameron Newbauer brings energy, vision and an incredible work ethic to the University of Florida,” Stricklin said in UF’s official release. “In addition to developing well-coached teams, he's a hard-charger when it comes to recruiting and fan engagement. He's coached in our league with Georgia and coached in the Final Four with Louisville.

“I share his confidence that he can build Florida women's basketball into a conference and national contender.”

Newbauer, a Fort Wayne, Indiana, native, started his coaching career as a men’s assistant at Siena under former UF assistant Rob Lanier and then worked for Dennis Felton at Georgia.

He shifted over to the Georgia women in 2008, working for Andy Landers and was part of Louisville’s staff when it played for the national title in 2013 before getting his first head coaching job at Belmont in Nashville, Tennessee.

"It's the University of Florida,” Newbauer said. “That's the excitement for me. A national brand. One of the most revered athletic programs in the nation.

"It's an incredible challenge. That's why I love it and want to embrace it. The Southeastern Conference is the best conference in the nation. All sports, let alone women's basketball. It's an absolute dream come true for me. I know what we'd like to become; we want to be a tough, hard-working group that really cares for each other.”

Newbauer will take over a program that is coming off a losing record and has been suffering from sagging attendance.

"We're going to have fun,” Newbauer said. “I want people to get to know us. We will welcome the community and want them to help build a tremendous environment."

Stricklin has been looking for a new coach since he relieved Butler of her duties March 6. According to sources, Florida had discussions with San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon but she was never formally offered the job and money wasn’t discussed.

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