Jim McElwain sold his house at a massive loss to help family with disabled kids

Dr. Saturday
Former Florida coach Jim McElwain is now the wide receivers coach at Michigan. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Former Florida coach Jim McElwain is now the wide receivers coach at Michigan. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Jim McElwain and his wife paid $1.8 million for their house when they first moved to Gainesville, Florida, after McElwain was hired as Florida’s football coach.

When McElwain and the school parted ways during the 2017 season, the family found itself needing to eventually sell the house. They did for just $1.4 million. And it wasn’t because the McElwains were in a rush to get rid of the house or because it depreciated in value.

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The McElwains found a buyer who needed the house more than they did.

The new owners of the house, Rick and Michelle Staab, have two children with dystonia, a condition that causes muscles to contract involuntarily. Their oldest, Tyler, is in a wheelchair and can’t use the left side of his body.

A fantastic feature in the Tampa Bay Times details how the Staabs found out about McElwain’s house. Rick had been to the house a while back for a dinner he had purchased at a charity auction. So when McElwain’s tenure with the Gators ended, Rick reached out to their real estate agent, remembering how wheelchair-accessible the house’s layout is and how the converted garage could serve as an apartment for 20-year-old Tyler.

He didn’t know what the home was worth, or if he could afford it. The McElwains hadn’t even officially listed it. He called their real estate agent, anyway.

“I said, ‘Listen, I don’t know what it’s worth or whatever,'” said Rick, the CEO of a medical equipment company. “‘But this is what I can do.'”

The McElwains said no — until they learned who made the offer. The Staabs heard back from McElwain’s wife, Karen.

Let’s see what we can work out.

The sale became official earlier this year as McElwain is now the receivers coach at Michigan.

McElwain came to Florida in 2015 and his teams won the SEC East title in 2015 and 2016. Florida’s offense was never that good in those two years and continued to struggle in 2017. With the team’s poor play with McElwain’s vague reference to unspecific death threats levied towards players and coaches, McElwain parted ways with the school in October. He was replaced by Randy Shannon on an interim basis and former Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was hired as Florida’s new coach after the end of the 2017 season.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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