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The Gainesville Sun is reporting the Florida Gators will name Seattle Seahawks defensive line coach Dan Quinn as their new defensive coordinator. According to the report, Quinn will join Will Muschamp’s staff once the Seahawks playoff run ends, which will likely be very soon.
There is not currently a Wikipedia article dedicated to explaining the mysteries of Quinn. According to Internet law, I am now entitled to make up anything I like about him, and you cannot possibly prove it untrue.
One of the following statements is a lie:
Quinn has also coached D line for the 49ers, Dolphins (with Muschamp), and Jets. He’s been with the Seahawks for one season. The Seahawks have a very good defensive line. He played his college ball at Salisbury State, thereby soothing Georgia Bulldogs fans who’ve had enough of former Dawgs being connected to Florida’s coaching staff.
For more on Quinn, stop by Field Gulls.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will join the Florida Gators staff in the same position after the Chiefs have been eliminated from the NFL playoffs, the school has confirmed. Weis’ son will attend classes at Florida and work as a Gators assistant coach. This arrangement was apparently a critical stipulation for Weis joining Will Muschamp’s staff.
Weis has proven himself as one of the NFL’s best offensive schemers, working with the New England Patriots offense that won the franchise’s first Super Bowl and turning the Chiefs offense from one of the league’s worst to one of its best. Though he has yet to find success as a college coach, his diminished recruiting role compared to the load he had to handle as Notre Dame’s head coach could free him up to do what he does best.
Muschamp gets to hire nine assistant coaches. He’d previously announced the retaining of current Florida coaches Stan Drayton (running backs), D.J. Durkin (linebackers/special teams), and Brian White (tight ends/recruiting), along with new receivers coach Aubrey Hill from Miami and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson from Texas Tech.
Florida has three coaches left to hire, one of whom will need to be a new defensive coordinator.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is expected to become the Florida Gators new offensive coordinator, according to Chris Mortensen’s confirmation of a speculative report by Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley.
Weis made his name as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator from 2000 to 2004. His only experience as a college coach was as Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach from 2005 to 2009. He led the Irish to a 35-27 record and only one bowl win. The bulk of the criticisms fired his way had to do with his supposedly lackadaisical approach to recruiting — show ‘em the Super Bowl rings, mention Notre Dame’s history, and if that doesn’t do it, well …
His X’s and O’s game is certainly leagues beyond previous OC Steve Addazio’s, as are his player development skills, especially when it comes to quarterbacks. He’d still have to recruit, but couldn’t having a recruiting fiend head coach like Will Muschamp take some of the burden off Weis in that area? If that’s his least favorite thing about being a head coach, perhaps it could be nullified somewhat if he’s surrounded by a young and energetic staff.
In Weis’ one year as Chiefs OC, Kansas City rose from 25th to ninth in the league in offensive production. Attribute as much of that to Weis as you’d like.
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has been offered the same position on Will Muschamp’s Florida Gators staff, according to The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu. Andreu also says Smart is likely to accept the offer.
A longtime Muschamp accomplice, Smart’s name has been the only one mentioned with any traction regarding Florida’s defensive coordinator hunt. Smart speculation flared up on Saturday, and this is the first noise that’s been made since.
Smart would be the second former Georgia Bulldogs defensive back hired onto the Gators coaching staff in the past week, as Muschamp himself played for the Dawgs. Both are young, energetic Nick Saban disciples.
Unless Smart is being offered Monte Kiffin money, it’s not clear why he’d want to jump from a rolling machine to a rebooting program led by a first-time head coach, especially if his job title would remain the same. He already makes $750,000 per year with a national championship-winning defense to his credit.
Tuscaloosa News’ Tommy Deas reported Sunday morning that new Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp is “expected to target Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart as the top candidate for the defensive coordinator position on his staff with the Gators.” Smart, like Muschamp, is a former Georgia Bulldogs player and a member of Nick Saban’s coaching tree.
Georgia offered former Frank Broyles Award-winner Smart its defensive coordinator position last offseason, prompting the Tide to give him a raise and Saban to insist Smart should wait until a head coaching job opens up before leaving Alabama.
Muschamp and Smart have coached together for Valdosta State, LSU, and the Miami Dolphins. Smart has also briefly coached at Georgia when not following Muschamp and Saban around the country.
If Smart comes aboard, which would require yet another raise as it's even more parallel of a move than the Georgia switch would've been, that’ll be two former Georgia defensive backs at the tippity-top of the coaching staff of the team that’s arguably UGA’s primary rival. For hilarious storylines alone, sort of hoping the Gators aren’t going after Major Applewhite as rumored and instead are trying to get Mark Richt aboard as offensive coordinator.
UPDATE: Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown reports Major Applewhite is not going to Florida.
Orangebloods.com’s Geoff Ketchum is reporting on Twitter that Texas Longhorns assistant head coach Major Applewhite will become Will Muschamp’s offensive coordinator for the Florida Gators. Earlier tonight, Muschamp was revealed as Florida’s next head coach.
Applewhite played quarterback for the Longhorns at the turn of the century, becoming a graduate assistant after hanging up his cleats. He then spent a year each as Syracuse Orange quarterbacks coach, Rice Owls offensive coordinator, and Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator before taking on his current role at Texas in 2008. He also coached Longhorns running backs.
Applewhite was the offensive coordinator of the Bama team that famously lost to the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He was also named SEC Offensive Coordinator of the Week shortly before that, so you take the good with the bad.
Considering Florida’s primary problem this season was their offense, which has likely forced hundreds of sportswriters to look up synonyms for anemic, bringing on a totally unproven coach to turn around the Gators attack would be … well, it doesn’t sound like something you’d recommend, does it?
Bad start RT @gkketch Confirmed with two sources that Major Applewhite is expected to follow Will Muschamp to Florida as the school’s new OCless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhoneSmart Football
Less than 24 hours after Bobby Petrino was crossed off their list, the Florida Gators have reportedly landed their man: Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. The Florida Times-Union’s Michael Dirocco concurred on Twitter with Saturday Down South's report that Muschamp will be named Florida’s new head coach.
Landing Muschamp would be about as big a coaching get as possible. Muschamp has been the official coach-in-waiting at Texas in the event of Mack Brown’s departure. For Florida to sway Muschamp away from one of the only two or three other jobs in college football that could be considered a contender for the best job in the country would be amazing.
This would be a departure from the Urban Meyer coaching tree most had assumed would provide options one and two, Mississippi State Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen and Louisville Cardinals coach Charlie Strong. Mullen denied interest, and Strong may already have his ideal job.
Muschamp was born in Rome, Georgia, and played safety for the Georgia Bulldogs. He coached at West Georgia and Valdosta State before working his way into the SEC, NFL, and eventually Texas.
ESPN’s Joe Schad is reporting Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino has signed a seven-year contract extension, removing him from the list of candidates for the Florida Gators job made available by Urban Meyer’s resignation. Petrino has twice before been considered for the Florida job, and was rumored to be near the top of the Gators list of candidates this time around.
So now what? If Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen is still “absolutely committed” in Starkville, which would be put to a very serious test if Florida started waving Florida money around, two of the most prominent candidates would remain Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong, Meyer’s longtime defensive coordinator, and Boise St. Broncos head coach Chris Peterson. At the mothership Spencer Hall has downplayed the chances of Strong leaving Louisville and weighed Peterson’s SEC qualifications.
Vegas would add Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops and TCU Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson to that list, among several others. Auburn Tigers offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn will be a rumored consideration for just about any job until he actually takes one, which he may be in the process of doing, but Florida isn’t going to hire a first-time head coach after the Ron Zook experiment.
The Florida Gators need a new football coach after Urban Meyer resigned, and everyone thinks Jon Gruden wants to be a football coach again. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and Meyer were seen talking to Gruden at some Outback Bowl deal in Tampa on Thursday, meaning Gruden will become the next Gators coach. No, it doesn’t mean that.
Last week Gruden was attached to the open Miami Hurricanes job, meeting with the Canes and opting to stick with ESPN. If Gruden really is interested in taking a college job and isn’t just hanging around all these college events for fun*, he very well could be on the Gators Christmas list.
And if money is a concern, Florida has it. We all went back and forth about what Miami would have to do to drum up money for Gruden, but the Gators program can afford to pay whoever it wants whatever it wants.
Still — they were only seen talking, not sliding paperwork back and forth across a large oak desk and deferring to their attorneys and answering a big red phone and flying away on Jet skis. As you can tell, I’ve never been involved in a coach-hiring meeting at a major university.
Regarding whether Bobby Petrino will take over for Urban Meyer as head coach of the Florida Gators, the Twitter rumorsphere is completely bipolar right now. For every writer who thinks Petrino’s staying put, there’s another who thinks he’s off to Gainesville. So let’s go with what we know. What’s Petrino’s existing Arkansas contract look like?
ESPN’s Chris Low reviews that infamous non-compete clause, which only restricts Petrino from jumping to another SEC West school. Florida’s in the SEC East, which wouldn't trigger it. The clause would prevent him from following Houston Nutt to Ole Miss though, so count your blessings, Hogs fans.
ArkansasSports360.com looks into the way Petrino’s contract buyout works. The buyout amount changes over time — as of right now, it’s a little more than $3 million. By Jan. 1, it’ll be down to an even $3 million. It started at $8.75 million and decreases to FREE PETRINO! in 2014.
Do with this information what you will.
Five-star Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew, who listed Florida among his final six, told the AJC’s Chip Towers that Meyer’s exit is "a big problem." And guess what Dawgs fans … he’s visiting Athens this weekend. And speaking of pleasant coincidences, Towers said Georgia coaches were already going to see Gators commit JaJuan Story, a four-star WR, yesterday anyway.
Four-star ATH Malcolm Mitchell, who’s had Florida in his final eight schools, told Scout.com the news of Meyer’s resignation "came out of nowhere," though it’s hard to say what kind of effect it had on him.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Eduardo A. Encina says four-star Tampa DE Anthony Chickillo has canceled a scheduled Gators visit, and might not make it up, and 247sports.com’s Josh Newberg has four-star New Jersey OL Josue Matias also deciding not to visit Florida after visiting Florida State. The Sun Sentinel’s Patrick Lammer says four-star OLB Ryan Shazier is planning to visit Ohio State after finding out about Meyer.
It’s hard to say Meyer’s brief 2009 departure hurt Florida’s recruiting, as the Gators still finished with a top-two class according to every major rating service. But his certainty in his exit this time around, plus the fact that it’s the second time he’s quit, seems to be making more of a mark this time.
WR Latroy Pittman-"I just can't believe it. I'm shocked. I just have to think about things, sit down with my family and see what they say about it. I didn't see it coming. It was like somebody just slapped me in the face. I don't want to get emotional about things but it just hurts me."
CB Nick Waisome-"Right now, I heard the news. To tell you the truth, I'm not going to make any comments about it right now. Me and my family are going into meeting with some of my advisors also. I'm just kind of in shock. I'm going to go home and talk about it with my family."
Yesterday after Urban Meyer’s resignation, Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said the hiring of Meyer’s replacement should take “two weeks, two-and-a-half weeks.” Two-and-a-half weeks from yesterday would be Christmas Day, so somebody’s getting a multi-million dollar contract in his stocking.
Assuming Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen is firm in his denial of interest, the top two candidates remain Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino and Louisville Cardinals coach Charlie Strong. Petrino also coached at Louisville back in the day, so let’s throw in Rick Pitino. No?
As ESPN’s Bruce Feldman shares, you can get pretty good odds at Bodog.com on just about anybody but Mullen. Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops is listed second, followed by Strong, Utah Utes coach Kyle Whittingham, Boise St. Broncos coach Chris Peterson, Auburn Tigers offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, TCU Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson, and South Carolina Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier.
That last one would be a great story, but it’s definitely not happening. For the most part, that’s the same set of coaches you’d see speculated about for any open job, minus Stanford Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh. For whatever reason Petrino’s odds are longer than Spurrier’s 15/1, which means I and my wallet will be right back. It's gonna be a good Christmas for everybody!
Mississippi St. Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen has said he’s “absolutely committed” to MSU in the wake of Urban Meyer’s resignation as Florida Gators coach. While college football coaches have been known to waver, let's think ahead in case he's actually staying at MSU. Next on the list, according to the Sporting News, is the guy who was their No. 2 option behind Meyer in 2004: Bobby Petrino.
The last time Meyer stepped down, Petrino was the guy AD Jeremy Foley wanted. So the Gators have had their eyes on Petrino for a long time, even if he doesn’t like seeing Florida blue and orange in his press conferences.
Georgia Bulldogs fans, you may also be Atlanta Falcons fans. How would you feel about having a chance to beat Petrino every year? He’s one of college football’s premier offensive minds. He can recruit despite his mobility, already hauling in the Hogs class of the decade in 2009 and working on an even better one for 2011. The Florida job would be an upgrade and a raise and a chance to compete for more titles in the future than he could at Arkansas.
Plus there’s really nowhere else he could go, as far as his ambition goes — the knock against Petrino is his tendency to switch jobs more often than other coaches, but a coach can’t go much higher than Florida, which spends as much on athletics and enjoys as fertile a recruiting territory as just about anybody.
Outgoing Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer gave a brief press conference about an hour ago, praising his bosses at Florida, saying of his daughter “my best friend’s at Georgia Tech,” and affirming his commitment to spend more time with his family. Speaking of his bosses, a few thoughts from one of his former bosses:
McGarity was executive associate athletic director at Florida before taking the UGA job.
So: Urban Meyer resigns as head coach of the Florida Gators just a couple days after Tim Tebow’s coach gets fired, leaving the Denver Broncos with nobody on board who’s all that crazy about coaching up the young quarterback? Could a reunion be in the works? Same uniform colors and everything!
Nope, says ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Which sort of lines up with the slight information we have about Meyer’s motives. His reasons for leaving are specifically off-the-field conditions that wouldn’t be improved by taking an NFL head coaching job, though taking over as Broncos quarterbacks coach would likely be a lighter load.
After going through this whole thing just a year ago, taking another job right away would destroy whatever’s left of Meyer’s credibility. If he takes a year or two off before jumping back in, he misses the Tebow boat, but the Josh McDaniels thing is very, very likely just a coincidence anyway.
Besides, everyone knows he’s just going to coach his daughter Nikki’s volleyball team at Georgia Tech, right?
After a year one could describe as a rebuilding year in the SEC East, the conference’s tenuous balance of power could be altered by the resignation of Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer. Georgia Bulldogs and Tennessee Volunteers fans will rejoice, as Meyer owned both of Florida’s traditional division rivals. But this could actually be bad news for Dawgs and Vols fans.
Florida has the money and prestige to land just about any coach it wants, and the most obvious candidate is Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen. As an associate of Meyer’s for a decade, Mullen would ensure a high level of continuity — and he might be just as good a coach.
In his second year at MSU, Mullen led the Bulldogs to a better record than Meyer put together at Florida, including a win over the Gators in Gainesville. Missy State’s offense gained about 40 more yards per game than Florida’s did. Mullen achieved this with far fewer resources — in 2009 Florida’s athletic department spent over $100 million. MSU’s spent $37 million.
While this may already be having an impact on recruiting, with Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew expressing displeasure at the news while gearing up for a Georgia visit this weekend, Mullen is a strong recruiter. He has the Bulldogs in line for a No. 26 class this year, much better than their usual finish in the 30s and 40s.
Plus, Florida got worse once Mullen left, with no area of the team impacted more than its offense. The Gators led the SEC in scoring in 2007 and 2008, then slipped in 2009 and plummeted in 2010.
If Meyer was distracted by his health and family concerns throughout the season, that could explain the team’s failure to address obvious offensive gameplanning and player development shortcomings. If Mullen is hired, don’t expect the same level of attention to detail.
With Urban Meyer stepping down as head coach, one name should immediately come to mind for any Florida Gators observer: Dan Mullen. The Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach is already being courted by teams around the southeast, and his time in Florida as Meyer’s offensive coordinator (plus the Gators’ enormous financial resources) may increase the chances of his return to Gainesville.
Mullen led Missy State to an 8-4 record in a very competitive SEC West, possibly their best season in over a decade. In his four years as Florida’s offensive coordinator, the Gators finished 49th, 24th, third, and fourth in the nation in points scored, then slipped to tenth and 47th without him. The Bulldogs nearly beat the Gators in Starkville in 2009, then pulled off the upset in 2010.
Mullen worked alongside Meyer from 1999 to 2008 at Florida, Utah, Bowling Green, and Notre Dame.
Other members of Meyer’s coaching tree include former defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, first-year coach of the Louisville Cardinals.
UPDATE: Florida's Bright House Sports Network reports Mullen and Strong are indeed the team's primary targets.
That was fast: Urban Meyer is resigning as coach of the Florida Gators, according to GatorZone.com’s Scott Carter. Carter says Meyer approached athletic director Jeremy Foley this past weekend with thoughts of resignation, and the two reached a conclusion on Tuesday. Meyer will coach the team in its Outback Bowl appearance against the Penn St. Nittany Lions.
No word yet on possible candidates to take over for the following season or what Meyer plans to do from here on. Carter quotes Meyer: “I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.”
Speculation that Meyer could take over the newly vacated Denver Broncos job, reuniting him with Tim Tebow and returning him to a region of the country in which he’s had success, though ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says “there are no dots to connect” there.
Sporting News Radio's Todd Wright is reporting on Twitter that Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer will step down as head coach of the Florida Gators today. Aol Fanhouse's Brett McMurphy concurs, adding that he'll announce his resignation at a press conference set for 5 p.m. ET tonight, though Black Heart Gold Pants' Adam Jacobi has been told by Florida's sports information director that there isn't a press conference scheduled for tonight..
Meyer has sort of quit the job once before, announcing after the 2009 SEC Championship Game that he would resign to focus on his health and his family. He'd been briefly hospitalized due to chest pains the night of the team's loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Gators had a very poor season by Meyer's recent standards, going 4-4 in the SEC on their way to a 7-5 record. Losing offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and quarterback Tim Tebow, plus other stars, in the past two years had a drastic effect on the team's offense, once Meyer's pride.
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