The 2009 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida in the sport of American football during the 2009 college football season. The Gators competed in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and played their home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus. They were led by fifth-year head coach Urban Meyer, who coached the Gators to a first-place finish in the SEC East, a 51–24 Sugar Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats, and an overall win-loss record of 13–1 (.929).
With senior quarterback Tim Tebow and eleven defensive starters returning, the Gators had hoped to repeat as back-to-back national champions following their BCS National Championship at the end of the 2008 season. They finished with an undefeated 12–0 regular season, their first since 1995, but the Gators' 32–13 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game derailed their national title hopes, and forced them to settle for a berth in the Sugar Bowl. At the conclusion of the 2009 season, the Gators were ranked No. 3 in both major polls.
On December 26, 2009, Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley announced that Urban Meyer would step down as the team's head coach for health and family reasons. The following day, Meyer stated that he would instead take an indefinite leave of absence, allowing him to resume his position as the head coach. Meyer returned to coach the Gators in spring practice in March 2010.
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