Jacksonville University Dolphins
In a statement Tuesday morning, the University of Jacksonville announced that it would no longer play football and would cease its Division I program. The College of Central Florida announced Monday that it will suspend its football program after this season. In a shocking and unprecedented move for the University of Florida and the Florida State University system in general, the University of Jacksonville has announced that it will discontinue its once-promised football programs "with immediate effect," according to a news release.
With the abrupt end of its football program, the university announced that it would offer full tuition and scholarships to football students - athletes who choose to remain at JU after graduation. The university will recognise contracts with football coaches and offer a full scholarship to any footballer who decides to stay at the university after graduation.
The head coach's interview will begin this week, and while Meyer is being considered a likely replacement for Marrone, Khan has said he has not spoken to Meyer or anyone else about the job.
Marrone was named interim coach of the Jaguars after owner Khan fired Gus Bradley, who had a 14-48 record in nearly four seasons. The Jaguars have interviewed several GM candidates since Khan fired Dave Caldwell on November 29, including former New York Giants GM John Schneider and former San Francisco 49ers GM Tom Coughlin. Marrone - who was offensive line coach and special teams coordinator in 2015 - was hired after the 2015 season and became head coach less than a month later.
The 54-year-old Bell is the offensive coordinator at the University of South Florida after leading the team to its first win at Valdosta State.
The Dolphins have participated in 15 NCAA tournaments since 1968, when they entered the College Division Tournament. The Dolphins led the conference championship in 2010, when the JU finished 10-1 and with a 9-2 record in 2011. They have also won two Atlantic Coast Conference titles and two Sun Belt Conference championships.
The Dolphins won the PFL Conference title in 2008 and 2010 and were in the 2008 Gridiron Classic, where they lost to Albany. In the past four seasons, the San Diego Toreros, who won their first conference title in 2011, have won the PFL championship. The Dolphins have won three straight conference championships, one in 1987 and the other two in 1995 and 1996. The Dolphins lost 80-69 to UCLA in the Pac-12 Conference championship game in Los Angeles, Calif.
Jacksonville remained scoreless until 2: 24 into the third quarter when the Panthers fell 12 points behind, but the defense played along, forcing three straight Jacksonville errors that put the exclamation point. Jacksonville won its last two regular-season games to qualify for the SoCon tournament and advance to the quarterfinals.
Second man Jack Dolan set the season scoring record with 55 points, the most points in a season in Jacksonville history. He led the Dolphins with 11 turnovers, while classmate Jack Heed led the team with 11 turnovers. When Jacksonville lost to Richmond in overtime in 2018, it was the first time in school history that Jacksonville had led by more than 20 points in the second half of a game.
The sensational Kade Bell - the Dolphins led 9-2 and 7-1 in 2018 and outscored their opponents by nearly 18 points per game - was dismissed for financial irregularities. Coach Bell - who wanted the school to offer football scholarships - believed he could build the Dolphins into an FCS powerhouse and possibly sign a four-year contract with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but administration officials refused to extend his contract, and he believes in the program's future.
The men's and women's rowing teams are represented in the Metro Atlantic Athletics Conference, and the Florida lacrosse team is a member of the Southern Conference. The Dolphins have been affiliated to the conference since 1998, when they joined the North Atlantic Conference (later renamed the Atlantic Sun). The NLC disbanded in 2010 after the two-sport conference, which involved the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Florida Atlantic University and Florida State University, began promoting women's lacrosse. In addition to Miami (Florida) and Miami - Dade Athletic Associations, the men's lacrosse team is also a member of the Southern Conference.
In addition to Jacksonville, the eight-team conference also includes Southern universities like Georgia Southern University, Georgia Tech, Southern Methodist University and the University of South Carolina at Chapel Hill, plus Jacksonville.
Jacksonville University is one of two Jacksonville-area educational institutions to become a member of the Atlantic Sun Athletic Conference. Jacksonville's first men's football team was founded in 1957 and the team is part of the Atlantic Sun Conference, an eight-team conference that is being held at Chapel Hill with Georgia Southern University, Georgia Tech, Southern Methodist University and South Carolina. JJC has beaten Army and Navy recruitment teams, but no other institution has been established on the island.