As 2022 comes to a close, we can’t help but look back at the year that was in Florida Gators athletics.
There were certainly highs and lows throughout the year. New coaches (Billy Napier and Todd Golden) took over the football and basketball programs and went through all the growing pains one might expect during a transition period, but Gators Wire is focusing on the good that happened in 2022 before the calendar turns over.
The baseball team made it to regionals, the women’s gymnastics team finished as runner-ups in the NCAA Championships, the tennis program took home an individual title, and track and field dominated all year.
It’s always great to be a Florida Gator, and 2022 was no exception. Sure, not every program reached the fan base’s lofty standards, but there was a lot to celebrate over the year.
As 2023 begins, let’s look back at the biggest moments for the athletic department over the last calendar year.
Feb. 19: Florida knocks off No. 2 Auburn in front of a sell out crowd
UPSET ALERT 🚨
Florida takes down No. 2 Auburn at home!! pic.twitter.com/g9hPXW1wh4
— ESPN (@espn) February 19, 2022
Florida basketball has entered a new era under Todd Golden, but one of the best moments of 2022 came while Mike White was still at the helm of the program. The Gators staved off No. 2 Auburn in a hard-fought battle that kept NCAA Tournament hopes alive at the time, and they did so in front of a sold-out crowd.
The Rowdies always come to games with 110% energy, but it’s a different vibe when the O’Dome is sold out. Auburn learned that the hard way and Florida earned its signature win of the season.
March 5: Keyontae Johnson takes the floor one last time in Gainesville
— Graham Hall (@GrahamHall_) March 5, 2022
Sometimes, basketball is more than just a game, and Florida’s senior night proved that. Over a year after collapsing on the court against Florida State, forward Keyontae Johnson took the court for the Gators one final time. He’d served as a de facto assistant coach for all of the 2021-22 season, and the team made sure to give him one last moment in front of the Florida faithful.
The Gators won an honorary tip off and gave the ball directly to Johnson. He took in the moment before handing the ball to the ref, thanking players…